Mercedes-AMG is expecting to deliver an initial batch of “more than ten” of its new GT4 cars to North American customers ahead of the 2018 season, according to company chairman Tobias Moers, who has revealed a higher demand than build capacity for the first part of next year.
The German manufacturer will break into the emerging GT platform with its all-new Mercedes-AMG GT4, which made its competition debut in August and has since completed multiple endurance races in Europe.
With the U.S. among the first in its target markets, Moers said efforts are being made to allocate the first batch of cars to customers competing in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge and Pirelli World Challenge, which sees its seasons kick off in January and March, respectively.
“You can expect more than ten cars,” Moers told Sportscar365. “We are limited always when you start production. We actually discussed, we’ll deliver the first cars before the Roar [in December].
“It’s really a run on the car. We have to figure out who will get the first ones. We’ll deliver how the season starts.
“As Daytona is early, we have to have cars here. Then Europe, then Asia as well.”
Winward/HTP Motorsport has already announced plans for a two-car GS class effort in Continental Tire Challenge, with a number of other teams, including RS1, Murillo Racing and Mercedes-AMG’s factory-supported GT3 operation, Riley Motorsports, understood to be finalizing entries for next year as well.
While official car sales have yet to begin, Moers said they currently have more letters of intent than initial build capacity.
“It’s more than we can produce at the very beginning,” he said. “So we have to step back in Asia for 2018, and have to be focused on the U.S., then Europe.”
Moers indicated to the potential for the car to surpass the total build numbers of its Mercedes-AMG GT3, which debuted in 2016 and is set to see the 100th car produced later this year.
Jaeger: Mercedes-AMG GT4 Has “A Lot of Potential”
Mercedes-AMG Motorsport Customer Racing Program Coordinator Thomas Jaeger believes its new GT4 car has the most potential in its customer racing lineup.
Powered by a four-liter V8 twin-turbo engine, the Mercedes-AMG GT4 is based on the GT R road car, which is a step above the AMG GT that forms the basis of the Mercedes-AMG GT3.
“That’s also an advantage of our car,” Jaeger told Sportscar365. “Because it has a lot of potential. The GT R road car is a great base, and that’s why it was more-or-less easier to create a good race car.
“At the moment the performance level in GT4 is low but if you’d like to, you can put in more power, and then it’s good. We think we attract track day drivers.
“Our philosophy is to deliver a great product, that for the lifecycle of the car, in the five-year homologation period, that we don’t need expensive performance updates.”
Jaeger said the car has already completed nearly 20,000 miles of running, including multiple 12 and 24-hour races in Creventic’s 24H Series competition.
“We want to make sure when you deliver so many cars, that you don’t have any issues,” he said. “It has to be easy to use. We have to make sure it’s a well-developed product. The customers also expect it from you.”