KASANOVA brings to you this month the Mercedes SLS Gullwing supercar. At first sight the Mercedes SLS Gullwing captures and excites the soul, as if you were a teenage boy looking through your first nudie magazine. With its beautiful lines and alluring stance you can’t help but be mesmerized by this wonderful piece of machinery. The SLS is the latest offering from the geniuses at the Mercedes-AMG GmbH head quarters in Frankfurt Germany. When looking at this car there is no dissention, that this car was designed with the legendary 300 Gullwing in mind. It has the same long front end, tight butt and gullwing doors. From there on out, make no mistake that this car has been completely redesigned to take on the very best the exotic sports car world has to offer, and come out on top. This is the first time AMG has independently developed a vehicle in the company’s 40 year history, and to say that they have created a master piece would be an understatement. The Mercedes SLS has surely thrust the AMG performance group into a new era.
The new Mercedes SLS marks the first time the German automaker has introduced to the world an all aluminum space frame design, shaving significant weight from their previous steel framed cars. This is evident in the overall curb weight of the car which tips the scales at 3571.488 lbs. Mercedes Benz AMG went over the frame design with a fine tooth comb to get the lightest possible body shell while still providing the most strength. The end result is that the body shell weighs an impressive 531.314 lbs. AMG designed this car to have a very low center of gravity. All this comes together to give the car unsurpassed handling characteristics, with direct transfer of drive, braking and suspension dynamics. The car also has little to no torsion roll.
Powering the new Mercedes SLS is a fine tuned eight-cylinder Mercedes-AMG 6.3 Liter V8 engine that develops a neck snapping 563 hp at 6800 rpm. The AMG V8 also delivers its maximum torque of 479 pound feet of torque at 4750 rpm making it one of the most powerful cars in this segment. AMG also moved to a dry sump oil system allowing for harder cornering and higher lateral G’s without starving the engine of oil. The power to weight ratio on the SLS is a very impressive 6.261 lbs per horse power (a figure unsurpassed by any of the competition), allowing the SLS to go from a standing start to 60 miles an hour in 3.8 seconds with a top speed of 197 miles an hour (limited).
The sound of the engine is absolute music to the ears. With an all new intake system, valve train and camshafts, as well as tubular steel headers with a de-throttling exhaust system. Forged pistons, reinforced crankshaft bearings, and a demand controlled high performance oil pump round out the engine modifications. AMG Light weight 9.5 x 19 inch front wheels fitted with 265/35 R tires and light weight 11 x 20 rear wheels fitted with 295/30 R tires exclusively designed just for AMG SLS, allow all the power to be put to the pavement. AMG high performance composite braking system enables the car to come to a stop in as little as 100 yards from 60 miles an hour. A feat few exotics have been able to manage. (With the upgraded carbon ceramic disc brake option)
The AMG V8 6.3 liter engine is matted to a 7 speed double-declutched transmission, and is connected to the rear differential via a carbon fiber driveshaft, incased in a torque tube to suppress noise, also to provide rigidity, giving optimum support for the forces created. The carbon fiber driveshaft is very similar to the setup used in Mercedes DTM C-Class touring cars.
With the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7 speed transmission the SLS gives the driver almost super natural shift changes in as quick as 100 milliseconds. The transmission gives you four driving modes to choose from; “C” (controlled efficiency), “S” (Sport), “S+” (sport plus), finally “M” (manual). There is also a really cool race start function that enables you to pull off a perfect race start with no loss of grip at revs. (Michael Schumacher “Eat your heart out”).
The interior of the SLS is very luxurious and comes with some nice options, leather or suede wrapped dash with the usual luxurious gauges that we’ve come to expect from AMG. Gauges are placed perfectly and the whole thing screams sophistication. Standard options included are keyless ignition & entry, auto dimming mirrors, bi- xenon headlights, auto-dimming mirrors, power folding mirrors, park assist, power/heated seats with memory function, navigation system and premium sound system with 6 disc CD/DVD changer, satellite radio and IPOD compatibility.
There are a number of upgrade options like the 11 speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, carbon ceramic brakes, race track tuned suspension, leather and suede wrapped steering wheel, carbon fiber engine bay and body accents and finally custom paint schemes.
The price of the SLS AMG with all the options puts you in the $200,000 mark, not bad when you compare what’s out there in this category. This car is a super car that can be your reliable daily driver, not just a weekend warrior like some other exotics. All in all, I think this car would make a great addition to your collection and when confronted with the decision of which keys to grab off the rack, 90% of the time it will be the SLS AMG’S. This car is the perfect embodiment of what a KASANOVA man wants; power, sophistication and something truly unique and awe inspiring. Get in and drive.