Imitation isn't just a form of flattery, as the saying goes – it can also pose an effective challenge to your opponent. We just didn't realize just how closely Mercedes would seek to emulate the Porsche 911 with the launch of the AMG GT.
Benz stopped short of adopting the Elfen's signature (if borderline nonsensical) rear-engine layout, or its taste for boxer engines. But it did drop right into its rival's market territory (from the higher-end SLS AMG and SLR McLaren that came before), and evidently drew stylistic inspiration from Porsche's designs, with their rounded forms, and classic proportions blended with modern details.
Those weren't the only ways in which the AMG GT emulates the 911, though. Evident in Detroit this year like it never has been before is how the Daimler sports car follows it's cross-town rival's lead in product planning: roll out as many variants as you can, update them early, and add special editions.
So after less than three years on the market, Mercedes gave the AMG GT a mild facelift, added some new model variants, and introduced – you guessed it – a special edition. Punctuated by a new grille, the facelifted Mercedes-AMG GT also gets some new options, equipment, and more potent engines. There's a new GT C coupe as well – introduced just as Porsche was revealing the latest 911 GTS – that brings the road-going model line up to six... and you can bet there'll be more: a GT R roadster, perhaps, and maybe a Black Series model.
And there's the new Edition 50, which celebrates AMG's half-century of history. But most of all, these updates mash the accelerator to put one of Stuttgart's sports cars right alongside the other. Don't be surprised, then, to see Daimler launch more updates, more versions, and more special editions of its flagship sports car in the near future. Because if it works for Porsche, it can work for Mercedes, too.