Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R V Ferrari 488 GTB


Driving The Great Ocean Road in two street legal race cars!


We drove the breathtaking Great Ocean Road, Victoria to review the new 2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R V Ferrari 488 GTB.

Driving the Great Ocean Road in Victoria is one of the great driving roads in Australia. To drive two street legal race cars along the serpentine coast-hugging road is a not to be forgotten experience. However, the main game was to review the  Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R V Ferrari 488 GTB. Let’s start with what Mercedes calls  “The Beast Of Green Hill” – the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R.

Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R


This 2018 latest addition to the GT line-up has motorsport DNA at its core. We drove the official launch colour, Green Hell Mango, a reference to Green Hill. The nickname was given to the legendary “North Loop” of the Nürburgring. There is nothing about this car that doesn’t make on-lookers turn themselves inside out when they see it. Not joking.



This track ready supercar has a commanding, aggressive stance. An enormous hood, bulging fenders front and rear and sculptured side body lines.  Move along the dominating bonnet and focus on the rear and rear quarter. Bulging rear quarter fenders give the wide stance. Housing the rear axle steering. Producing agility, lightness and control. The rear sports a unique triple-pipe exhaust and heightens the exhaust note from the V8 engine to new heights. LISTEN HERE. Matte green paintwork in the exclusive Green Hell Mango with carbon fibre in all the right places. Around the two external exhausts, the adjustable wing, roof and more.

This beast has presence and stance!



Mercedes is a market leader when it comes to safety and the GT R has all the necessary features.

  • Collision Prevent Assist Plus
  • LED Adaptive Headlights and LED Taillights
  • Park Assist
  • Adaptive Braking
  • Rearview Camera
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Attention Assist



There is motorsport technology used here to burn which can be viewed here. The key indicators though are;

Front mid-engine, rear wheel drive

4 L V8 Twin Turbo Charged

Power – 430 KW at 6250rpm

Torque – 700Nm between 1900-5500rpm

0-100 km/h in 3.7 secs

Top Speed of 318km/h

Weight 1615Kg



Comfort is not part of the narrative for the GT R. This car is a racecar that can be driven around the city. However, for a racecar, the napper leather DINAMICA Black with yellow stitching, contrast yellow seatbelts and matte carbon fibre trims is luxurious. The ride is firm. Quality overall is excellent. There is even a generous sized boot.

A few minor comments the traction control dial feels lightweight, the reverse camera at night delivers a poor quality image and the infotainment system is the old generation style.



AMG Tracktion Control with 9 Levels

Active Aerodynamics

Race Mode has 5 Settings

7 Speed Double Clutch Automatic Transmission

Adaptive Coil-Over Dampers Suspension

Active Rear-Wheel Steer System





Ferrari 488 GTB


GTB stands for Gran Turismo Berlinetta. This latest version is controversial to the purists. Due to the downsizing of the engine to a 3.9 litre twin-turbocharged V8. The traditionalists however since the launch in 2016 have come to love and admire the 488 GTB for a very good reason. In particular, the increase in power.

What about the exhaust note? Yes, it is possible to hear a slight turbo lag so the exhaust note is not as perfect as the 458. However, having said that the exhaust note is very impressive. Listen Here for yourself. Now let’s compare the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R V Ferrari 488 GTB!



The Ferrari 488 GTB is pure design supercar. It is sculptural and curvacious however this car is aggressive and powerful in its stance. From the wide front dual grill with an active front splitter to the signature large side air intakes. Unmistakably Ferrari. To the tail and rear where you won’t find a wing but more a slot creating large air vents, a deep diffuser and dual split exhaust.

Internally the cabin is luxurious. Sleek dashboard with the oversized rev counter front and centre to the driver. As are the controls to the infotainment and something a little different. The screen for the infotainment is to the drivers left. Again putting the driver in charge. The steering wheel contains most of the controls. Stop-start button, the horn which is on the rim and the all-important Manettino switch. Manettino stands for ‘little lever’ in Italian and was inspired by the controls found on F1 steering wheels. This switch controls suspension settings, traction control, electronic differential and the speed of the electronic gearbox.



  • ABS Braking
  • Stability Control
  • Front and Side Airbags
  • Pretensioners



3.9 L Twin-Turbo Charge V8

Power – 492KW at 8000rpm

Torque 760Nm

0-100Km/h in 3.0 secs

Top Speed  of 330km/h

Weight 1525kg



The Ferrari 488 is very very quick, in any gear! This car throws your head back as you accelerate and you simply cannot stop your self from smiling. However, this high-speed supercar is really easy to drive even on the unevenness of country roads. Even with the Manettino switched to Race mode you were never shaken and jarred around the cabin.

The steering is very direct and precise and gives you confidence when driving at speed but you don’t have to push very hard to enjoy driving this car. At no time did this car ever feel beige in fact the complete opposite, exhilarating! Exactly what Ferrari set out to do with this new design. Extreme sportiness and comfort are how Ferrari marketing describes the 488.

Quality finish and experience is everything you would expect from a nearly $500,000 car.



7 Speed Double Clutch Transmission

Magnetic Damper Suspension

Active Aerodynamics

Side Slip Angle Control SSC

Carbon Ceramic Brakes

Keyless Start

Multimedia Infotainment System with Satnav, Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth






Which car did we prefer to drive the Great Ocean Road?  Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R V Ferrari 488 GTB? Before we do that. We would like to thank the team at Melbourne Luxury Car Hire Jason, Keely and Alastair. The company we used to hire the cars through. Initially, we were only driving a Ferrari 430.Great car. However, due to an administrative error, it was not available as originally agreed. To help us get on the road we were offered the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R for two days and then the Ferrari 488 GTB as a solution. What a great solution! This gives us another reason to go back and drive the Great Ocean Road this time we might try the Lamborghini Huracan. Thanks to Melbourne Luxury Car Hire for making this drive so memorable.

This was always going to be a tough decision to compare Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R V Ferrari 488 GTB. Both stunning to look at, fast, technologically advanced supercars. You could not be anything but happy to drive either. So here is our take.



If you are a fan of the long bonnet style and you like attention then the  Mercedes AMG GT R will have more people turning themselves inside out to look at this car. The colour, the enormous bonnet, wide aggressive stance and the growling engine note. As a result, this makes the Mercedes AMG GT R impossible to ignore. The car takes hold of you and assaults all your senses.

Handling and speed are excellent however this car feels big to drive. There is a lot of bonnet in front of you. You need to be on your game if you are behind the wheel driving at speed. Of course, this is what makes for a fun and exciting drive. There is also the comfort factor, therefore, it is important to remind yourself the DNA of this car is racing, comfort is not a priority here. So if this is your style of a car then the decision Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R V Ferrari 488 GTB  will put the Mercedes GT R ahead of the Ferrari 488. You will not just be impressed you will be blown away. Mercedes mission was to create a street-legal track car that would go as fast as possible around a track and still be a good road car. Mission accomplished!


The Ferrari 488 GTB, on the other hand, is very clearly a Ferrari. Although this model was the first from the new design team within Ferrari and as a result looks quite different from its predecessor the legendary 458. Initially, the design was controversial as was the engine. With the massive front and side air intakes and rear diffuser Ferrari have said they choose function over form. In other words, the aerodynamics are more important than the styling. Personally, we love the sculptured masculine lines. As a consequence, these design features and the 3.9 Litre twin-turbocharged V8 produces the blistering speed of 0-100km in 3.0secs!

This new design also includes loads of race technology and innovation like the carbon fibre brakes are from the Ferrari LaFerrari. The 7-speed double clutch transmission provides lightning-fast gear changes. You have direct and precise steering and a power to weight ratio that makes that makes cornering exhilarating. Driving this car is insane along the Great Ocean Road. This car also has Side Slip Control. For the purpose of helping you drift! This sculptured masculine formula 1 sounding street legal car is designed for the driver and does not disappoint.

For us, the winner of Mercedes-Benz AMG GT R V Ferrari 488 GTB is the Ferrari 488 GTB.

P.S Coming soon; we will share our “Tips For The Great Ocean Road Drive”. Where to go, where to stay and eat! To make sure you don’t miss out please sign up for our newsletter.

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