2020 Mercedes AMG GT vs. 2019 BMW i8

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Mercedes AMG GT’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The i8 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The Mercedes AMG GT’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The i8 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Mercedes AMG GT’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them and moves the vehicle back into its lane. The i8 doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

The Mercedes AMG GT’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The i8 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the Mercedes AMG GT’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The BMW i8 has a metal gas tank.

Both the Mercedes AMG GT and the i8 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

Warranty

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There are over 10 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are BMW dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the AMG GT’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

Engine

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The Mercedes AMG GT’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 produces 100 more horsepower (469 vs. 369) and 45 lbs.-ft. more torque (465 vs. 420) than the i8’s 1.5 turbo 3 cyl. hybrid. The Mercedes AMG GT C’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 produces 181 more horsepower (550 vs. 369) and 82 lbs.-ft. more torque (502 vs. 420) than the i8’s 1.5 turbo 3 cyl. hybrid. The Mercedes AMG GT R’s standard 4.0 turbo V8 produces 208 more horsepower (577 vs. 369) and 96 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 420) than the i8’s 1.5 turbo 3 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Car and Driver the Mercedes AMG GT C is faster than the BMW i8:

AMG GT

i8

Zero to 60 MPH

3.4 sec

3.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

7.2 sec

9.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

3.9 sec

4.8 sec

Quarter Mile

11.4 sec

12.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

128 MPH

113 MPH

Top Speed

196 MPH

155 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Mercedes AMG GT has 8.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the i8 (19.8 vs. 11.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Mercedes AMG GT, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the i8.

The Mercedes AMG GT offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The i8 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Mercedes AMG GT’s brake rotors are larger than those on the i8:

Mercedes AMG GT

Mercedes AMG GT C/R

i8

Front Rotors

14.2 inches

15.8 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

14.2 inches

13 inches

The Mercedes AMG GT offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The i8 doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The Mercedes AMG GT stops much shorter than the i8:

Mercedes AMG GT

i8

80 to 0 MPH

200 feet

212 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

141 feet

166 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

95 feet

103 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Mercedes AMG GT has larger standard tires than the i8 (F:255/35R19 & R:295/30R19 vs. F:215/45R20 & R:245/40R20). The Mercedes AMG GT R Coupe’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the i8 (F:275/35R19 & R:325/30R20 vs. F:215/45R20 & R:245/40R20).

The Mercedes AMG GT’s 255/35R19 front and 295/30R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the i8’s standard 45 series front and 40 series rear tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Mercedes AMG GT is 1.6 inches wider in the front than the track on the i8.

The Mercedes AMG GT R Coupe handles at 1.14 G’s, while the i8 Coupe pulls only .91 G’s of cornering force in a Road and Track skidpad test.

The Mercedes AMG GT R Coupe executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the i8 Coupe (22.8 seconds @ .96 average G’s vs. 24.6 seconds @ .8 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Mercedes AMG GT’s turning circle is 2.7 feet tighter than the i8’s (37.7 feet vs. 40.4 feet).

Chassis

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The Mercedes AMG GT is 5.5 inches shorter than the i8, making the Mercedes AMG GT easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The Mercedes AMG GT Coupe has .8 inches more front headroom and 1.7 inches more front shoulder room than the i8 Coupe.

Cargo Capacity

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The Mercedes AMG GT Coupe has a much larger trunk than the i8 Coupe (10.1 vs. 4.7 cubic feet).

The Mercedes AMG GT Roadster has a much larger trunk with its top down than the i8 Roadster (5.8 vs. 2.3 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Mercedes AMG GT easier. The Mercedes AMG GT’s trunk lift-over height is 31 inches, while the i8’s liftover is 37 inches.

With its convertible body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the Mercedes AMG GT offers cargo security. The i8’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Mercedes AMG GT’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The i8 doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the Mercedes AMG GT is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the i8. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 23% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the i8, the Mercedes AMG GT has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Mercedes AMG GT’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The i8 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

In case of a sudden change of weather, the Mercedes AMG GT has a standard remote convertible top that can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. The i8 doesn’t offer a remote top, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in, turn the ignition on and raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield, the Mercedes AMG GT offers optional extendable sun visors. The i8 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Mercedes AMG GT keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The i8 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Mercedes AMG GT offers an optional Active Distance Assist Distronic, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The i8 doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the Mercedes AMG GT owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Mercedes AMG GT will cost $805 to $4530 less than the i8 over a five-year period.

The Mercedes AMG GT will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Mercedes AMG GT will retain 42.51% to 43.64% of its original price after five years, while the i8 only retains 33.99% to 35.51%.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/15

The Mercedes AMG GT was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2018. The i8 hasn’t been picked since 2015.

The Mercedes AMG GT outsold the BMW i8 by almost three to one during the 2019 model year.

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