A factory tuned Mercedes-AMG SLS boasting a raft of detailed performance-enhancing solutions gained in part from the company’s successful customer team support engagement in GT racing. The SLS GT is an attempt to make Stuttgart’s traditionally configured front-engined/rear-wheel-drive supercar both a more potent track day tool and a more rewarding back road proposition.
The SLS AMG GT will briefly crown the Mercedes-AMG road car line-up. The gullwing coupé is set to carry a price tag of around £180,000 and the forthcoming roadster is tipped to arrive at £188,000 – in each case a £12,000 premium over the standard SLS. But with the even more extreme SLS Black Series nearing the end of its development period, the SLS GT's reign at the top of the German car maker’s line-up is likely to be short lived.
The SLS GT is outwardly distinguished from the standard SLS by its darkened headlight and tail light lens treatment, the high gloss finish to its grille, exterior mirror housing and bonnet fins, and red brake calipers. Inside, it receives lightly restyled instruments and a more a liberal covering of Alcantara.
Among the detailed mechanical changes over the standard SLS is a lightly fettled engine boasting improved breathing properties. The naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 kicks out an added 18bhp, with 581bhp developed at 6800rpm. Torque remains the same, swelling to 469lb ft at 4750rpm.
Accompanying the boost in power is a reworked seven-speed gearbox that uses new, in-house-developed software algorithms for an improved shift action. The dual-clutch unit, supplied by Getrag and located within the rear axle assembly, is described as being more direct and spontaneous on up-shifts in manual mode. It has also been programmed to provide a more pronounced blip of the throttle and double-declutching action during downshifts.
Most of all, it is the changes brought to the suspension that help define the hardened character of the SLS GT.
The double wishbone arrangement with variable damping control retains the same basic geometry and ride height as the SLS, but the elastokinematic properties have been altered to provide the car with a more focused nature.
Despite the suspension upgrade, however, the SLS GT rides on the same wheels and tyres as the standard SLS, with 265/35 profile rubber on 19-inch alloys up front and 295/30 on 20-inch rims at the rear.