Mercedes confirms all-new AMG GT sports car

After months of whispers and quiet speculation, Mercedes-Benz has confirmed it is working on a new high-performance sports car, dubbed the AMG GT.

One the eve of the 2014 New York Auto Show, Mercedes on Tuesday night revealed two interior shots of the forthcoming sports car and said little else about the successor to the popular SLS AMG.

“The new Mercedes AMG GT proves that we will be positioning AMG as a dynamic sports car brand even more strongly and aggressively than before,” Tobias Moers, chief executive of Mercedes’ AMG division, said in a statement. “Following the global success of the SLS AMG, the new GT is the second sports car developed fully independently by Mercedes AMG.”

Though the two-seat car will succeed the $200,000 SLS AMG, the new AMG GT will be less expensive and smaller. When it debuts — probably around the Paris Motor Show in early October — the GT will be more of a direct competitor to higher-end Porsche 911 models.

It will also be more of a high-performance machine than the gull-winged SLS. Although that model certainly was no slouch on the tarmac, it leaned more toward an eager grand tourer than an outright sports car.

A more compact and agile package in the GT will help it better keep up with the likes of a 911, Audi R8, Nissan GT-R or Chevy Corvette Z06. Powertrain details haven’t been disclosed, but expect a hand-built V-8 that probably uses turbocharging.

Which wheels will move the car is unknown. Although the SLS was rear-wheel drive, much of Mercedes’ AMG lineup has switched to all-wheel drive. And with the exception of the Corvette, all of the aforementioned competitors come in all-wheel drive configurations.

The AMG GT’s design is another unknown, but don’t expect the SLS’ gull-wing doors to carry over. The inside of the car was inspired by aviation, with various shapes and lines invoking wings or air scoops, Mercedes said.

“Designed to set the driver’s and front passenger’s pulses racing even while at a standstill, it provides an enticing hint of the superlative dynamic performance the new GT is capable when its AMG V-8 comes to life,” Mercedes said.

We’ll see just how hard our pulses race in the coming months as Mercedes reveals more info on the car. And count on getting a first-hand look at the 2014 L.A. Auto Show in November.