2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

The chassis uses aluminum double wishbones at all four wheels and composite brakes--or optional ceramic composite brakes (with telltale gold calipers)--to help keep the SLS on the road. Massive, 265/35 R19 front and 295/30 R20 rear Michelin Pilot Super Sports tires provide the grip--as much as 1.2g in lateral acceleration.

AMG is predicting a 3.8 second 0-to-62 mph sprint, and 0-to-124 mph in less than 12 seconds. As to the Nurburging lap time, AMG engineers would only say that it is "well under" 8 minutes. The top speed is electronically limited to 196 mph--oh, and the fuel economy rating is 18 mpg combined (Euro cycle), as if any buyers will care.

Look for the SLS AMG to appear undisguised at the Frankfurt auto show this fall, and to rumble into Mercedes-Benz dealerships in April 2010. Compared to the SLR, which runs nearly $500,000, the currently estimated price looks to be a relative bargain at around $250,000, but --- even though production volume hasn't yet been announced --- we're guessing the new Gullwing will be a lot harder to come by.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG - Preliminary Specifications (per manufacturer)

6.2-liter, 32-valve DOHC V-8
Power: 563 hp @ 6800 rpm
Torque: 479 lb-ft @ 4750 rpm
7200 rpm max engine speed

Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
Drive: rear-wheel

Wheels: 9.5 x 19 inch front, 11.0 x 20 inch rear
Tire size: 265/35 R19 front, 295/30 R 20 rear

Length: 183 in
Width: 76 in
Wheelbase: 105.5 in
Track front/rear: 66/65 in
Curb weight 3571 lbs

0-62 mph: 3.8 seconds
Top speed: 196 mph
Fuel economy: 18 mpg (city/hwy combined on Euro cycle)

On sale: spring 2010

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