AMG boss Volker Mornhinweg spoke to Autocar about the future plans for producing more SLS models, including a thumping Black Series variant due in 2013.
What does the introduction of the SLS mean to AMG?
It signals a major departure from what we’ve done up until now, which has been modifying existing Mercedes-Benz models to various degrees.
It has given the company a clear independence that in future years will be expanded and reflected in other models. But that is not to say we will abandon our core business, which will remain very much in the foreground.
How has the new car been received within Mercedes-Benz?
Extremely well. We’ve had enormous support, from the supervisory board all the way through to the guys on the workshop floor. It has created a great deal of pride within the company.
So does the SLS finally put AMG on an equal footing with supercar brands like Porsche, Lamborghini and Ferrari?
We’d like to think so. But ultimately it is the customer that will decide. Certainly, from all our data the car is good enough to compete with anything they offer. It has been thought through in great detail. There are no compromises in having to share components with other Mercedes-Benz models. In this respect it’s rather unique.
When is the convertible version of the SLS due to be launched?
Convertible? There are some surprises coming but I can’t confirm anything at the moment.
And the SLS Black Series?
That sounds like fun. All I can confirm is that we are thinking about a competition future for the SLS. Its first race track duty, however, will be as the FIA safety car for next year’s Formula One championship.