The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series is "the ultimate expression of what our engineers can do when they're allowed to go crazy", according to Ola Källenius, the boss of the AMG performance division.
Mercedes-Benz has revealed the new 622bhp 6.2-litre V8-powered SLS AMG Black Series at the Los Angeles motor show. Sporting a series of aerodynamic and mechanical developments brought over from the SLS AMG GT3 race car, the headlining AMG model is the fifth in a series of limited production Black Series models.
As tradition dictates, the SLS AMG Black Series is outwardly distinguished by series of exterior styling changes that serve to provide it with a distinctly brawnier appearance than the standard SLS AMG – all in keeping with its circuit bred lineage. Carbonfibre is used extensively for the more aggressive bodywork, including the deep front spoiler, bonnet and rear diffuser. An aerodynamic package is optional, which includes a fixed rear wing.
The rear bulkhead and centre tunnel are also fashioned from carbonfibre, changes which help cut the Black Series' kerb weight by 70kg over the standard SLS AMG to 1550kg.
At the new car's heart is a heavily tuned version 6.2 V8 developing 59bhp than the standard SLS AMG and 41bhp more than the recently introduced SLS AMG GT, with 622bhp delivered at 7400rpm. Torque, on the other hand, has dropped by 11lb ft over both existing gullwing models, with 468lb ft arriving at 5500rpm.
Carryovers from the GT3 racer to the Black Series road car include a larger inlet manifold, high lift camshaft, revised valve tappets, revised oil system, lighter bearings and stiffer conrods. The rev limit is raised from 7200rpm to 8000rpm.
Further engine changes centre around the exhaust system which switches from steel to titanium construction – a move AMG claims not only provides a 13kg reduction in weight and reduced back pressure but an even more striking exhaust note.
Channeling drive to the rear wheels is a modified six-speed double clutch transaxle, set 10mm lower than in the standard SLS to reduce its centre of gravity. Shifts are now faster and more aggressive and torque loading is increased.
Additional driveline developments include the adoption of an electronically controlled differential lock in place of the existing mechanical arrangement. The ESP and race start systems are also revised.
The Black Series can crack 0-62mph in 3.6sec and reach a 196mph top speed, 0.1sec quicker than an SLS AMG GT to 62mph but 3mph slower at the top end due to its increased downforce.
Chassis developments include wider front and rear tracks and a firmed up coil-over suspension system, which also includes greater manual adjustment for the dampers.
Also new are its lightweight 19in front and 20in rear alloy wheels and the adoption of carbon ceramic brakes.
The US accounts for approximately 30 per cent of all sales of AMG-fettled Mercs and, of that amount, almost one-third of those are sold in California. Those figures were behind Merc's decision to launch the SLS AMG Black Series at the LA motor show.
Källenius also reported that AMG's global sales have increased by 35 per cent this year, as the company prepares for a major sales push and expansion of its product range.