Mercedes-AMG unveils Red Pig GT3 cars

It's 50 years this week since a big red Mercedes made history at Spa; time for a tribute, AMG-style…

By Matt Bird / Friday, July 30, 2021 / Loading comments

The Mercedes ‘Red Pig’ – a 300 SEL 6.8 AMG – is one of the best known four-door race cars of all time. It became a legend thanks to one race in particular: the 1971 Spa 24 Hours. Half a century ago, the big Benz took second place overall and first in class, Hans Heyer and Clemens Schickentanz claiming a memorable victory against lighter, lower, seemingly much more suitable cars. It was a triumph for the power of an AMG V8, one that its makers – quite rightly – have been dining out on ever since.

This weekend’s Spa 24 Hours marks 50 years since the Red Pig’s most famous race, an occasion AMG certainly isn’t going to leave unmarked. In tribute to the SEL, it has revealed three one-off race cars, ready for motorsport but being sold to very special customers without FIA homologation. Obviously, it would have been great to see a homage car race, but given Mercedes sells its cars ex-works it would be difficult to expect a privateer team to take on the livery.

The three cars – an SLS, a MY2016 AMG GT3 and MY2020 AMG GT3 – are the ’50 Years Legend of Spa’ editions, described as “fascinating new interpretations” of the old saloon. Without the homologation requirement, these are all far more powerful (and louder) than their competition counterparts. AMG reckons the 6.2 V8 is making 650hp, with an exhaust that “allows for sound to be enjoyed to the maximum”. And they didn’t sound too shabby to start with.

The SLS is perhaps the most intriguing of the trio, given Mercedes-AMG stopped making them in 2015. Handily, though, it left one spare, meaning this 50th tribute is also the very last SLS GT3 ever made. Mercedes says it “can’t be exceeded in terms of uniqueness”, which it’s hard to argue with. The livery seen across all three aims to evoke both the colour and the sponsors of the time; note the blue and yellow blobs (the Bilstein colours) on the wings of all three. The ’50’ numbers found inside and out of each one are appropriately 70s in font as well.

The 2016 GT3 is chassis number 100 of those originals, again a nice point for collectors. As with the SLS and the later GT3, it gets ’50 Years Legend of Spa’ logos, red belts, a matt carbon instrument panel and a unique badge with the Hans Werner Aufrecht’s signature. Just in case the livery didn’t give away it was something special.

As for the 2020 car, that’s the AMG most closely related to the cars that will compete this weekend. It carries all of the features of the other two, and splits them in terms of price. With one very lucky buyer having paid €500,000 for the MY2016 car and another splashing €650,000 on the SLS, the MY20 GT3 has cost its customer €575,000. Presumably set for very exclusive collections, all three will be on their way once shown at Spa this weekend. Let’s hope they’re set free every now and then, though – a 650hp AMG GT3 experience promises to be worth every single penny.

  • 2020 Mercedes-AMG GT3 | Track Review

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