Debuting at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG features an aluminium spaceframe body with gullwing doors, and is powered by an AMG 6.3-litre V8 front-mid engine developing 420 kW/ 571 hp peak output, 650 Nm of torque and dry sump lubrication.
The unit is coupled with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission in a transaxle configuration, and sports suspension with aluminium double wishbones. The total weight is limited to 1620 kilograms.
The layout has a front/rear weight distribution of 47 to 53 percent and a low centre of gravity.
The average combined fuel consumption is 13.2 litres per 100 kilometres.
The tires are 265/35 R 19 (front) and 295/30 R 20 (rear).
The SLS AMG is scheduled to be launched in spring 2010. The sales price is EUR 177,310 (incl. 19% VAT).
From the official Press Release:
The distinctive styling of the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG enthrals with its passionate sportiness and reinterprets the breathtaking lines of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL – one of the outstanding design icons of the Mercedes-Benz brand.
“The styling of the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is not only very special because of the exclusive gullwing doors.
“Our aspiration is to utilise this interpretation to create the classic of tomorrow and roll out the most alluring sports car of the 21st century.
“Our aim is also to create a new design icon, which shapes the incomparable legend of our brand, alongside Mercedes models like the CLS or the SL. At the same time, the new SLS paves the way for the design philosophy of forthcoming Mercedes-Benz sports cars”, says Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at
With its purist design the new SLS AMG reflects the philosophy of contemporary sports car engineering: the hood which measures just under two metres, the low greenhouse positioned well to the rear and the short rear-end with an extendable aerofoil are just as powerful a reminder of the superlative dynamism as the long wheelbase, the wide track and the large wheels.
The proportions are defined by the short overhangs and the low-slung front-mid engine set well back and dual-clutch transmission in transaxle configuration.
The gullwing doors are not alone in rekindling memories of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL; the hallmark wide radiator grille with the large Mercedes star and the wing-shaped cross fins are a throwback to the front-end of the sports car legend.
Six large cooling air intakes and the vertically arranged headlamps set well to the outside with their alluring inner ambience provide a dominant aura: the central bi-xenon low-beam headlamp with its metallic wing section is framed at the top by two LED indicators and the LED daytime driving lights at the bottom.
Allusions to aircraft construction include the tubular section which is reminiscent of the air intake on a jet engine when
viewed from the side, as well as the long hood: as the eye is drawn forward, so the observer becomes more aware of the curve.
The design of the four fins with their Silver Shadow finish that adorn the two air outlet grilles on the end of the hood create the same visual impression.
These aircraft-style lines also visually accelerate the air that flows past – and make the SLS AMG appear extremely dynamic even while stationary.
The fins on the hood are taken up on the vehicle flanks: the connoisseur also discovers here a hallmark styling feature of the 300 SL. The “6.3” lettering placed between the fins provides a clear reference to the high-displacement naturally aspirated V8 engine.
The side air outlet feeds through into a stylistically prominent feature line, which together with the convex flanks and the
surface treatment, combines aesthetics with power.
The compact passenger compartment has a high beltline, low side windows and steeply angled. The forward angled B-pillar with its stylish flowing sweep to the rear window exudes pure dynamism.
19-inch (front) and 20-inch (rear) light-alloy wheels fill the wheel arches, which stand
out prominently from the sidewall. Three different wheel variants all provide a glimpse of the large composite brakes.
Seen from above, a prominent, uninterrupted line runs from the muscle to the rear. This styling feature is also picked up on the hood where the eye follows a distinctive contour which flows over the roof between the gullwing doors, right through to the third brake light.
The rear view of the SLS is characterized by the gently sloping boot lid which emphasises a sense of width, an impression reinforced by the prominent vehicle shoulder and the sleek tail lights: fitted with LED technology, the horizontally structured lighting units provide a scintillating view. Wing-shaped LED lighting elements ensure a distinctive night design.
The Formula-1-style LED fog lamp/reversing light is set down low in the centre. Similarly inspired by motor racing are the black diffuser insert and the two chromed tailpipes of the sports exhaust system.
The tapered rear apron provides an unimpeded view of the wide rear wheels.
The spoiler integrated in the boot lid is automatically deployed from a speed of 120 km/h to ensure optimum stability at high speeds.
New colours: “AMG ALU-BEAM silver” and two matt finishes
The paint covers the body panels like a metallic skin, emphasises the scintillating design lines of the ‘Gullwing’ more strongly than any previous paint job and makes them even livelier by means of targeted light reflections. This effect is made possible thanks to tiny pigments measuring between 30 and 50 nanometres.
The two matt finishes “designo magno allanite grey” and “AMG magno sylvanite grey” have a matt silk surface that reinforces the sporty character of the two-seater through specific contouring of the crease lines.
The bodyshell comprises an aluminium spaceframe, characterized by lightweight aluminium sections that connect the force nodes to a sturdy structure.
The large, low-set cross-sections of these aluminium sections ensure high resistance torque, thus providing the required direct transfer of drive, braking and suspension forces. The structure prevents unwanted flexibility; the vehicle responds rigidly, almost without twisting and directly.
45 percent of the aluminium spaceframe is made out of aluminium sections, 31 percent out of aluminium sheet, 20 percent out of aluminium cast and 4 percent out of steel.
Maximum occupant safety requires the use of ultra-high-strength, heat-formed steel in the A-pillars. The bodyshell weighs 241 kilograms – an absolute benchmark in the super sports car segment when
compared with the peak output of 420 kW/571 hp.
Another is the transverse reinforcing struts at the front and rear axle that are integrated into the bodyshell structure.
The sections connect the side members precisely where the highest forces act upon the bodyshell under dynamic cornering.
The advantages of this sophisticated solution include transverse rigidity and the absence of heavy secondary stiffening or supports.
Lightweight construction was also key when it came to the wheels: weight-optimised AMG light-alloy wheels – 9.5 x 19 inch (front) and 11.0 x 20 inch (rear) – based on the innovative flow-forming principle reduce the unsprung masses while increasing driving dynamics and suspension comfort.
The characteristic styling feature is the dashboard, whose wing shape makes for an impression of width. Integrated into the dashboard are the galvanised air vents with their adjustable, cruciform nozzles and Silver Shadow finish – their shape reminiscent of a jet’s engines.
The instrument cluster with its LED upshift indicator and two white backlit dial instruments add a sporty touch with their metallic Silver Shadow finish.
The silver dials have red needles and a 360 km/h speedometer scale. As a central feature of the cockpit, the COMAND APS multimedia system with its 7-inch screen is integrated between the two centre air vents.
The elongated centre console in matt metal similarly picks up on the design theme of the aircraft cockpit. It is home to the AMG DRIVE UNIT, which is inclined towards the SLS driver and allows them to choose their very own vehicle setup.
The E-SELECT shift lever, whose styling recalls the thrust control of a jet, controls the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission. All the controls are made out of solid metal, with a high-sheen Silver Shadow surface.
The concave inner panels of the gullwing doors, the high beltline and the side sill panels round off the cockpit-like impression.
Fine materials such as nappa leather, solid metal and (optional) carbon-fibre facings underline the “custom-built” nature of the SLS interior. Five
different designo leather colours are available to meet individual preferences: black, classic red, sand, porcelain and light brown.
Despite the low sitting position of just 369 millimetres in typical sports car fashion, the wide-opening gullwing doors make it easy to get in and out of the vehicle. At the design stage great attention was paid to the widest possible opening angle – it is a full 70 degrees.
The distance between the open doors and the road surface is 1.50 metres, while the entry aperture between the open doors and the upper edge of the door sills measures 1.08 metres.
The entrance height, i.e. the distance between the road surface and the upper edge of the door sills is a very low 45 centimetres.
The gullwing doors require less opening space than conventional coupé doors, and can be fully opened in a normal garage.
The grip section of the armrest moulded into the interior door panel ensures problem-free door closing.
The operating buttons for the power windows, central locking system and exterior mirror adjustment are also located in the interior door panels for easy access.
The leather steering wheel in a three-spoke design has a 365-millimetre rim with a flattened lower section, shift paddles and a metal insert. The sports seat backrests are made from magnesium and feature the so-called two-zone seat cushions.