2009 New York: Mercedes Continues the SLS SMG Striptease

Mercedes dropped the first official information on the SLS AMG Gullwing supercar just before the Geneva motor show last month, but kept the wraps on the interior until today. At an off-site press event during the New York auto show, we were given a look inside the new Mercedes supercar.

With a tight cockpit and high performance driving in mind, the controls need to be easy to use and intuitive to read at speed. To this end, there’s no COMAND controller where your right arm may rest–all the infotainment controls are located on the center stack. The controls that lie around the armrest are for the transmission shift strategy, traction control, rear wing, and AMG memory. Only the essential controls surround the driver in this flagship performance car.

Nicely bolstered sport seats, which can be covered in any of five different colors of leather, hold the driver and passenger in place while exploring the car’s high limits. Magnesium seat frames save weight without sacrificing strength and the usual host of seat adjustments are still available. There are two different foam densities used on the seats to allow for firm support during aggressive driving and comfort during long trips. We only sat in the car momentarily, but the seats felt supportive and looked quite sharp.

Benz isn’t making customers live with a bare-bones interior in the SLS, but the Bang & Olufsen sound system is probably an option worth splurging on. The Bang & Olufsen system sends 1000 watts to 11 speakers and allows the driver to select a reference or surround sound experience. A pair of subwoofers ensures solid low end response and illuminated tweeters will provide the high range.

Expect to see the first official photos of the entire car without camouflage this summer ahead of its official world debut at the Frankfurt auto show in the fall. Deliveries should begin in the summer of 2010. To read more about the mechanicals and performance of the SLS AMG, click here.