We’ve driven the 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, reported virtually all the specifications, learned of a forthcoming electric version, and have even seen the ordering guide. Still, until now, we hadn’t seen the latest super car to wear the three-pointed star without camouflage…
The SLS AMG is Mercedes-Benz’s new halo car, effectively replacing the outgoing McLaren SLR. As was already known, the car pays homage to one of the greatest Mercedes of all time: the 300SL. Designers working on the SLS AMG took styling cues–including the gullwing doors — from the 300SL and gave them a more modern look while incorporating them in a thoroughly modern package.
“It is more than just exclusive gullwing doors that make the design of the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG so special,” said Volker Morhninweg, AMG’s chairman. “Our aim with this interpretation is to create the classic car of the future and put the most beautiful sports car of the 21st century on the road.”
Underneath the retro-inspired exterior lies a thoroughly modern sports car. The SLS AMG uses aluminum space frame construction to cut weight and lower the center of gravity. The SLS AMG weighs in at 3571 lbs,more than300 lbs lighter than the SLR McLaren.
Powering the SLS AMG is the same 6.2-liter AMG V-8 found in Mercedes-AMG “63” models. The V-8 in the SLS AMG has been tuned to create 563 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. Getting the power to the rear wheels is a new 7-speed dual-clutch transaxle, which helps the SLS AMG accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 195 mph.
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG makes its official debut on September 15 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Stick with Automobile Magazine for full show coverage.