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Cars > Mercedes > 2011 Mercedes Benz SLS AMG in Depth

 By Ketan Patel View Comments

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2011 Mercedes Benz SLS AMG in Depth

Daimler has released the new Mercedes SLS AMG in depth information, including a new set of high resolution images. Some of the highlights of the Mercedes SLS AMG include an aluminum spaceframe, a carbon-fiber drive shaft, a differential lock and the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7 speed sports transmission. Regarding safety, the Mercedes SLS AMG comes with adaptive front airbags, a 3-stage ESP system, a high-performance composite braking system and a kneebags for leg protection in case of a frontal impact.

The Mercedes SLS AMG is a front-mid-engine car, powered by the 6.2 liter engine developing 571 hp at 6800 rpm and 650 Nm of torque at 4750 rpm. with this monster under its skin, the Mercedes SLS AMG can reach 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds and can keep on accelerating until it reaches a limited top speed of 317 km/h.

Mercedes SLS AMG: fascination and high tech: New legend with unrivalled performance - the Gullwing super sports car from Mercedes and AMG

Laguna Seca (USA) Automotive fascination and high-tech at the highest level: the new Mercedes SLS AMG, which is due to be launched in spring 2010. 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 more than 40-year history. It not only takes AMG, the performance brand within Mercedes Cars, into a new era, but also demonstrates development expertise of the very highest order.

The new super sports car from Mercedes and AMG makes for an alluring proposition with its unrivalled technology package: aluminum spaceframe body with Gullwing doors, AMG 6.3-litre V8 front-mid-engine developing 420 kW/ 571 hp peak output, 650 Nm of torque and dry sump lubrication, seven-speed double-declutch transmission in a transaxle configuration, sports suspension with aluminium double wishbones and a kerb weight of 1620 kilograms based on the DIN standard this superlative combination guarantees driving dynamics of the highest order. The front/rear weight distribution of 47 to 53 percent 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 13.2 litres per 100 kilometres (combined) puts it at the front of the competitive lineup.

Design: purist, distinctive and passionate

The purist design of the new Mercedes SLS AMG captivates by virtue of its passionate sportiness, and its reinterpretation of the Mercedes 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 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.

Eyecatching 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 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 matt-finished, solid metal. Features integrated into this include the AMGDRIVE UNIT, which enables the driver of the SLS AMG to choose a personal vehicle setup. The AMGSPEEDSHIFT 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 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 1620 kilograms. 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 cross-sections 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.

45 percent of the intelligent, weight-optimised aluminium spaceframe is made from aluminium sections, 31 percent from sheet aluminium, 20 percent from cast aluminium and 4 percent from steel. Maximum occupant safety requires the use of ultra-high-strength, heat-formed steel in the A-pillars. The bodyshell weighs 241 kilograms an absolute benchmark in the super sports car segment in relation to the peak output of 420 kW/571 hp. With a DIN kerb weight of 1620 kilograms, the power-to-weight ratio is an extremely favourable 2.84 kilograms per hp.

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 up to 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 6.3-litre V8 engine developing 420 kW/571 hp

A powerful eight-cylinder Mercedes-AMG engine forms the heart of the new SLS. The fine-tuned 6.3-litre V8 engine develops 420 kW/571 hp at 6800 rpm, making the SLS AMG one of the most powerful sports cars in its segment. A power-to-weight ratio of 2.84 kg/hp comes courtesy of the low vehicle weight. The naturally aspirated engine delivers its maximum torque of 650 Nm at 4750 rpm. The SLSaccelerates 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 6208 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 percent - 34 kW/46 hp. 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 205 kilograms and, in turn, a power-to-weight ratio of 0.36 kg/hp 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 13.2 litres per 100 kilometres (combined, provisional figure), earning it a place at the top of the competitive ranking. Efficiency-enhancing measures include the familiar AMG-exclusive, friction-optimised twin-wire 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 6.3-litre V8 engine delivers its abundant power to the rear axle via an ultra-light carbon-fibre driveshaft similar to the setup 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 percent. 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 2680 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 1682, rear 1653 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 percent. 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. 265/35 R 19 (front) and 295/30 R 20 (rear) tyres developed exclusively for the SLS AMG 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-AMGGmbH. 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 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 motorsports. 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 1 January 2005 , DaimlerChrysler AG acquired 100 percent of the shares. Today Mercedes-AMG GmbH is a vehicle manufacturer in its own right, and AMG is the performance brand within Mercedes 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/360 hp to 450 kW/612 hp.

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 Germany will commence on 16 November 2009

The SLS AMG can be ordered from Mercedes own-retail outlets and dealerships in Germany from 16 November 2009 . The purchase price is 177,310 EUR (incl. 19 % VAT); the market launch commences in spring 2010.

At a glance: technical highlights* of the new Mercedes SLS AMG

Aluminium spaceframe: this design realised for the first time by Mercedes combines intelligent lightweight construction with great strength thereby supporting the outstanding driving dynamics of the SLS AMG. The bodyshell weighs a mere 241 kilograms. Standard

Adaptive front airbags: the front airbags can deploy in two stages, depending on the severity of the impact. Standard

Aerodynamic balance: the SLS AMG combines optimum handling stability with a low drag coefficient and low wind noise. Standard

AMG alubeam silver: this new process - a world first - makes the paint finish shine like liquid metal, with specific light reflections that give even more life to the painted surface. Thius effect is made possible by microscopic, 30 to 50-nanometer small pigment particles. Optional

AMG DRIVE UNIT: integrated into this are the rotary control for the transmission modes, the engine starter button and keys for the ESP® functions, the AMG memory function and the extendable rear aerofoil. Standard

Bi-xenon headlamps: gas-discharge lamps for low and main beam improve safety at night. Standard Carbon-fibre drive shaft: as in the Mercedes C-Class DTM racing touring cars, the drive shaft is of carbon-fibre. Although the shaft has to transfer 650 newton metres of torque from the engine to the double-declutch transmission, it weighs only 4.7 kilograms. Standard

Differential lock: the mechanical multi-plate differential lock ensures improved traction in any road conditions. Standard

Diffusor: integrated into the rear bumper, the diffusor directs the airflow from the underfloor upwards, acting together with the aerofoil to prevent unwanted uplift at the rear axle. Standard

Double-declutch transmission: the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7‑speed sports transmission has four driving modes including the RACE START function. Other attributes: fast gearshift response with virtually no interruption in tractive power, a tailor-made control strategy and increased gearshifting comfort. Standard

Double wishbone suspension: with this technology familiar from motor racing, the wheel location and suspension functions are separate. Standard

E-SELECT lever: its shape is reminiscent of a jet plane's thrust control. The driver is conveniently able to change between R, N and D by touch-control of the drive-by-wire system. Standard

3-stage ESP®: the three modes " ESP ON ", "ESP SPORT" and "ESP OFF" are available at the touch of a button. Standard

Flow-formed light-alloy wheels: the manufacturing process allows lower wall thicknesses in the area of the rim base, while improving long-term rigidity. The weight saving versus conventional light-alloy wheels is around 1.1 kilograms per wheel. Standard

Gullwing doors: with an opening angle of 70 degrees, the unique gullwing doors allow convenient access and egress. Standard

Front-mid-engine: the AMG V8 engine installed behind the front axle provides the ideal conditions for perfect handling dynamics, with precise self-steering characteristics, first-class agility, low inertia during fast directional changes and outstanding traction. Standard

Generator management: whenever the engine is on the overrun, kinetic energy is used to charge the battery rather than being uselessly converted to heat in the usual way. Conversely, the generator is switched to load-free mode when accelerating, which relieves the engine load. The result is a reduction in fuel consumption. Standard

Smooth underbody: the almost completely panelled underbody reduces aerodynamic drag and helps to avoid uplift at the rear axle. Standard

Rear aerofoil: attractively integrated into the boot lid, the aerofoil extends at 120 km/h aus and avoids unwanted uplift at the rear axle. Standard

High-performance composite braking system: with this composite technology derived from motor racing, the grey cast iron discs are mounted on an aluminium bowl. This ensures perfect heat conduction and first-class fade resistance even in the gruelling conditions of the racetrack. Standard

LED gearshift indicator: seven LEDs coloured white, yellow and red indicate the need for an upshift if the SLS AMG driver has selected the manual transmission mode and the engine speed is approaching its maximum. Standard

High-performance ceramic composite braking system: by virtue of their greater hardness, the ceramic brake discs have even higher temperature resistance, and also contribute the benefits of 40 percent less weight. Optional

Kneebag: in the event of a frontal impact, an additional airbag can help to protect the legs of the vehicle occupants. Standard

Twin-wire arc spray coating (LDS): the advantages of this technology patented and exclusively used by AMG are extremely low friction and wear, as well as long-term durability of the cylinder walls. Standard

Magnesium backrests: the backrests of the sports seats are of magnesium, a high-tech material that excels with low weight and high strength. This has considerable advantages in terms of the weight balance and a lower centre of gravity. Standard

Matt paint finishes: with their matt silk surface, "designo magno allanite grey" and "AMG monza grey magno" reinforce the sporty character of the Gullwing model through specific contouring of the crease lines. Optional

Performance suspension: with an approx. ten percent stiffer spring setup and 30 percent stiffer damper setup, the Performance suspension is recommended for the racetrack. Optional

Forged pistons: the eight forged pistons of the AMG M159 engine weight a total of 0.5 kilograms less than the cast pistons of the basic M156 engine. Standard

Forged wheels: forged AMG light-alloy wheels are 14 percent lighter than the Flow Forming wheels fitted as standard, thereby reducing the unsprung mases even further. Optional

Tubular steel exhaust headers: with their precisely coordinated tube lengths, these improve the gas cycles for a considerable increase in output and torque. These exhaust headers are another technology borrowed from motor sports. Standard

Superplastic forming: this enables multi-part components to be dispensed with during the production process for the outer door skin and interior. This not only saves weight, but also simplifies the production process. Standard

Surround sound system: the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG surround sound system with Dolby Digital 5.1 provides an exclusive listening experience at the highest level. The system has an amplifier with a total output of 1000 watts, 11 loudspeakers and a digital sound processor. Optional

Transaxle arrangement: locating the double-declutch transmission at the rear axle allows a weight distribution of 47 percent (front) and 53 percent (rear) which benefits handling dynamics. Standard

Dry sump lubrication: this technology derived from motor racing allows a lower installed position for the V8 engine. As a positive side-effect, the engine is reliably lubricated even under the high lateral acceleration encountered on the racetrack. Standard

Topology optimisation: the cast components of the aluminium spaceframe are specifically weight-optimised: ribbed structures precisely follow the force paths, and wall thicknesses are reduced to a minimum in less highly stressed areas. Standard

Torque tube: this forms a rigid connection between the engine and transmission, ensuring the best possible transfer of forces. Standard

Ultra-high strength, hot-formed steel: this is used in the A‑pillars to improve occupant safety even further. Standard

Four-way lumbar supports: these provide the driver and passenger with effective lower back support. Optional

Two-zone seat cushions: prominent side bolsters with a harder foam filling provide optimal lateral support, while the inner areas of the seat cushion and backrest are softer for a high level of comfort on long journeys. Standard


Design: Breathtaking contours, visionary style
Purist design for passionate sportiness
Gullwing doors as a unique highlight
Powerful, muscular side aspect
Exclusive "AMG alubeam silver" and two matt finishes
Interior reminiscent of an aircraft cockpit

The distinctive styling of the new Mercedes SLS AMG enthrals with its passionate sportiness and reinterprets the breathtaking lines of the Mercedes 300 SL one of the outstanding design icons of the Mercedes brand. With its purist design the new SLS AMG reflects the philosophy of contemporary sports car engineering: the bonnet which measures just under two metres, the low greenhouse positioned well to the rear and the short rear end with an extendable aerofoil are just as powerful a reminder of the superlative dynamism as the long wheelbase, the wide track and the large wheels. The short overhangs feed through into the proportions, just as does the design of the super sports car with its low-slung front-mid-engine set well back and dual-clutch transmission in transaxle configuration. An undoubted styling highlight comes courtesy of the gullwing doors, which lend the SLS AMG its incomparable charisma making a unique statement in this vehicle segment.

The gullwing doors are not alone in rekindling memories of the Mercedes 300 SL; the hallmark wide radiator grille with the large Mercedes star and the wing-shaped cross fins are a throwback to the front-end of the sports car legend. The three-dimensional, sculptured front-end with its low-set, swept-back front apron set well into the sides lends the SLS its powerful stance on the road. Six large cooling air intakes and the vertically arranged headlamps set well to the outside with their alluring inner ambience provide a dominant aura: the central bi-xenon low-beam headlamp with its metallic wing section is framed at the top by two LED indicators and by the LED daytime driving lights at the bottom.

Influences from aircraft engineering

Allusions to aircraft construction come courtesy of the prominent Mercedes star, whose tubular section is reminiscent of the air intake on a jet engine when viewed from the side, as well as the long bonnet: as the eye is drawn forward, so the observer becomes more aware of the curve. The design of the four fins with their Silver Shadow finish that adorn the two air outlet grilles on the end of the bonnet create the same visual impression. These aircraft-style lines also visually accelerate the air that flows past and make the SLS AMG appear extremely dynamic even while stationary.

The fins on the bonnet are taken up on the vehicle flanks: the connoisseur also discovers here a hallmark styling feature of the 300 SL. The "6.3" lettering placed between the fins provides a clear reference to the high-displacement, naturally aspirated V8 engine. The side air outlet feeds through into a stylistically prominent feature line, which together with the convex flanks and the exhilarating surface treatment, combines aesthetics with power. The compact passenger compartment proves as alluring as it is unmistakable. With its high beltline, low side windows and steeply angled windscreen it comes across as a kind of visor. The forward-angled B-pillar with its stylish flowing sweep to the rear window exudes pure dynamism.

Side view dominated by muscle and shoulder

Viewing the SLS from the side, the eye is drawn to the prominent vehicle shoulder, which stretches from the front to the rear like a taut muscle. Distinctive 19-inch (front) and 20-inch (rear) light-alloy wheels fill the wheel arches, which stand out prominently from the sidewall. Three different wheel variants all provide a good view of the large high-performance composite brakes. Seen from above, a prominent, uninterrupted line runs from the muscle to the rear. This styling feature is also picked up on the bonnet where the eye follows a distinctive contour which flows over the roof between the gullwing doors, right through to the third brake light. On the right, a sporty filler cap of solid metal provides another visual highlight.

Rear view that emphasises width

The rear view of the SLS also exudes dynamism and power: the gently sloping boot lid emphasises a sense of width, an impression reinforced by the prominent vehicle shoulder and the sleek tail lights: fitted with LED technology, the horizontally structured lighting units provide a scintillating view. Wing-shaped LED lighting elements ensure a distinctive, enthralling night design. The Formula-1-style LED fog lamp/reversing light is set down low in the centre. Similarly inspired by motor racing are the black diffuser insert and the two chromed tailpipes of the sports exhaust system. The strikingly tapered rear apron provides an unimpeded view of the wide rear wheels, lending the SLS its self-assured stance on the road. The spoiler integrated in the boot lid is automatically deployed from a speed of 120 km/h to ensure optimum stability at high speeds. As the aerials for radio, navigation and telephone reception are invisibly integrated into the boot lid, they do not disrupt the car's silhouette.

New colours: "AMG alubeam silver" and two matt finishes

The colour charts for the SLS include nine exclusive paint finishes. The highlight comes in the shape of the unique "AMG alubeam silver" paintwork: the new, unique process makes the paint shine like liquid metal. The paint covers the body panels like a metallic skin, emphasises the scintillating design lines of the SLS more strongly than any previous paint job and makes them even livelier by means of targeted light reflections. This effect is made possible by tiny pigment particles measuring between 30 and 50 nanometres.

The two matt finishes "designo magno allanite grey" and "AMG monza magno grey" are just as eye-catching: with their matt-silk surface they reinforce the sporty character of the two-seater through specific contouring of the crease lines.

Interior with allusions to aircraft engineering and motor sports practicality

You only need to open the gullwing doors on the Mercedes SLS AMG and ease into the sports seats to experience a whole new level of interior. The Mercedes designers took their inspiration from aircraft engineering when styling the interior immediately bringing an aircraft cockpit to mind. The characteristic styling feature is the dashboard, whose powerful and dramatic wing shape makes for an impression of width. Strikingly integrated into the dashboard are the galvanised air vents with their adjustable, cruciform nozzles and Silver Shadow finish their shape reminiscent of a jet's engines. The instrument cluster with its LED upshift indicator and two white backlit dial instruments add another decidedly sporty touch with their metallic Silver Shadow finish. The silver dials have red needles and a 360 km/h speedometer scale. As a central feature of the cockpit, the COMAND APS multimedia system with its 7-inch screen is integrated between the two centre air vents.

The elongated centre console in matt metal similarly picks up the design theme of an aircraft cockpit. It is home to the AMG DRIVE UNIT, which is inclined towards the SLS driver and allows him to choose his personal vehicle setup. The E‑SELECT shift lever, whose styling recalls the thrust control of a jet, controls the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission. All the controls are made from solid metal, with a high-sheen Silver Shadow surface. On request the centre console and other interior features such as the door sill panels, the trim on the interior door panels and the seat back trim are available in carbon-fibre.

Authentic cockpit atmosphere in the interior of the SLS AMG

The concave interior panels of the gullwing doors and the high beltline provide an authentic cockpit atmosphere. Together with the roof-integrated gullwing doors, the high sideskirts and the wide centre tunnel extending well to the rear, they reinforce the feeling of safety and security. Decorative and contrasting stitching, as well as fine designo leather on the sports seats, create a luxurious visual impression and accentuate the "hand-built" look. All surfaces such as the interior door panels and armrests are softly padded for a pleasant feel. All keys and switches are surfaced with Softtouch paint for a silky sheen and soft contact surface. The homogeneous, amber-coloured illumination of the switch symbols ensures clear recognition and enhances the high-quality appearance of the interior when driving at night.

Dynamic steering wheel design and leather in five different colours

An authentic racing car touch is provided by the AMG Performance steering wheel, which has a diameter of only 365 millimetres. The rim has a flattened lower section and an oval cross-section, plus perforated leather in the ergonomically formed grip area, for outstanding vehicle control. The shift paddles and lower insert are of metal. The unmistakable attention to detail for which Mercedes designers are known is very evident in the tasteful colour combinations of the SLS AMG interior. Five different designo leather colours are available to meet individual preferences: black, classic red, sand, porcelain and light brown. The sports seats with integrated head restraints and sporty transverse fluting are upholstered in designo leather and two-tone designo leather seats are also available in classic red, sand and porcelain. If light brown is chosen as an interior colour, the sports seats are upholstered in natural leather with particularly high-quality woven leather on the centre seat panels. Depending on the colour combination, fluorescent or black piping provides another sporty touch.

The A-pillars, roof lining and parcel shelf are lined in anthracite Alcantara, heightening the functional motor sports atmosphere. These surfaces are complemented with the sporty carpeting and floor mats bearing the AMG logo.

Engine and power transfer: Exclusive, high-performance eight-cylinder front-mid-engine and double-declutch transmission in a transaxle arrangement

Output of 420 kW/571 hp and 650 newton metres of torque
Exhilarating responsiveness and emotional engine sound
Dry sump lubrication to keep the centre of gravity low
Seven-speed double-declutch transmission at the rear axle
A torque tube connects the AMG V8 engine to the transmission
Fuel consumption 13.2 litres per 100 km

Eight cylinders and a displacement of 6.3 litres in a front-mid-engine arrangement, a high-revving concept, dry sump lubrication and a performance-oriented intake and exhaust system: opening the almost two-metre long bonnet of the SLS AMG affords a view of an outstanding high-performance engine spefically developed by AMG for the new Gullwing model. With a peak output of 420 kW/571 hp at 6800 rpm and 650 newton metres of torque at 4750 rpm, the AMG 6.3-litre V8 unit sets new standards and is also the world's most powerful naturally aspirated series production engine. The SLS accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds, and has a top speed of 317 km/h (electronically limited). The DIN kerb weight of 1620 kilograms produces an extremely favourable power-to-weight ratio of only 2.84 kilograms per hp. The use of specific fuel economy measures has enabled a fuel consumption of 13.2 litres per 100 kilometres (NEDC combined) to be achieved. Power transfer in the SLSAMGis by a new, seven-speed AMGdouble-declutch transmission located at the rear axle in a transaxle arrangement. It is rigidly connected to the engine by a torque tube.

Based on the M156, which develops 386 kW/525 hp and 630 newton metres in e.g. the E 63 AMG, the new, naturally aspirated eight-cylinder engine is a comprehensive further development specifically for the SLS AMG. The most important modifications affect the intake and exhaust systems, the oil supply and the crankshaft drive. A total of more than 120 parts and components were redesigned on the basis of major findings obtained from more than 40 years of motor racing experience.

In design terms the M159 is a completely autonomous AMG development, as was the M156. This unique combination of a fast-running concept and a large displacement achieves the best of both worlds: exhilarating flexibility accompanied by high torque at low engine speeds. The new AMG V8 already delivers 545 newton metres to the crankshaft at 2500 rpm, with the maximum of 650 newton metres on tap from 4750 rpm more than any other naturally aspirated engine in this output and displacement class. In short, the new AMG eight-cylinder guarantees dynamic acceleration, rapid intermediate sprints and sheer driving pleasure at the highest level, or relaxed, day-to-day cruising when preferred.

Key data at a glance: Mercedes SLS AMG
Cylinder arrangement V8
Cylinder angle 90o
Valves per cylinder 4
Displacement 6208 cc
Bore x stroke 102.2 x 94.6 mm
Cylinder spacing 109 mm
Compression ratio 11.3 : 1
Output 420 kW/571 hp at 6800 rpm
Output per litre 67.6 kW/92.0 hp
Max. torque 650 Nm at 4750 rpm
Torque per litre 104.7 Nm
Maximum engine speed 7200 rpm
Mean pressure 13.16 bar
Engine weight (dry) 205 kg
Power/weight ratio 0.36 kg/hp
Fuel consumption NEDC combined 13.2 l/100 km
CO2 emissions 308 g/km
Acceleration 0-100 km/h 3.8 s
Top speed 317 km/h*

* electronically limited

Optimum cylinder charging thanks to newly designed intake air ducting

One key aspect of the increase in output and torque is the optimised cylinder charging. The new, more flow-efficient design of the intake air ducting leads to a reduction in pressure losses, while the completely revised valve drive improves the gas dynamics. The newly developed magnesium intake manifold features precisely coordinated resonance tube lengths. Eight velocity stacks with a length of 290 millimetres and a diameter of 51.5 millimetres supply the combustion chambers with fresh air. Behind the new air filters with a volume of just under 9500 cubic centimetres there are two throttle flaps with a diameter of 74 millimetres. Their electronic adjustment is practically instantaneous: it takes only 150 milliseconds to open the two throttle flaps to their maximum. The result is exhilarating responsiveness. Two hot-film air mass sensors located behind the air filters supply the engine electronics with the necessary temperature and density data for the intake air.

One special characteristic of the V8 engine is its sophisticated valve drive, which borrows features from the powerful AMGracing engines. The 32 valves in the cylinder heads are operated by bucket tappets. Their space-saving design allows a stiff valve train and therefore high engine speeds with large valve opening cross-sections, which in turn benefits output and torque. The large intake valves have a diameter of 40 millimetres, while their opposite numbers on the exhaust side measure 34 millimetres. In contrast to a racing engine, the valve drive is maintenance-free with hydraulic valve clearance compensation.

Four continuously variable overhead camshafts

All four overhead camshafts are continuously variable over a range of 42 degrees. Both the intake and exhaust camshafts are adjusted as a function of engine load and engine speed, ensuring extremely high output and torque values as well as smooth idling and especially low exhaust emissions. Depending on the engine speed, the valve overlap can be varied to ensure an optimal supply of fuel/air mixture to the combustion chambers and efficient venting of the exhaust gases. The variable camshaft adjustment is controlled electrohydraulically, and monitored by the engine control unit.

Distinctive exhaust note with two exhaust headers

Optimised performance and an emotional sound signature: these were the requirements when developing the sports exhaust system. Exhaust headers with precisely coordinated tube lengths a further technology transfer from motor racing ensure a significant increase in output and torque by improving the gas cycle. The large pipe cross-sections of the newly developed twin exhaust system effectively reduce the exhaust counterpressure. Two relatively small pre-silencers on the underbody and a large, transversely installed main silencer at the rear help to ensure optimum weight distribution. The AMGspecialists attached particular importance to the sound signature of the large-displacement eight-cylinder power unit, and exhaustive tests were carried out to achieve a synthesis of immediately perceptible dynamism and the long-distance qualities typical of a Mercedes. Great attention was also paid to the elimination of irritating noises, while accentuating the frequencies perceived as pleasant and typical of a sports car. At the same time it was of course necessary to comply with the legal requirements for example when measuring passing noise. The two exhaust tailpipes integrated into the rear apron emit a characteristic eight-cylinder sound that leaves the real car-lover in no doubt: here comes a true AMG.

Two ceramic catalytic converters optimised for counterpressure and located at the firewall directly by the exhaust header, plus two metal catalytic converters on the underbody, provide effective exhaust gas aftertreatment and ensure compliance with current and future limits such as EU 5, LEV 2 and ULEV. The new AMGengine also easily meets specific requirements for the US market, such as Onboard Diagnosis II and lambda sensor diagnosis.

Dry sump lubrication to lower the centre of gravity

One major criterion when formulating the technical concept for the SLS AMGwas the installed position of the engine. The requirement was for the engine to be positioned low down and well to the rear, so as to lower the car's centre of gravity significantly and achieve a balanced weight distribution between the front and rear axles. The solution found, namely to install the eight-cylinder power unit as a front-mid-engine behind the front axle, combining it with a transmission in a transaxle layout, led to a weight distribution of 47 percent at the front and 53 percent at the rear which is typical of a sports car.

The low installed position of the V8 engine is the result of a changeover to dry sump lubrication which eliminates the usual oil sump. The dry sump lubrication system of the M159 consists of a suction pump, a pressure pump and an external 5‑litre oil tank located in front of the engine. All in all, 13.5 litres of engine oil circulate around the complete system. The oil scavenging pump sucks the oil directly from the crankcase and cylinder heads, delivering it to the external oil tank at a maximum rate of 700 litres per minute. The efficient oil scavenging further improves the efficiency of an already very efficient engine. The reciprocating pressure pump conveys the oil from the external oil tank back to the engine, ensuring effective lubrication even under the high lateral acceleration forces that usually occur on racetracks. The demand-related control of the oil pressure pump is based on the engine speeds programmed into the control unit, as well as the characteristic maps for temperature and engine load. This leads to a reduction in the engine's power dissipation, and a considerable reduction in fuel consumption. Two large coolers in the front wheel arches, each with a blower fan integrated on one side, ensure that the engine oil is efficiently cooled. Another innovation used in the engine of the SLS AMGfor the first time is the so-called "gas-spring principle", where the air compressed beneath the piston as it moves down the gas-tight crank chamber is prevented from escaping. On the upstroke the rebound energy is almost completely returned to the pistons. This principle prevents flow losses. Another positive effect is the much greater rigidity of the crankcase. The gas-spring principle has enabled fuel consumption to be reduced by 1.5 percent while increasing output by 7 kW/9.5 hp.

Outstanding strength and optimised lightweight construction also for the engine

As another new development, the eight forged pistons are a total of 0.5 kilograms lighter than cast pistons. The reduction in oscillating masses improves both responsiveness and flexibility. Optimum cooling of the severely stressed piston crowns is by means of pressure-controlled oil-spray nozzles in the crankcase. As another specific weight-saving measure, there are no steel liners locating the main crankshaft bearings. The crankcase of the M159 is wholly of aluminium, and around 4 kilograms lighter than its counterpart in the M156. To reduce weight even further, aluminium bolts are mainly used in the M159. This saves another 0.6 kilograms or so compared to steel bolts. The weight of the V8 engine in the SLS is 205 kg, producing a first-class power-to-weight ratio of 0.36 kg/hp.

As is usual in motor sports, the crankcase is a rigid bedplate design of closed-deck construction. The engine block and cylinder heads are of cast aluminium-silicon alloys (AlSi7 and AlSi17) which represent the state of the art in terms of weight, thermal and mechanical resistance and long-term strength. As in the M156, the engine specialists at Mercedes-AMGuse a particularly advanced process for the eight cylinder walls to produce a tribologically optimal surface, namely a coating applied by twin wire arc spraying (TWAS). The advantages of this technology patented by AMG are extremely low friction and wear accompanied by outstanding long-term durability. A considerably harder surface is achieved compared to conventionally coated cylinder walls. In fact the cylinder walls of the new AMGV8‑engine are twice as hard as conventional cast iron liners a quantum leap for engine specialists.

Other high-tech components and systems adopted from the M156 include:
the finely balanced crankshaft of forged steel;
water-cooling of the cylinder head using the thermally very efficient crossflow principle familiar from the motor racing world;
variable coolant control for optimised efficiency;
computer-controlled fuel delivery, with the fuel integrated into the fuel tank.

Newly developed cooler module of weight-optimised design

The coolant is cooled by a large cooler module located behind the radiator grille. The condenser for the air conditioning and the cooler for the steering servo fluid are also integrated into this module. As a particular bonus, this completely new development has reduced the weight by around 4 kilograms compared to the previous components while improving efficiency at the same time. A large suction fan located directly behind the radiator conducts the hot air away as required.

Efficient control unit for generator management

The Bosch ME 9.7 AMG control unit also has a generator management function as a further system that helps to save fuel. Sensors monitor the charge status of the vehicle battery, and reduce the output of the generator if the battery has sufficient charge. The system uses the overrun phases of the engine to recharge the battery, kinetic energy being converted into electrical energy by recuperation.

Careful combination of efficiency-enhancing measures has enabled an NEDC combined fuel consumption of 13.2 litres per 100 km (premium petrol) to be achieved. This is an outstanding figure, as the new SLS AMGis after all one of the most powerful cars in the super sports car segment.

Engine production at the Affalterbach plant

The new V8 powerpack for the SLS is produced in the ultra-modern AMG engine shop, on the "one man, one engine" principle. This means that a single technician assembles the engine by hand from start to finish as witness the high-quality AMG engine plate bearing the signature of the technician responsible. The design of the AMG eight-cylinder is also a feast for the eyes, starting with the new, titanium grey cover of the magnesium intake manifold with its two prominent AMG logos, and the optional carbon-fibre engine compartment cover that frames the high-performance power unit so attractively.

AMG seven-speed double-declutch transmission with RACE START

The ideal partner for the powerful, naturally aspirated eight-cylinder engine is the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission a newly developed double-declutch transmission with seven gears, four driving modes and a RACESTART function. The advantages of this technology, which is once again derived from motor racing, include highly responsive gearchanges without any interruption in tractive power, a tailor-made control strategy and improved gearshifting comfort. Specifically configured for the high-revving nature of the AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine, the AMGSPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission provides optimum ratios with only small rpm changes. In short, the new transmission gives the driver even more dynamic acceleration for maximum driving pleasure.

AMG DRIVE UNIT with four driving modes for maximum pleasure

The central control point for the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission and all dynamic control functions is the AMG DRIVE UNIT. The rotary electronic control for selection of the four driving modes and activation of the RACE START function is located to the left of the E-SELECT shift lever. The double-declutch transmission allows upshifts under full load both in automated and manual mode, where the gears can be shifted using the AMGshift paddles on the steering wheel. There is a choice of four driving modes for maximum driving pleasure and comfort: "C" (Controlled Efficiency), "S" (Sport), "S+" (Sport plus) and "M" (Manual). In Controlled Efficiency mode the high torque already available at low engine speeds is used to shift up to the highest viable gear. The resulting dethrottling effect on the intake side lowers fuel consumption, with accompanying benefits in terms of engine noise. Controlled Efficiency also means comfortable gearchanges and "soft" accelerator characteristics for relaxed cruising.

In "S" mode the transmission remains in each gear to a higher speed, downshifts are faster and gearshifts are performed around 20 percent more rapidly than in "C" mode. Switching to "S+" mode shortens gearshift times by a further 20 percent, while "M" is the most sporty mode of all: the AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine now responds with even more "bite", and the AMG double-declutch transmission changes the gears another 10 percent faster a total reduction of 50 percent compared to "C" mode. In "M" mode the transmission performs gearchanges in less than 100 milliseconds. The upshift indicator integrated into the AMG instrument cluster informs the driver when a manual gearchange is advisable: seven LEDs coloured white, yellow and red indicate the necessary action. The faster the engine speed approaches the maximum of 7200 rpm, the more LEDs light up.

Best possible traction thanks to the RACE START function

The RACE START function delivers maximum dynamism: in order to use it, the driver has to activate the ESP® Sport function while the vehicle is at a standstill, and press the brake pedal with his left foot. Having preselected the RACE START program using the rotary switch, the driver is presented with a confirmation message in the AMG central display. After confirming the RACESTART function by pulling the "Up" shift paddle once, all he has to do is depress the accelerator fully and take his foot off the brake. The optimum start-up engine speed is set fully automatically, and the SLS AMGaccelerates away with flawless traction all the way up to top speed if required. The driver does not need to shift the gears manually, as the DCT transmission performs lightning-fast gearchanges.

Automatic double-declutching function for even more emotional appeal

In the "S" (Sport), "S+" (Sport plus) and "M" (Manual) modes, the automatic double-declutching function is active. Every manual or automatic downshift is accompanied by precisely metered double-declutching incrementally from "S" through "S+" to "M". This not only adds to the driver's emotional experience: the load-free downshift minimises load-change reactions, which pays dividends particularly when braking into a bend on the racetrack and also enhances safety in the wet or on ice.

The new AMGdouble-declutch transmission excels with compact dimensions and a low weight of only 136 kilograms, including the differential. Aluminium construction and the absence of a conventional torque converter improve efficiency and make a significant reduction in fuel consumption possible. A mechanical, multi-plate differential lock configured for sporty performance at the physical limits is also integrated into the transmission housing.

Torque tube with carbon-fibre drive shaft between the engine and transmission

The torque tube turns the AMGSPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission and the V8 engine into a fixed unit. The engine and the transmission installed in a transaxle arrangement at the rear axle are firmly connected with very low flexural and torsional flexibility, and support each other. This has decisive advantages in terms of handling dynamics and driving comfort, as this sophisticated solution makes it possible to eliminate much more free play from the entire powertrain. The 1.64-metre long torque tube consists of a one-piece sand-cast aluminium housing, and weighs less than 25 kilograms. A drive shaft rotates at engine speed inside the housing. As in the Mercedes C-Class DTM racing touring cars, the shaft is made from carbon-fibre. One of the key advantages of this high-tech material is that despite its high strength, the shaft tips the scales at only 4.7 kilograms. This means that the 1.71-metre long drive shaft, which is required to transfer no less than 650 newton metres of torque from the engine to the double-declutch transmission, is around 30 percent lighter than a steel version would be.

A specially developed torsional damper is also active within the torque tube. This reliably eliminates resonances and vibrations, thereby optimising ride and noise comfort.

Chassis and braking system: High-tech from motor racing for perfect racetrack performance

Aluminium suspension with double-wishbone axles
Performance suspension with a stiffer setup on request
"Flow Forming" AMG light-alloy wheels of 19 and 20-inch size
3-stage ESP® and mechanical multi-plate differential lock
New ceramic composite high-performance braking system available as an option

The motor sports derived technology to be found everywhere in the powertrain of the Mercedes SLS AMG is also evident in the suspension and braking system. The aluminium suspension with double-wishbone axles is designed for uncompromising lightweight construction and outstanding handling dynamics. On request the AMG high-performance braking system is also available in a newly developed, highly stress-resistant ceramic version, with composite brake discs all-round.

The commitment of Mercedes and AMGto building a highly desirable super sports car that combines consummate racetrack performance with hallmark Mercedes long-distance comfort has given rise to an ingenious suspension layout. 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.

The suspension setup of the SLS AMG ensures optimum, low body roll and a stiff basic configuration with good suspension comfort. A Performance suspension is also available on request: compared to the standard suspension, the spring rate and damping are respectively around 10 percent and 30 percent stiffer. The Performance suspension is conducive to even more agility and lateral dynamics, as well as a further reduction in body roll when driving at high speeds for example on the racetrack.

Long wheelbase and wide track

The long wheelbase of 2680 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 1682, rear 1653 millimetres ensures lower shifts in the wheel loads from the inner to the outer wheel when cornering, enabling the tyres to retain more grip. The large caster angle of 11.6 degrees significantly increases negative wheel camber on the outer wheel when cornering, and also improves tyre grip this also ensures outstanding stability when braking heavily while cornering.

Weight-optimised "Flow Forming" AMG light-alloy wheels

The weight-optimised axle design is complemented with AMG light-alloy wheels produced by the new "flow forming" process. During this production process, hot forming in the area of the rim base makes for a denser material structure, thereby improving long-term durability. This also means that lower wall thicknesses can be used. The weight saving of around 1.1 kilograms per wheel compared to conventional light-alloy wheels reduces the unsprung masses, further improving the handling dynamics and suspension comfort.

The AMG light-alloy wheels in size 9.5 x 19 inches at the front and 11.0 x 20 inches at the rear are shod with 265/35 R 19 size tyres at the front and 295/30 R 20 at the rear. Three variants are available: AMGlight-alloy wheels in a 7-spoke design or a 5-twin-spoke design, or alternatively low-weight forged wheels in a 10-spoke design. With an approx. 14-percent lower weight than the "Flow Forming" wheels, these reduce the unsprung masses even further. The weight saving per wheel is 1.8 kilograms. Tyres developed exclusively for the SLS AMG ensure top performance and excellent grip.

A tyre pressure control system which continuously monitors the pressure in all four tyres is standard equipment, with the data for each wheel shown in the display. During a journey, four wheel sensors on the insides of the light-alloy wheels send out continuous radio signals with information about the air pressure, tyre temperature and direction of rotation. A control unit evaluates the data and informs the driver in the event of a deviation from the nominal values. In this case the display shows the message "Check tyres!", or in case of a sudden pressure loss "Attention. Tyredefect!". A yellow warning lamp also lights up in the instrument cluster.

Power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering for direct feedback

With a constant mechanical steering ratio of 13.6:1, the rack-and-pinion steering of the SLS AMGprovides direct feedback and meets the high expectations for a super sports car. The servo assistance is speed-sensitive, improving the feedback to the driver as the speed increases an indispensable factor when driving straight ahead at high speed. Perfect linear transfer of the steering angles is made possible by the constant velocity joint integrated into the steering system. The chosen geometry also provides plenty of scope for the performance-enhancing headers in the sports exhaust system.

Installing the steering gear on the subframe in front of the engine allows a particularly low engine position. The subframe is of high-strength steel, and is rigidly bolted to the side members. It not only optimises steering precision, but is also a key component in the front-end crash structure.

AMG high-performance braking system with composite technology

High deceleration performance, precise pedal feedback, perfect fade-resistance and superior safety reserves are the key attributes of the AMGhigh-performance braking system. Ventilated, grooved and perforated brake discs all-round in size 390 x 36 millimetres at the front and 360 x 26 millimetres at the rear ensure excellent deceleration performance. Brake discs in race-tested composite technology are installed at the front axle, with the grey cast iron discs radially and axially floating, and fixed to an aluminium bowl via stainless steel connections. This sophisticated technology ensures highly efficient heat conduction, and therefore outstanding fade-resistance even with a highly dynamic style of driving.

The use of aluminium also saves weight, and in the case of the brakes this has particular advantages in terms of agility and suspension responsiveness because of the considerable reduction in unsprung mas

2011 Mercedes Benz SLS AMG in Depth


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