After a 40 year hiatus, you can again get a Mercedes with gull wing doors. The SLS has returned to the lineup, bringing classic sports car into the modern age of luxury supercars. While its' position in the model list has it replacing the SLR, a joint project of Mercedes and McLaren, the return of the SLS is a more auspicious occasion that simply replacing the outgoing model. Much like its predecessor, there is a race only version in the works.
The SLS retains it front engine, rear wheel drive configuration of the old model, but that's about the only thing that remains the same. The space frame is all aluminum, contributing to the cars svelte 3500 lb. curb weight. Huge 19 wheels up front and 20 inch wheels in the back help get the power to the ground. And power it has. The SLS is rocketed forward by the 6.2 liter V-8, making 563 HP and 479 Ft. – Lbs. of torque. This is actually a heavily modified version of the 6.2 liter V-8 found in the SL63. It sends its power to the wheels through a seven speed automatic transmission.
Engines: 6.2L V-8
Transmissions: 7-speed automatic
Models: SLS AMG
The newest supercar from Mercedes is all new. Unlike the McLaren that it replaces, this car is solely designed and engineered by Mercedes. Even the 6.2-liter V-8, which was sourced from the SL63 AMG, had so many significant changes -- more than 120 redesigned parts -- that it has a new internal designation. Top speed is said to be 197 mph.
The SLS is just under 183 inches long -- slightly longer than the SL -- and is a mere 49.3-inches tall. It is rounded corners and aerodynamically slippery, with gorgeous gullwing doors. But it isn't pretty from every angle.
The cabin is sports-car pure, yet still contains bits of die-cast aluminum brightwork. Its design was inspired by aircraft cockpits; the dashboard has a wing-like shape with electroplated vents. The center console is made from matte metal.
Performance & Handling
With 563 horsepower and an estimated 3573-pound curb weight, the SLS AMG's weight/power ratio is an impressive 6.3:1, and it reaches 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. Paddles allow quick, easy shifts. Switching from hard acceleration to hard braking and taking the SLS through tight turns near the adhesion limits of the tires don't bother this car in the slightest. Yet the suspension also excels at absorbing bumps in the road.
AMG's three-stage stability control is standard on this car, as are eight airbags. Ventilated, perforated compound disc brakes come with the SLS AMG, and larger ceramic carbon brakes are available.
EPA Fuel Economy
14 mpg city/19 mpg highway
- Fantastic engine
- Excellent suspension in turns
- Terrific brakes
- Direct steering feel
You Won't Like
- Controversial styling
- Suspension gets fatiguing over time
What the SLR should have been
If You Like This Vehicle
- Ferrari 458 Italia
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- Audi R8