The floorpan and inner body structure of the SLS are all fashioned from a combination of aluminium extrusions, castings and sheet panels. The only steel element is a brace running within the windscreen fame.
At the heart of the new car is a heavily reworked version of AMG’s 6.2-litre V8 engine; 120 components have been replaced or altered. Power peaks at 563bhp, while torque extends to 479lb ft at 4750rpm (402lb ft of it at 2500rpm) and is fed through a limited-slip diff to the rear wheels. The car also gets the three-stage ESP set-up from the SL65 AMG Black Series.
AMG is keen to emphasise the work that's been put into the development of the SLS. "We've pulled out all the stops," said AMG boss volker Mornhinweg. "There are no compromises."
The SLS gets a classic transaxle layout; its new seven-speed double-clutch gearbox nestles within the rear axle assembly to provide the new two-seater with 48/52 front/rear weight distribution.
Mercedes claims a 0-62mph time of 3.8sec and 0-124mph in less than 12sec, along with a top speed of 196mph. Combined fuel consumption is 21.7mpg.
Inside, the SLS provides seating for two, with the seats set well back within the car’s lengthy 2680mm wheelbase.
The SLS will be part-built by Magna Steyr, with final assembly taking place at Mercedes' Sindelfingen plant.
Designers are also said to be hard at work on a fabric hood version, expected to be badged SLC and arrive in 2012.
Mercedes plans to give the SLS supercar its debut at the Frankfurt motor show later this year.
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