Automotive fascination and high tech of the highest order: These are the traits embodied by the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, which is making its world premiere at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt on 15 September 2009. The super sports car boasts a purist design, the systematic incorporation of lightweight engineering and superior handling dynamics. At the same time, the SLS delivers the high everyday utility and exemplary safety that typifies Mercedes-Benz, making the new gullwing the ideal synthesis of the strengths of Mercedes-Benz and AMG.

The new super sports car from Mercedes-Benz and AMG dazzles with its unparalleled technology package which includes: an aluminium space frame body with gullwing doors; an AMG 6.3-litre, front-mid V8 engine with a top power of 571 hp, 650 Nm of torque, and dry sump lubrication; seven-speed dual-clutch in a transaxle configuration; a sports chassis with aluminium double-wishbone suspension; and a kerb weight of 1,620 kilograms. It's a combination that guarantees supreme handling dynamics. The car's ideal weight distribution between the front and rear axles (47 to 53 per cent respectively) and its low centre of gravity emphasize the concept's pronounced sports car nature. The gullwing accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds and has a top speed of 197 mph (electronically limited). The fuel consumption of 21.4 mpg (combined) is best-in-class (all figures are provisional).

“With the new SLS AMG, Mercedes-Benz is presenting a fascinating super sports car that will quicken the pulse of any car fan. The SLS AMG bolsters both the Mercedes-Benz and AMG brands equally, and will surely become one of the most alluring sports cars of our time,” says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.

“In the SLS AMG, our customers benefit first-hand from the expertise gleaned by Mercedes-AMG from more than 40 years of motorsport experience. The unparalleled technology package provides extraordinary handling dynamics with moderate fuel consumption—another hallmark of AMG today,” says Volker Mornhinweg, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

 

“It is more than just the exclusive gullwing doors that make the design of the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG so special. Our aim with this interpretation is to create the classic car of the future and put the most beautiful sports car of the 21st century on the road. Another of our goals is to create a new design icon that, like other Mercedes-Benz models such as the CLS and the SL, will help shape future models of the Mercedes-Benz brand. At the same time, the new SLS is a harbinger of the design philosophy of future Mercedes-Benz sports cars,” says Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

The SLS is also taking a new approach in its body concept. For the first time ever, Mercedes-Benz and AMG are presenting an automobile, where both chassis and body are made of aluminium. This leads to significant weight savings compared to the traditional steel construction, as shown by the car's kerb weight of just 1,620 kilograms.

The vehicle's all-new body consists of an aluminium space frame, which combines intelligent, lightweight design with the highest strength and thus further boosts the SLS' excellent handling properties. Light aluminium profiles combine the force nodes to create a stable structure. The large, low-lying cross-sections of these aluminium profiles exhibit high resistance torques, thereby ensuring the desired direct transfer of drive, braking and chassis forces. Undesired flexibility is reduced by the structure; the vehicle responds rigidly, directly and as if it was almost free of torsion.

The intelligent aluminium space frame, which has been optimized in terms of weight, is 45 per cent aluminium profiles, 31 per cent aluminium panelling, 20 per cent cast aluminium and four per cent steel. Ultra high-tensile, hot-rolled steel is used in the A-pillars to further improve occupant protection. The body-in-white weight is 241 kilograms — and given that the maximum power is 571 hp, represents a top value in the super sports car segment.

Advanced AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine with an output of 571 hp

The heart of the new SLS is a high-powered eight-cylinder engine manufactured by Mercedes-AMG. The advanced 6.3-litre V-8 engine, which has an output of 571 hp at 6,800 rpm, makes the gullwing vehicle one of the most powerful sports cars in its segment. In conjunction with the low vehicle weight, this results in a weight-power ratio of 2.84 kg/hp. The naturally aspirated engine provides its maximum torque of 650 Nm at 4,750 rpm. The gullwing vehicle accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 197 mph (all figures are preliminary). The high-torque V8 engine, which is called the M159 within the company, has a displacement of 6,208 cc.

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