West Coast Motoring builds the first PRIOR Design PD800GT for SEMA World Premiere
The all-new Mercedes AMG GT-S is already an extremely quick car, with an exceptional chassis, wrapped in sleek bodywork. The hand-built 4.0 liter V8 makes 503 HP and 479 LB-FT, good for a 0-60 sprint of 3.7 seconds. All 479 LB-FT is available at 1750 RPM, making the car feel very responsive. Switch the center console-mounted dial to Race, and you’ll have a growling and popping soundtrack to accompany the serious amount of thrust provided by your right foot.
The GT-S is available with AMG’s Adaptive Suspension, a 4-wheel double wishbone configuration and electronically-controlled dampers. The suspension components are lightweight forged aluminum and benefit from Mercedes’ new direct-mount setup, where the rear coil-overs attach directly to the wheel hub carriers. There are 3 settings which allow the driver to tailor the ride to the job at hand, whether it’s highway cruising or flat out on the track.
This car has the AMG Dynamic Plus package, which means the engine and transmission mounts use electromagnetic fluid to progressively stiffen as the car leans. This keeps the weight distributed more evenly, which translates to flatter cornering and more precise handling. Switching the car to Manual or Race mode provides peak horsepower over a wider RPM range, and the chassis is automatically recalibrated for aggressive handling.
We had a chance to drive the car and we can confirm, this car is fast, responsive, and a blast to drive. The rear-mounted 7-speed DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) transaxle is connected to the potent V8 by a carbon fiber driveshaft and helps create AMG’s highly-touted 47:53 weight ratio. The driver can select from 4 modes, and with quicker shifts, rev-matching, an electronic LSD (Limited-Slip Differential), and a Race Start Launch feature, the GT-S is an absolute beast!
But as you would expect, all of this technology and performance couldn’t satisfy the appetite of West Coast Motoring (WCM) or it’s clients, who are always looking for something unique. So it was no surprise that the guys at WCM fell in love with the PRIOR Design PD800 GT package the moment they saw the first artist renderings. They immediately contacted PRIOR Design to find out when the kit would be released.
As luck would have it, PRIOR assured WCM the kit would be available before the 2015 SEMA show in Las Vegas (which has come to be known as just “SEMA”). So, the plan to build the very first PD800GT was born. But like most plans, it didn’t go off without a hitch. The body kit arrived just 9 days before SEMA and, unfortunately, some of the parts were damaged in transit from Kamp-Lintfort, Germany. It was time to double-down.
The guys jumped on the build; working through the night fitting, primering, blocking, sanding, and painting all of the parts. Everything was pulled off the car. The door handles had to be painted body color, the grille in gloss black with a “smoked” MB Star, emblems in gloss black, and the calipers and in matte gold, along with some gold accents on the logos.
The PRIOR parts were expertly fitted to the vehicle before paint. The rear fenders were cut out to make room for the massive wheels, and then finished to a factory look. The parts were then painted and installed for a glorious end result. It’s the most radical GT-S we’ve seen, but not overdone. It’s still clean and classy, but from any angle, there is no doubt in your mind, that this is something from another world.
Of course, no highly-modified sports car is complete with out a set of 3-pc forged wheels. Forgiato built their new Copiato-ECL wheel from the Forgiato 2.0 Series lineup for this amazing widebody GT-S. Originally made with a silver machined finish for SEMA, the wheels have since been re-done in a brushed titanium finish, which better suits the paint and interior colors. The wheels are 21 x 9 Front and 22 x 11 Rear with 255/30R21 and 295/25R22 Pirelli PZero tires. Of course, with the fender flares, and no spacers, Forgiato was able to use a very low offset. The huge lip front and rear enhances the car’s aggressive, widebody stance.
To be honest, we’ve never thought of Mercedes as a manufacturer of iconic sports cars. Obviously, the SLR had become something of a legend, but it was expensive and not very accessible. And then came the much less expensive (and sorely-missed) SLS, which started to change our opinion. With that said, before this car was released, we weren’t sure how it would stack up against a Porsche 911 or Jaguar F-type. Wouldn’t it be too soft and, well, Mercedes-ish? We were dead wrong. This car is quick, handles like it’s on rails, and easy (relatively speaking) to drive fast. Thank you, AMG.
Check Out this Great Video from Motor Trend!