Mercedes-AMG GT53 4-Door has a delightful soundtrack to go with its sporty performance and day-to-day usability
Music to the ears The Mercedes-AMG GT53 4-Door hits 100kmh in 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 285kmh. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

A great number of cars today can be replaced by electric variants. By the look of things, most of them will be - and be the better for it. But the Mercedes-AMG GT is not one of them.

The soulful music which the car makes - a heady rumble interspersed with the sound of distant gunfire - is reason enough to continue burning fossil fuels. And if all the mundane machines in the world go electric, there will be more than enough fuel to feed cars like this rarefied Merc.

The version on hand is the GT53, powered by a turbocharged 3-litre inline-six making 435hp and 530Nm. Its soundtrack is so rich and immersing and yet never in your face that you drive the car in Sport+ - usable even in town - just to drink it all in.

It is definitely the best-sounding six-cylinder there is, displacing the Porsche 911's lofty ranking on the aural totem pole.

It even matches the wonderful rendition its V8 sibling makes, going by memory of the GT's predecessors. The new GT63S, however, is more powerful than before, with its biturbo V8 producing 639hp and 900Nm of tree-felling torque.

Both cars are now available in four-door form. In comparison with the coupe, the four-door is noticeably bigger at 5,054mm (plus 510mm) by 1,953mm (plus 14mm) by 1,447mm tall (plus 159mm), with a wheelbase of 2,951mm (plus 321mm).

While these may not translate to track-centric performance, the car offers the space and comfort of a true grand tourer (the boot is enormous). At the same time, it still has handling limits which no ordinary driver will exploit without risking his licence twice over.

Indeed, in Sport+ mode, the GT53, shod with rear tyres so fat they would look fine on a Ferrari, delivers a beautiful blend of speed which is high on excitement and comfort (it is easy to pilot despite its size) and low on fear factor.

Besides the ample spread of rubber on tarmac, the car's adaptive all-wheel-drive and adaptive suspension system contribute to its extraordinary cool-headedness. This makes driving the limousine-rivalling sedan weighing just over two tonnes less of a butt-clenching exercise than you would imagine.

The four-seater hits 100kmh in 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 285kmh. Not blindingly quick nor exceedingly fast in today's context, but the car's impeccable manners allow you to drive faster in the real world than possibly those with superior specs.

Its luscious interior probably helps you last longer, too. The front seats are well-cushioned and afford plenty of support. Dynamic hip wings extend to keep you in place when cornering, although the response is not calibrated according to actual cornering forces.

The cabin is quiet, except for occasional intrusion from the wheels, ergonomically designed and beautifully finished. But shorter drivers might find the gear lever a tad far back. Thankfully, that lever is necessary only at the start and end of a journey.

Gear changes can be manually actuated via steering paddles. Changes are very direct and immediate, with the full accompaniment of the car's wonderful percussion. While the AMG GT's intuitive gearbox makes using the paddles largely unnecessary, you do so anyway - just to enjoy the music and sense of control.

Not all cars reward you for your manual labour. And very few indeed sound as good as they look and drive.