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Long live the Mercedes SLS

Mercedes-Benz's flagship sportscar gains even more power, a stiffer suspension and a GT badge

  • wheels magazine
  • Published: 00:00 June 15, 2012
  • Wheels

Mercedes-Benz SLS
  • Image Credit: Supplied picture
  • The screaming, front-mid-mounted AMG unit has been tweaked to squeeze out 591bhp at 6,800rpm.
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Great achievements, as some smart chap observed a long time back, are usually born of great sacrifice. So when the guys in white coats over at Affalterbach decide to formally kill the iconic SLS AMG, you can be sure that sacrifice is aimed at the greater good of the automobile world. And indeed it is, as the celebrated super sportscar has been replaced by a more powerful, stiffer riding, better sounding and meaner looking version, called the SLS AMG GT.

Now, that is not exactly a sacrifice, is it? It's just that the car will not be called the SLS AMG any more, but instead will come with a GT suffix. Everything else that made it one of the most striking performance rides of all time remains the same, with a handful of aspects even getting better.

Take the 6.2-litre V8 for example. The screaming, front-mid-mounted AMG unit has been tweaked to squeeze out 591bhp at 6,800rpm; that's an addition of a good 20 horses under that long, swooping bonnet. This has been achieved by bumping up the peak pressure coupled with some in-engine dethrottling measures. Although max torque remains the same as before at 650Nm at 4750rpm, the spike in power output now shaves a full tenth of a second from the car's 0-100kph sprint time, before it tops out at an electronically limited 320kph.

Mercedes also claims to have reduced the reaction time of the seven-speed Speedshift DCT sports transmission in the manual M mode. And if it was the glorious note of the engine that endeared the SLS AMG to you, then you'd be overjoyed to know that the automatic double-declutching function is more pronounced in the SLS AMG GT, which means an even louder blip of the throttle when downshifting.

Interestingly, with the addition of the GT badge, Mercedes has dumped the Comfort mode altogether from the suspension control. The revised AMG ride control sports suspension system gets stiffer springs and dampers, which allows drivers to choose between Sport and Sport plus modes. The GT gets a few restrained styling tweaks too, such as darkened headlights and taillights, red-painted brake callipers and a high-gloss finish for the fins on the bonnet and wings as well as the wing mirrors.

Inside, it's a mix of red and black trimmings and sports seats with an embossed badge on the headrests. The GT, which will be available in both Coupé and Roadster form, will be priced at €204,680 (Dh940,000) and €213,010 (Dh978,400) when launched in October this year.

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