What is it?
The last of the modern-day Mercedes-Benz gullwing models. AMG boss, Tobias Moers, says of the awkwardly named SLS AMG GT Final Edition. “As the first car to be completely developed by AMG, the SLS marked the beginning of a new era for our company. Now we are offering customers one final variant of our sports car.”
The SLS swansong is planned to be produced in a run of no more than 350, both in coupé and roadster body styles, through to the end of May, when AMG’s factory on the outskirts of Stuttgart will be refitted to handle production of a smaller and cheaper sports car, the new GT.
On the face of it, the SLS AMG GT Final Edition looks to have the potential to become the most rounded of all SLS AMG models launched since its addition to the Mercedes-Benz line-up back in 2009. It combines the upgraded engine and suspension of the SLS AMG GT with the aerodynamic and weight-saving measures used on the track-focused SLS AMG Black Series, creating a car that Moers describes as offering the best possible balance of performance for both public road use and race-track action.
The familiar naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8, slung out front underneath the long probing bonnet, receives a range of detailed changes to free up its breathing properties and boost the efficiency of the combustion process. In one of its final configurations, before it is replaced by a new twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8, the multi-point injected petrol engine delivers 18bhp more than the engine found in the regular SLS AMG, developing 581bhp. Torque is unchanged at 469lb ft.
The rich reserves are channelled to the rear wheels via a lightly revised seven-speed dual clutch transaxle boasting four modes – Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Manual. It receives the same updated software as that brought to the regular SLS AMG GT. The promise is a faster and crisper shift action and a double declutching feature.
Cosmetically, the last SLS AMG model gets a carbonfibre splitter up front and fixed wing at the rear – both taken from the SLS AMG Black Series, which also donates its carbonfibre bonnet with a central air outlet. Together, the exterior changes are claimed to reduce lift forces acting on both the front and axles while improving heat dissipation from the engine bay.