Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT
Designed as a replacement for the aging McLaren SLR and as a range-topper for Mercedes-Benz, the SLS AMG GT was designed and honed by the high-performance gurus at AMG. Using the 300SL Gullwing as inspiration gave the car its characteristic shape, and perhaps its most unique and iconic feature -- gull-wing doors. It features a long hood and short rear deck, much like the 300SL.
The SLS AMG GT is an evolution of last year's SLS AMG, and like that car, the only available engine is the same 6.2L V8 used in the SL63 and other AMG models, although here it's been tuned slightly with dry-sump oiling, a reworked valvetrain and camshaft design, special tubular headers, a free-flowing intake and an improved exhaust system. The result is 583 hp and 479 ft-lb of torque, which pushes the SLS to 60 mph in an estimated 3.7 seconds and gives a top speed of 199 mph.
A 7-speed dual-clutch electronic transmission is the only available gearbox, featuring aluminum shift paddles mounted on either side of the steering wheel. The driver can select between several modes that offer shift quality tuned for both maximum performance and maximum efficiency -- and several steps in between. Mounted in the rear and connected to the engine via a carbon-fiber driveshaft, it helps give a near-perfect weight balance of 47/53 front-to-rear.
The chassis utilizes 4-wheel independent suspension with double-wishbone designs front and rear. With AMG Ride Control settings of "Sport" and "Sport+", drivers can select just how aggressive they want their SLS GT to be. But with the engine mounted low in the chassis (thanks to dry-sump oiling) and its rear-mounted transaxle, the SLS's center of gravity and overall balance helps provide exceptional handling characteristics no matter the setting. Massive disc brakes help bring the car from 60 mph to a stop in just under 100 feet.
The SLS AMG GT is available as either a coupe or convertible. Both are built on a high-tech aluminum space frame. Standard safety equipment includes stability and traction control, antilock brakes, front, side, knee and curtain airbags for both driver and passenger and Mercedes' "mbrace" emergency telematics system. In the event of a rollover, the coupe's gull-wing doors separate from the car via pyrotechnic devices, allowing easy exit for both driver and passenger.
The roadster SLS comes with a 3-layer fabric top and conventional front-hinged doors instead of the coupe's gull-wings. While Mercedes did have to add additional bracing to keep the chassis rigid, they claim the roadster weighs the same as the coupe, but has a lower center of gravity, so handling will not be affected too much.
Standard equipment includes 19-inch front and 20-inch rear cast aluminum wheels, bi-xenon headlamps with washers, auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors, a backup camera, keyless entry and ignition, leather upholstery, heated seats with memory functions, dual-zone automatic climate control and a premium sound system with satellite radio and iPod connectivity. In addition, Mercedes COMMAND interface is also standard.
Optional features many AMG performance parts, such as performance and adaptive suspension and carbon ceramic brakes. Outside, three types of unique alloy wheels and carbon fiber trim are also available. Inside, quilted leather seating, a leather and suede-wrapped steering wheel, and an 11-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo system are optional add-ons.