hp @ 6,800 rpm
1620 kgs / 3571 lbs
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is the first car produced entirely
in-house by Mercedes' performance division AMG.
As evidenced by the styling, Mercedes has jumped on the retro-design
bandwagon in creating the SLS AMG. The shape and styling details
are heavily influenced by the 300SL. But thankfully the technology
The chassis and bodywork of the SLS AMG are both formed from
aluminium, a first for Mercedes. This construction method helps
reduce the weight while retaining rigidity and strength. The
aluminium spaceframe comprises of cast aluminium components
and aluminum sections. Cast components are used wherever high
forces need to be transferred or where large components, such
as the gullwing doors or the dashboard, are attached.
Located in a front-mid position is the AMG developed 6.3 litre
V8 engine which produces 571 horsepower at 6,800 rpm, and a
peak torque output of 650 Nm @ 4,750 rpm. This engine, which
bears the internal designation of 'M159', is connected to the
seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission via a carbon-fibre driveshaft
similar to those found on DTM Touring cars. The transmission
features different ferocity settings ranging from comfortable,
up to aggressive race-like modes.
In order to match the performance potential of the drivetrain
the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is equipped with a suitably powerful
braking system. All-round internally ventilated, grooved and
perforated brake discs measuring 390 x 36 millimetres (front)
and 360 x 26 millimetres (rear) provide ample stopping power
when combined with the six-piston calipers up front and four-piston
calipers at the rear. However if this doesn't sound like enough,
then as an optional extra the SLS AMG can be fitted with ceramic
composite brakes instantly recognisable thanks to their
gold-painted brake calipers with the "AMG Carbon Ceramic"
In order to improve the SLS AMG's handling the car not only
features an advanced double-wishbone suspension setup at all
four corners, and speed sensitive power steering. It has also
been designed to offer a centre of gravity which is as low as
possible throughout the entire vehicle.
The interior of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is designed to offer
all the equipment and technology buyers would expect in a top-end
luxury sports car. Fine materials such as nappa leather, solid
metal and (optionally) genuine carbon-fibre facings underline
the pronounced "custom-built" nature of the SLS interior,
and show enormous attention to detail.
"The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is not
only very special because of the exclusive swing-wing doors.
The visible influence of aviation engineering, the high-grade
materials and the practicality typical of a sports car will
make the hearts of sports car enthusiasts beat faster. At the
same time the new interior styling indicates the design philosophy
for coming generations of Mercedes sports cars", says
Gordon Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz.
The electrically adjustable sports seats feature integrated
head restraints for added safety - to go along with the 8 airbags
- and good lateral support for increased comfort. The seat backrests
are made from magnesium, a high-tech material that combines
light weight with high strength.
The AMG Performance leather steering wheel in a three-spoke
design has a 365-millimetre rim with a flattened lower section,
shift paddles and a metal insert, underlining the authentic
custom-built look in the same way as the attractive instrument
cluster. As standard equipment the SLS features hand-stitched
designo leather with a contrasting seam on the dashboard, sports
seats, interior door panels and armrests.
Interior features and equipment of the SLS AMG include; cruise
control, automated parking, rain sensor, keyless go, dvd player,
media interface with a 7 inch screen, and a premium Bang&Olufsen
Review by: James:
Getting into an SLS can prove to be a rather embarrassing debacle.
There is no roll cage or awkward bucket seat in the way; rather
a low, wide expanse of leather and a huge port of access thanks
to the gullwing doors - which, as a consequence, are an entire
foot above you once you've sat down. Thankfully, at this event,
they provided a man to stand outside close the door once you'd
realised that you couldn't, but in any other situation you are
likely to make a massive fool of yourself.
Once inside, the standard chrome-on-black interior looks like
any other Mercedes interior: functional, comfortable, advanced
- but lacking the panache that is expected of today's supercar
norm. This can be remedied by ticking the 'designo red leather'
and carbon trim boxes on the options list, whilst this may total
to an eye-watering £5,135, it is definitely worth it as
it transforms the inside into an exciting grandtourer-racer.
Not that it needs any assistance. Keep it calm and the AMG will
quietly cruise around town, handling imperfections in the road
at little expense to your spine, and remaining relatively quiet.
But open the taps on a track and it positively takes off, the
monstrous 6.2 litre V8 bellows and roars its way across the
tarmac, delivering torque smoothly and continuously, leaving
no lack of power right up to the redline. The huge carbon-ceramics
allow you to stop terrifyingly late for the corners - which
is where the SLS really shines. Big power can be expected of
a big car with a big engine under a big bonnet, but big cars
generally don't handle as well as their smaller, mid-engined
rivals. The Mercedes does, as its front-mid-engined layout gives
it a near perfect 47:53 weight distribution, allowing even the
tightest of hairpins to be taken at speed without the risk of
a spin. That's not to say that spinning the car isn't a possibility,
it is still worryingly easy to spin, but drive smoothly and
the SLS will reward you, gliding through turns with almost no
body roll, gripping all the way.
The flappy paddle 'box forgoes the split second shifts of a
race car for a more fun manual style gearchange - yet doesn't
compromise the car's cruising ability.
Though despite the brilliance of the AMG in every aspect: as
a tourer, a racer, a solid piece of German engineering or even
as a piece of art, there is only one thing you notice whilst
in the car. That you can't see the two metre long bonnet.