MERCEDES-Benz has added yet another branch to its SLS AMG family tree of sportscars in the form of the GT variant. The SLS AMG Coupé presented in 2009 was the first vehicle developed independently by Mercedes-AMG. The spectacular gullwing model was followed in 2011 by the open-top SLS AMG Roadster as well as the SLS AMG GT3 customer sports racing car.
Having secured 26 victories and the FIA GT3 European championship title, the SLS AMG GT3 was the most successful newcomer to the world of motorsport in 2011. With the new SLS AMG GT, available as a Coupé and Roadster, the model range has now grown to five variants. The sixth model is expected to follow next year in the form of the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-CELL. Mercedes-AMG is planning an exclusive series-production run of the purely electric-driven super sports car.
The GT, which is available in both the gullwing coupe and roadster body forms still features the company's normally aspirated, 6.2l V8 engine, but tuned instead to develop a colossal 435kW at 6800 and 650Nm at 4750r/min via the 7-speed speedshift automatic transmission. The extra fire power is said to see the GT accelerate to 100km/h from standstill in 3.7 seconds and achieve a top speed of 320km/h.
T he suspension has also been given some major tweaks. For instance, the newly developed AMG Ride Control performance suspension also enhances the vehicle's sportiness. In the instance of the SLS AMG GT, the company has combined the sophisticated suspension layout with twin aluminium wishbones all round and variable, electronically controlled damping.
Compared with the current AMG Ride Control sports suspension, the new AMG Ride Control performance suspension features stiffer spring/damper tuning and dispenses with "comfort" mode. "Sport" mode is recommended as the optimum setting for undulating road surfaces and routes requiring increased suspension travel - such as those found on some B roads.
As standard equipment, the vehicle comes with 265/35 R19 tyres on the front and 295/30 R20 tyres on the rear, fitted to weight-optimised AMG forged light-alloy wheels in a 10-spoke design and painted in matt black and with a high-sheen finish. However, three additional AMG light-alloy wheels can also be specified.
The interior has also been given a model specific look in the form of the embossed head restraints, while the centre sections are finished in alcantara. Continuing the theme, the same material is also found on the door centre panels. The black interior appointments are combined with red seat belts, plus all of the contrasting stitching on the AMG sports seats, the centre console, the door panel lining, and the floor mats.
Also available for all SLS AMG models is a new, highly exclusive optional extra in the form of AMG designo Exclusive Style leather. This high-quality extra is available in single or two-tone finishes and comprises distinctive upholstery with a diamond design with contrasting stitching.
There is a comprehensive array of options for owners to truly customise their vehicle to the heart's content. Pricing and availability will be announced at a later stage, but you can certainly expect a premium over the current models.