Mercedes-Benz SLS arrives
29th July, 2010
The manufacturer’s list price* (MLP*)|
for the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is just $464,000*
Automotive fascination and high-tech at the highest level: the new
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is now making its Australian debut. This "Gullwing" model captivates with a purist design,
intelligent lightweight construction and superior handling dynamics, and is bound to cause a sensation in the super
sports car segment. The new SLS AMG is nothing short of a masterpiece by Mercedes-AMG GmbH. As the first
independently developed vehicle, the super sports car is the highlight in the company's 40+ year history. It not only
takes AMG, the performance brand within Mercedes-Benz Cars, into a new era, but also demonstrates development
expertise of the very highest order.
The new super sports car from Mercedes-Benz and AMG makes for an alluring proposition with its unrivalled
technology package: aluminium spaceframe body with Gullwing doors, AMG 6.2-litre V8 front-mid-engine developing 420
kW of power and 650 Nm of torque with dry sump lubrication, seven-speed double-declutch transmission in a transaxle
configuration, sports suspension with aluminium double wishbones and a kerb weight of 1,620 kilogrammes based on the
DIN standard – this superlative combination guarantees driving dynamics of the highest order. The front/rear weight
distribution of 47 to 53 per cent and the vehicle's low centre of gravity are testimony to the uncompromising sports
car concept. The 'Gullwing' accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds, before going on to a top speed of 317
km/h (electronically limited). The fuel consumption of 13.3 litres per 100 kilometres (combined) puts it at the
front of the competitive line-up.
Design: purist, distinctive and passionate
The purist design of the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG captivates by virtue of its passionate sportiness and its
reinterpretation of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL's breathtaking design lines. The stylistic highlights are the striking
gullwing doors, which lend an incomparable charisma to the SLS AMG. The long bonnet, the low 'greenhouse' positioned
well to the rear and the short rear end with its extendable rear aerofoil stand for dynamism, as do the long
wheelbase, the wide track and large 19 and 20-inch wheels. It is not only the gullwing doors that are reminiscent of
the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, as the wide radiator grille with its large Mercedes star, the wing-shaped cross fin and
the fins on the bonnet and flanks also hark back to the legendary sports car of the 1950s.
Eye catching features of the side view include the accented wheel arches and the pronounced shoulder line, which
extends from the front to the rear end like a taut muscle. Dynamism and power are also communicated by the rear view
of the SLS AMG: the gentle slope of the boot lid with the automatically extending aerofoil accentuates the
impression of width, as do the flat LED tail lights.
Interior with a touch of aircraft engineering
Mercedes-Benz designers took their inspiration from the aviation world when designing the interior. The stylistic
centrepiece is the dashboard, which ensures a visual impression of breadth with its 'muscular', wing-like profile.
The four air vents with adjustable cruciform nozzles are prominently integrated into the dashboard – their shape is
reminiscent of a jet engine. The design theme of an aircraft cockpit is also reflected in the long centre console of
carbon fibre. Features integrated into this include the AMG DRIVE UNIT, which enables the driver of the SLS AMG to
choose a personal vehicle set-up. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission is operated by the E-SELECT
lever, which resembles the thrust control of a jet aircraft. Despite the low seating position typical of a sports
car, the wide-opening gullwing doors allow easy access and egress. They require less opening space than conventional
coupé doors, and can be fully opened in a standard-size garage.
Aluminium spaceframe for lightweight design and high strength
The SLS also breaks the mould when it comes to the body concept: for the first time, Mercedes-Benz and AMG are
presenting a car with an aluminium chassis and body. Compared with the traditional steel design this results in a
significant weight saving, as is clearly illustrated by the DIN kerb weight of 1,620 kilogrammes. The newly
developed bodyshell consists of an aluminium spaceframe. This exclusive design combines intelligent lightweight
design with outstanding strength – thus delivering superlative driving dynamics. Lightweight aluminium sections
connect the frame nodes to form a sturdy structure. The large, low-set crosssections of these aluminium sections
ensure high strength, and ensure the necessary, direct transfer of drive, braking and suspension forces. The
structure prevents unwanted flexibility; the vehicle responds rigidly, directly and with practically no torsion.
Some 45 per cent of the intelligent, weight-optimised aluminium spaceframe is made from aluminium sections, 31
per cent from sheet aluminium, 20 per cent from cast aluminium and 4 per cent from steel. Maximum occupant safety
requires the use of ultra-high-strength, heat-formed steel in the A-pillars. The bodyshell weighs 241 kilogrammes
– an absolute benchmark in the super sports car segment in relation to the peak output of 420 kW.
Low centre of gravity and transverse reinforcing struts for superb dynamism
The entire vehicle concept has been designed to achieve a centre of gravity that is as low as possible. This
applies both to the low connection of the powertrain and axles as well as to the arrangement of the
rigidity-related bodyshell structure. Examples include the rigid flexural and torque connections between the front
and rear sections and the safety passenger cell, which have been realised using force paths that are consistently
as low as possible. This results not only in a low centre of gravity, but also in a harmonious and therefore
efficient force path in the vehicle structure.
Passive safety at a high level
The aluminium spaceframe provides the basis for outstanding passive safety. The extensive safety features
include three-point seat belts with belt tensioners and belt force limiters, and eight airbags: adaptive front
airbags for the driver and passenger, a kneebag for each, two seat-integrated sidebags and two windowbags
deploying from the 'waistlines' of the gullwing doors.
Fine-tuned AMG 6.2-litre V8 engine developing 420 kW
A powerful eight-cylinder Mercedes-AMG engine forms the heart of the new SLS. The fine-tuned 6.2-litre V8
engine develops 420 kW at 6800 rpm, making the SLS AMG one of the most powerful sports cars in its segment. A
power-to-weight ratio of 3.86 kg/kW comes courtesy of the low vehicle weight. The naturally aspirated engine
delivers its maximum torque of 650 Nm at 4,750 rpm. The SLS accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds, and
has an electronically limited top speed of 317 km/h. Bearing the internal designation M 159, the high-revving
V8 engine with its displacement of 6,208 cubic centimetres has been thoroughly reengineered compared to the
basic M 156 engine, and boasts all the hallmarks of powerful racing engines.
The principal measures in increasing output include the all-new intake system, the reworked valve train and
camshafts, the use of flow-optimised tubular steel headers and the dethrottling of the exhaust system. This
results in much better cylinder charging, which feeds through into an increase in output by almost nine per
cent - 34 kW. The eight-cylinder engine responds swiftly to movements of the accelerator pedal, demonstrating
much more pronounced high-revving flexibility across the entire rev range. The switch to dry sump lubrication
also translates into a much lower installed engine position. And lowering the vehicle's centre of gravity has
also paved the way for high lateral acceleration and exhilarating driving dynamics.
Perfect synthesis of lightweight design and strength
The use of high-strength components compensates for the increased engine loads associated with the higher
output. Forged pistons, a reinforced crankshaft bearing, optimised crankcase structure, along with improved
lubrication thanks to a demand-controlled, high-performance oil pump ensure optimum durability. Despite these
higher loads, the engine weight for the M 159 has been further reduced. The forged pistons as oscillating
masses play a particularly valuable role in this respect, resulting in a kerb weight of 206 kilogrammes and,
in turn, a power-to-weight ratio of 0.49 kg/kW – an unrivalled figure compared with the competition.
Sophisticated catalytic converter technology enables current and future exhaust emission standards such as EU
5, LEV 2 and ULEV to be met.
Enables demanding fuel consumption targets to be met
Despite its uncompromisingly sporty character, very ambitious fuel consumption targets have been met. The
SLS AMG consumes 13.3 litres per 100 kilometres (combined), earning it a place at the top of the competitive
ranking. Efficiency-enhancing measures include the familiar AMG-exclusive, friction-optimised twinwire
arc-sprayed coating on the cylinder walls as well as the on-demand, map-optimised oil supply and intelligent
generator management: during the engine's overrun phases and braking, kinetic energy is used to charge the
battery, rather than being wasted by simply generating heat. Conversely, the generator is switched to no-load
operation during acceleration, thus reducing the load on the engine.
Double-declutch transmission with transaxle configuration and torque tube
The AMG 6.2-litre V8 engine delivers its abundant power to the rear axle via an ultra-light carbon-fibre
driveshaft – similar to the set-up used in the DTM C-Class racing touring car. The double-declutch
transmission is mounted at the rear (transaxle principle), and connected to the engine housing via a torque
tube. A carbon fibre shaft rotates at engine speed in the torque tube. The advantages of this sophisticated
solution lie in the rigid link between the engine and transmission and, in turn, the optimum support for the
forces and torque generated.
The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission boasts fast gear changes with virtually no loss of
tractive force – in as little as 100 milliseconds. The driver has a choice of four different driving modes:
"C" (Controlled Efficiency), "S" (Sport), "S+" (Sport plus) or "M" (Manual). In the Sport, Sport plus and
Manual modes the automatic double-declutching function is active; all the modes can be selected conveniently
via the rotary control in the AMG DRIVE UNIT. The RACE START function provides optimum traction -- as does
the mechanical differential lock, which is integrated into the compact transmission housing.
Sophisticated suspension layout with double-wishbone axles
The chosen solution with a front-mid-engine plus transaxle configuration ensures an ideal front/rear
weight distribution of 47 to 53 per cent. Mounting the engine behind the front axle has created the ideal
conditions for consummate driving dynamics with precise steering, first-class agility, low inertia with
spontaneous directional changes and outstanding traction. All four wheels are located on double wishbones
with a track rod, a technology that has proven itself in motor racing right through to Formula 1. With a
double-wishbone axle, the wheel location and suspension functions remain separate; the spring/damper struts
are supported on the lower wishbone. The double-wishbone concept with its high camber and track rigidity
positively locates the wheel with minimal elastic movements, providing the driver with an optimum sense of
road contact when driving at the limits.
Wishbones, steering knuckles and hub carriers at the front and rear are made entirely from forged
aluminium – substantially reducing the unsprung masses; this configuration also notably improves the
suspension response. The long wheelbase of 2,680 millimetres not only results in outstanding
straight-line stability but also low wheel load shifts, significantly reducing the vehicle's tendency to
dive and squat when braking and accelerating. The broad track width – front 1,682, rear 1,653 millimetres
– ensures lower shifts in the wheel loads from the inner to the outer wheel when cornering, enabling the
tyres to retain more grip.
Direct steering, differential lock and 3-stage ESP®
The rack-and-pinion steering gear provides a consistently direct steering feel with a constant mechanical
ratio of 13.6:1, in tune with the high expectations placed on a super sports car. The power steering
provides speed-sensitive assistance and improves feedback for the driver as the road speed increases: an
indispensable factor for high-speed straight-line driving. Mounting the steering gear in front of the engine
on the integral subframe enables the engine to be set down very low. The Gullwing model comes with 3-stage
ESP® as standard, and the driver can choose the three "ESP ON", "ESP SPORT" and "ESP OFF" modes at the touch
of a button. In "ESP OFF" mode too, operating the brake pedal restores all the normal ESP® functions.
Acceleration skid is controlled in all three ESP® modes. If one of the drive wheels starts to spin,
specific brake pressure is applied to improve traction significantly – especially in conjunction with the
standard-fit mechanical multi-disc limited slip differential. This means that the engine power is transferred
to the road even more effectively when driving in a particularly dynamic style.
AMG ceramic composite high-performance braking system available as an option
The AMG high-performance braking system with composite brake discs at the front ensures extremely short
stopping distances even under high loads. The newly developed, optional ceramic composite brakes with even
larger brake discs guarantee even better braking performance. The ceramic brake discs perform reliably at
even higher operating temperatures thanks to their greater hardness, all combined with an impressive weight
reduction of around 40 per cent. Reducing the unsprung masses has further improved both comfort and grip,
and the reduced rotating masses at the front axle ensure a more direct steering response. Lightweight
construction was also key when it came to the wheels: weight optimised AMG light-alloy wheels – 9.5 x 19
inch (front) and 11.0 x 20 inch (rear) – based on the innovative flow-forming principle reduce the unsprung
masses while improving driving dynamics and suspension comfort. In addition to the standard-fit AMG 7-spoke
light-alloy wheels, 5-twin-spoke wheels and weight-optimised 10-spoke forged wheels are available as an
option. Tyres: 265/35 R 19 (front) and 295/30 R 20 (rear) have been developed exclusively for the SLS AMG
and ensure optimum performance. A tyre pressure monitoring system is fitted as standard to permanently
monitor tyre pressure in all four wheels; individual tyres are shown on the display.
The SLS AMG as a masterpiece in AMG's more than 40-year history
The new SLS AMG is a true masterpiece on the part of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. As the first independently
developed car, the super sports car is the highlight of the company's more than 40-year history. With this
car AMG, the performance brand within Mercedes-Benz Cars, is not only entering a new era, but also
demonstrating development expertise of the highest order.
AMG was established in 1967 by Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher, and is considered a pioneer in
the field of vehicle tuning for motor sports. Following the cooperation agreement concluded in 1990 with
Daimler-Benz AG, the company was gradually incorporated into what at the time was DaimlerChrysler AG in
1999. On 1st January 2005, DaimlerChrysler AG acquired 100 per cent of the shares. Today Mercedes-AMG GmbH
is a vehicle manufacturer in its own right, and AMG is the performance brand within Mercedes-Benz Cars.
This subsidiary of Daimler AG specialises in unique, high-performance vehicles; its sporty saloons, SUVs,
coupés, cabriolets, roadsters and specially built one-off models constitute a product portfolio which meets
its customers' every wish. The product range encompasses a total of 16 AMG high-performance models with
outputs ranging from 265 kW to 450 kW.
Mercedes-AMG has overall responsibility for developing the design, aerodynamics, interior as well as the
powertrain, engine, suspension, brakes and electronics – right up to granting final approval for production
of the complete AMG vehicle. The company is also in charge of all marketing and sales-related activities
for its products.
Sales of the SLS AMG in Australia
The all-new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG’s manufacturer’s list price* (MLP*) of $464,000* provides customers with
compelling value. It boasts an impressive array of standard equipment along with racing car-levels of
NOTE: Manufacturer’s List Price (MLP) excludes dealer delivery fees and the various statutory
charges (commonly called 'on-road costs').