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Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Tuesday March 20, 2012
  • Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG -
  • Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
  • Image courtesy of Mercedes-Benz
Presented to the public at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA), the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG was the first car to be engineered entirely by Mercedes-Benz' AMG tuning division. The dramatic coupé, styled by Mark Fetherston, is unashamedly retro, and pays homage to the legendary 300 SL of 1954. Nowhere is this more prominent than in the gullwing doors - a trait so redolent of the W 198 300 SL series that that classic became more popularly known as "the Gullwing".

Today's 4638 mm long SLS AMG coupé makes extensive use of aluminium in the construction of its body and chassis. These and other lightweight construction techniques keep the kerb weight down to a respectable 1620 kg. The 6.2 litre V8, given the code M159, is a development of the M156 engine found in many other AMG models, but has been uprated to deliver 571 PS (420 kW) at 6800 rpm. This is up from 510 PS (380 kW) in its M156 guise in the (more recent) 2011 Mercedes-Benz C 63 AMG Coupé Black Series. Following racing practice, the SLS AMG also has a dry sump lubrication system. Power is delivered to the rear wheels via a seven speed automatic gearbox.

A reasonably slippery 0.36 coefficient of drag and a 2.13 m2 frontal area help the big coupé on to a top speed of 317 km/h, whilst it sprints to 100 km/h from rest in 3.9 seconds. The standing quarter mile is dispatched in just 11.7 seconds, and the SLS AMG hits a terminal velocity of 201 km/h (125 mph) in doing so. Despite the performance ability and large displacement engine, the SLS AMG manages a very respectable 317 g/100km of CO2 emissions, whilst delivering a combined fuel consumption of 13.2 l/100km.

The SLS AMG Coupé - C 197 in Mercedes-Benz model series code - was joined in 2011 by the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster, code R 197. The specification remained largely the same, but the convertible layout of this soft-top version left no possibility of keeping the gullwing doors. With the added weight of the necessary chassis stiffening, the SLS AMG Roadster weighed in at an additional 115 kg at the kerb, at 1735 kg.

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