2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Don Sherman
Matt Tierney

I've experienced five gull-wing sports cars, enough to last a lifetime. Only one -- an experimental Mercedes-Benz C-111 powered by a wailing rotary engine and piloted by the unflappable Rudolf Uhlenhaut -- left an indelibly positive imprint. It's a pity that Mercedes didn't use that mid-engine wundercar as the SLS's inspiration instead of the 300SL gullwing, coincidentally created by Uhlenhaut in the mid-fifties. But the real SLS bummer is that the thrill of entering and exiting through gullwing portals will fade in a week. Then you're stuck with the awkward contortions, the strain required to close the doors, and the spectacle you'll prompt at every stop in a public place. Here's my suggestion for partially remedying the situation: Mercedes should add power door closers to make the SLS more palatable.

Don Sherman, Technical Editor

I commend Mercedes and AMG for producing the car they want to build, not just the car the customers want.That being said, there's still too much Gee-Whiz tech here that detracts more than takes away. Rear view cameras are for trucks and rolling artwork that have a mail slot for a rear window. LCD screens and other electronic garbage will prevent cars like this from being appreciated many years from now because replacement parts will be unobtainable. Try to get a new motherboard for your 10 year old computer...same thing. Lastly, real drivers prefer three pedals. Yes, paddle shifters get you around a track the fastest, but if that is your concern, you aren't driving this 3,600 lb sled. I'm waiting for what this company is capable of when they embrace simple engineering, light weight, and the quality standards they set back when the first Gullwings were built.

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