These are the first pictures of the Mercedes SLS GT3 racing car, which will be sold to customers for the 2011 season.
The racer will use the same 6.3-litre V8 as the road car, but tuned to produce around 600bhp, according to what race organisers deem acceptable. It is linked to a six-speed racing gearbox with steering wheel mounted paddles, and an integrated multi-disc locking differential. It will also be significantly lighter than the road car.
Changes from the road car are chiefly aerodynamic. The GT3 racer sports a new front bumper with a splitter, the bonnet with a central cooling air vent and wider front and rear wings. There are also cooling vents in the side wheel arches and the sideskirts.
The underbody is now smooth, and a rear diffuser is fitted, as is an adjustable rear aerofoil. The C-pillars accommodate the standardised filler pipes for the fast-refuel system.
The car has double-wishbone suspension of forged aluminium at the front and rear. The springs and shock absorbers, the suspension height, the stabilisers, the track width and camber are all adjustable. Rack-and-pinion steering with a more direct ratio and speed-sensitive servo assistance improve handling. The brakes have also been uprated for racing.