Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG preview

Production Cars 24 Apr 2009
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG preview

Mercedes-Benz has revealed the interior and a number of design sketches of the SLS AMG, a modern interpretation of the legendary Gullwing which is currently under development. It will be powered by a mid-front V8 engine and will be launched in spring 2010.

After the official spy shots, Mercedes-Benz has released new material – including photos of the interior – about the SLS AMG, a V8-powered supercar that pays homage to the legendary Gullwing of the 1950s.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Design Sketch Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Design Sketch

Among the technical highlights of the supercar are an aluminium spaceframe and body with gullwing doors, AMG 6.3-litre V8 front-mid engine developing 420 kW/571 hp and dry sump lubrication, seven-speed dual-clutch transmission in a transaxle configuration and sports suspension with aluminium double wishbones.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Design Sketch Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Design Sketch

The design and development phase for the SLS AMG got underway in the last quarter of 2006.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Design SketchesThe vehicle testing programme will be complete by the end of 2009, while the launch is planned for spring 2010.


While not yet totally revealed, the exterior design of the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is characterized by the long hood, low greenhouse positioned well to the rear, short rear end with an extendable aerofoil, large wheels, wide track and long wheelbase.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Prototype Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Prototype Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Prototype

Interior Design

Opening the swing-doors reveals an equally sporty interior, dominated by a wide, wing-shaped dashboard – a clear reference to the aviation-based “aircraft engineering” design theme.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Interior Design Sketch Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Interior Design Sketch

The interior combines lightweight construction with dynamism. The visionary style also represents a new design philosophy for future Mercedes sports cars.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Interior Design Sketch Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Interior Design Sketch

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG InteriorThe four prominent air vents resemble the engines of a jet aircraft, while the centre console is in the style of a jet’s operating console and the shape if the E-Select shift lever recalls the thrust control of a jet.

These are perfectly complemented by the concave interior panels of the swing-wing doors, whose high waistlines make for an authentic cockpit feeling.

Together with the roof-integrated doors, the high sills and the wide centre console extending well to the rear, they impart a feeling of safety and security.

Contrasting decorative seams and fine leather provide a high-class look and reinforce the “custom-built” impression.

All surfaces such as the interior door panels and armrests are softly padded, with a pleasant feel.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Interior Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Interior

These contrast dramatically with the air vents, which have a metal bezel and an adjustable,
cruciform nozzle, and also with the metal centre console. On request the centre console and other interior components are also available in carbon fibre.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG InteriorFinished in galvanised Silver Shadow, the instrument cluster has two dial instruments with white backlighting and an upshift indicator using seven LEDs.

The silver dials have red needles and a 360 km/h speedometer scale. As a central feature of the cockpit, the multimedia system COMAND APS with its 7-inch screen is integrated between the two centre air vents.

The modern short-stroke control keys require an operating force of only four newtons.

All keys and switches are coated in Softtouch paint, which creates a silky sheen and a pleasant feel.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG InteriorA racing car touch is provided by the steering wheel, which has a diameter of only 365 millimetres.

The rim has a flattened lower section and an oval cross-section for outstanding vehicle control. The shift paddles and lower insert are of metal.

Five different leather colours are available: black, classic red, sand, porcelain and light brown.

The sports seats with integrated head restraints and sporty transverse fluting are upholstered in leather – and two-tone seats are also available in classic red, sand and porcelain.

The A-pillars, roof lining and parcel shelf are lined in anthracite Alcantara, heightening the functional and puristic motor sports atmosphere.

These surfaces are complemented with the sporty carpeting and cord floor mats with the AMG logo.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Interior Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Interior

“The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is not only very special because of the exclusive swing-wing doors. The visible influence of aviation engineering, the high-grade materials and the practicality typical of a sports car will make the hearts of sports car enthusiasts beat faster.

“At the same time the new interior styling indicates the design philosophy for coming generations of Mercedes sports cars”, says Gordon Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz.

Technical Features

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG ChassisThe SLS AMG is the first car developed in-house by the Mercedes-Benz performance brand. The ideal front/rear weight distribution of 48 / 52 percent
and the vehicle’s low centre of gravity

For the first time, Mercedes-Benz and AMG are presenting a car with an aluminium chassis and body.

Compared with the traditional steel design, this results in a significant weight saving, clearly illustrated in the projected kerb weight of 1,620 kilograms.

The newly developed bodyshell comprises an aluminium spaceframe. Despite the low sitting position in typical sports car fashion, the wide-opening gullwing doors make it easy to get in and out of the vehicle.

The fine-tuned AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine achieves a peak output of 420 kW/571 hp at 6800 rpm, thus turning the SLS AMG into one of the most powerful sports cars in its segment.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Space FrameA power-to-weight ratio of 2.84 kg/hp comes courtesy of the low vehicle weight. The eight-cylinder naturally-aspirated engine delivers maximum torque of 650 Nm at 4750 rpm.

The ‘Gullwing’ accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds, before going on to a top speed of 315 km/h (all figures are provisional).

The V8 high-revving engine has been reengineered: the principal measures in increasing output include the all-new intake system, the reworked valve train and camshafts, the use of flow-optimised tubular steel headers and the dethrottling of the exhaust system.

This results in much better cylinder charging, which feeds through into an increase in output to 420 kW/ 571 hp with maximum torque of 650 Nm.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Space FrameThe use of high-strength components compensates for the increased engine load associated with the higher output.

Forged pistons, a reinforced crankshaft bearing, optimised crankcase structure, along with improved lubrication thanks to an ondemand high-performance oil pump ensure optimum durability.

Despite these higher loads, the engine weight for the M159 has been further reduced. The forged pistons as oscillating masses play a particularly valuable role in this respect.

Thanks to targeted weight optimisation, the weight of the engine has been reduced further, resulting in a kerb weight of 206 kilograms and a power-to-weight ratio of 0.36 kg/hp.

The AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine is coupled with an ultra-light carbon-fibre driveshaft at the rear axle – similar to the set-up used on the DTM CClass racing touring car.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG PrototypeThe transmission is mounted at the rear (transaxle principle) and is connected to the engine housing via a torque tube.

The advantages of this sophisticated solution are associated with the rigid link between the engine and transmission and, in turn, the optimum support for the forces and torque generated.

A new AMG dual-clutch transmission with seven gears boasts fast gear changes and offers the driver a choice of four different driving modes, ranging from comfortable to extremely sporty, as well as a RACE START function.

A mechanical differential lock is integrated in the compact transmission casing.

The chosen solution with a front-mid engine plus transaxle configuration ensures an ideal front/rear weight distribution of 48 to 52 percent.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG PrototypeThe suspension system adopts double wishbones and hub carriers made of lightweight forged aluminium.

Electronic controls include 3-stage ESP as standard, providing the driver with access to the three “ESP ON”, “ESP SPORT” and “ESP OFF” modes at the push of a button.

The braking system features ceramic composite brakes, while the wheels are 9.5 x 19 inch (front) and 11.0 x 20 inch (rear) in size and are based on the innovative flow-forming principle reduce the unsprung masses while increasing driving dynamics and suspension comfort.

They are combined with 265/35 R 19 (front) and 295/30 R 20 (rear) tyres developed exclusively for the SLS AMG.

(Source: Mercedes-Benz)

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