Tuned version of new Gullwing could have over 600bhp
31 October 2009

AMG has kicked off development of a powered-up and pared- down version of its soon-to-be-launched SLS following an official green light from Mercedes-Benz chairman Dieter Zetsche.

The new German super-coupe, tentatively due to go into limited production in 2013, is planned to join an exclusive range of Mercedes-Benz performance cars wearing the AMG Black Series name at a price, Stuttgart insiders hint.

Read the first drive of the standard SLS

It will add at least 50 per cent to the standard SLS’s UK price of around £155k - a move that looks set to pitch it into direct competition with the recently upgraded Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano fitted with Maranello’s latest handling package upgrades.

Describing the SLS AMG Black Series - plans for which have existed ever since a decision was made in 2006 to revive the Gullwing - Mercedes-Benz insiders have told Autocar it will be differentiated from the standard SLS in very much the same vain as the Chevrolet ZR1 is removed from the Chevrolet C06.

At the heart of the go-fast Gullwing is a reworked version of the SLS’s M159 engine. The 6.2-litre V8, already far removed from similar-sized and configured units found in other AMG models, kicks out 563bhp and 479lb ft of torque in standard guise.

For the SLS AMG Black Series, however, its reserves are set to be raised beyond 600bhp and 500lb ft through the inclusion of a larger air manifold, higher compression ratio, reprofiled camshafts and other unspecified tweaks.

“We’re not at the limit with what’s out there the moment. There’s still a good deal more to come from the engine,” says AMG engine boss Friedrich Eichler. “We’re saving the best until last.”

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

The uprated V8 will continue to place drive through the SLS’s seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox to the rear wheels, with a mechanical locking differential set to be included as part of the upgraded driveline package.

Despite running similar gearing, the added engine reserves, together with detailed aerodynamic tweaks and a 50kg reduction in kerb weight, promise to bring the 0-62mph time down from the standard car’s claimed 3.8sec to under 3.5sec, while raising top speed from 195mph to 208mph.

Greg Kable

Join the debate


31 October 2009


31 October 2009

"The uprated V8 will continue to place drive through the SLS’s seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox to the rear wheels"

Just found out that the gearbox in the SLS is not a dual clutch of the DSG/PDK type as previously believed. It remains the 7G-Tronic Automatic, without a torque converter (just like SL63 & New E63), but with 6 clutches in two packs of 3.

Still, I believe that the MP4-12C will show-up practically all supercars with its Carbon Tub, interconnected dampers that shun anti-roll bars, 0-62 in 3s and 0-100 < 7s; all for £150K ish. That makes it a bargain and an amazing feat!!

31 October 2009

Agreed, I really don't think the other car manufacturers are going to know what has hit them when the MP4-12C starts getting reviewed and gets some real world numbers set. I know some people have commented on the MP4 looking a bit dull and not exotic enough but looking at the performance in just its base version it is going to be outstanding and really show up even these Black Series models... Just wait until the MP4 GTR comes out and then that will embarrass almost anything.

31 October 2009

Will Mercedes do their usual trick though and give the car headline grabbing power and torque figures that the chassis cannot cope with, and create a car that's just not that good to drive?.

As for the McLaren MP4, I love the way it's aleady being praised as better than any other car in existance and how it's going to p*** on this car and s*** on that car before it's even gone into production.

Wouldn't it be better to wait for the car to be properly tested before praising it through the roof as the greatest car ever?.

31 October 2009

But, don't you think compared to other recent cars launched that it's a bit conservative?a bit 1980's?

Peter Cavellini.

31 October 2009

I quite like the styling - I think it owes a lot, proportions wise, to the Bristol Fighter. Merc seem to have a knack of building cars that age well. The current E is going to look, well, current, for a long time... I must report, with sadness, that my current 95' W124 E220 has finally reached the end of the road. I plan to replace it with an E34 535i BMW. Is this folly?

Bring back steel wheels.

31 October 2009

[quote CAT3]

Just found out that the gearbox in the SLS is not a dual clutch of the DSG/PDK type as previously believed. It remains the 7G-Tronic Automatic, without a torque converter (just like SL63 & New E63), but with 6 clutches in two packs of 3.


Serious? I saw pictures of the SLS's transaxle and I'm sure it has two clutches (one small one within a larger one). See the official diagram below:

Dual clutch transaxle

31 October 2009

Are you guys so sure about Macca's numbers? It will take 2 more years before it's on sale. Talking about nothing, just predictions. 0-62 in 3 sec dead? Not a chance. Let's get back into reality. This SLS is not a piece of art from a styling perspective, but I find it amazing. For that amount of money, I would definitely go italian, though. A 458 or a Lambo.

1 November 2009

4rephill & RednBlue

Keep your hair on!! The figures are estimates given by a number of magazines that have visited Mclaren, but they can't be far from the truth considering that Ferrari say the 458 Italia will crack 62 in "under 3.4s". When you consider that the estimated weight figs of the Mac will be more than 50kg lighter than the 458 (it's carbon, don't forget) and the Mac has far more power and (turbocharged) torque than the 458, then it's reasonable to assume that it will be suitably quicker than "less than 3.4s to 60".

With regards to my view that the Mac should be a fantastic car, put it this way: some of the best F1 designers/engineers/team principles in the business would not go through the trouble and attention to detail of spending millions on their first major in-house global project (since the incomparable Mac F1), designing it with the only Carbon tub in it's price sector, incorporating an innovative suspension system and finessing the aerodynamics, only to cock it up on the ride/steering/handling compromise.

And before anyone starts yelling about "look what they did to the MacMercSLR", I think we all know that the MacMerc project was really dictated by the Mercedes brief of building a fast, automatic GT. Mclaren now have a free reign to do what they want.

I also agree that the MP4-12C is not as flamboyant as it possibly could be and that the 458 is more visually stunning, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it's not a bad looking car at all - not a single ugly angle. Put into context, the last few Ferraris have not exactly been lookers, but they have still sold by the bucket load.

Like many people, I am truly excited about the MP4-12C and I really think Mclaren are onto something special here.

1 November 2009

This is one cool car, well done Merc. Why dont BMW make somthing like this instead of a million different versions of the 3 series ! we only need a 335D and M3 thank you please !


Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week