Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3: Live unveiling in Mexico


Thoroughbred motorsport technology for the race track

Montvale NJ Automobile fascination paired with spectacular race car design – that is the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3. The racing version of the SLS AMG has been conceived as a customer sport vehicle for participation in race series based on FIA GT3 regulations. Meticulous lightweight construction and optimized chassis, brakes and aerodynamics deliver uncompromising dynamics. The extra special SLS AMG will make its race track debut in 2011.

The clean design and breathtaking form of the SLS AMG have been effectively accentuated by targeted modifications to the bodyshell. The new components, made largely from lightweight carbon fiber offer a clear indication of extraordinary race track performance and extensive aerodynamic development work.

From the front, the GT3 race car boasts a new front skirt with enlarged air intakes. The wide opening beneath the characteristic radiator grille bearing the large Mercedes star and the wing-shaped horizontal fins supplies air to the engine oil cooler and brake discs. The same function is served by the two intakes below the vertical bi-xenon headlamps. Downforce on the front axle is provided courtesy of four externally mounted side flics, as well as a carbon front splitter; it runs directly into the smooth underbody panel, which connects to the rear diffuser.

The hood features a central opening for the extraction of heat from the engine, while side openings in the front fenders facilitate air flow through the wheel arches. Weight optimization measures include the application of extremely lightweight polycarbonate for the side and rear windows and, if desired, for the front windshield as well.

The fenders have been widened front and rear to accommodate the large racing tires. With a breadth of 78.3 inches, the GT3 bodyshell is a good 2 inches wider than the series production SLS AMG. The new sills feature openings for cooling the rear brakes, with the smooth underbody visible along the underside of the sills. The B-pillar houses the standardized fuel tank adapter for the rapid refueling system. The 31.7 gallon fuel tank is located centrally behind the driver.

Wide rear carbon spoiler

The rear view of the SLS AMG GT3 is dominated by its imposing width. Above the rear hatch sits a wide carbon fiber spoiler; it is extensively adjustable and facilitates perfect setup to suit individual race track characteristics. The new rear skirt accommodates two openings for extracting air from the rear wheel arches. A further visual highlight is the rear carbon fiber diffuser; it rises smoothly from the rear axle area as a continuation of the smooth underbody, its form adding to the downforce. The overall aerodynamic concept of the SLS AMG GT3 was analyzed and defined through extensive wind tunnel and race track testing.

The black exhaust end pipes deliver a fascinating and, at the same time, characteristic AMG eight-cylinder sound. The regulation rain lamp is integrated into the rear hatch – it must be switched on by the driver in poor weather conditions.

Close to series production AMG 6.3 liter V8 engine

As defined in the FIA GT3 regulations, the AMG 6.3 liter V8 engine is virtually identical to that of the series production vehicle. Thanks to its low weight, the acceleration figures for the GT3 – 3.7 seconds for the sprint from 0 to 60 mph – are considerably below the already excellent figures for the series production vehicle. Depending on gear ratio, the top speed is more than 186 mph.

The AMG 6.3 liter V8 engine uses dry sump lubrication in the racing vehicle, too. The application of a suction and pressure pump, as well as an external oil tank means that the conventional oil sump can be omitted. This technology ensures reliable lubrication of the engine under high lateral acceleration, of the kind usually experienced on the race track.

Dry sump lubrication also facilitates a low mounting position for the V8 power unit – one of the key technological highlights of the SLS AMG. The solution – installing the eight-cylinder as low as possible and as a front mid engine behind the front axle, combined with a transaxle transmission layout – results in excellent weight distribution.

Six-speed racing transmission with sequential shift

In contrast to the series production vehicle, the SLS AMG GT3 is equipped with a six-speed racing transmission with sequential shift. Thanks to its compact construction, the race-tested transmission offers considerable packaging benefits – ultimately, the GT3 version has less ground clearance than the series production vehicle.

The driver shifts gear using two shift paddles on the steering wheel. The transmission is mounted directly on the rear axle and connected to the V8 engine via a torque tube, which has a very high degree of flexural and torsional stiffness. This delivers considerable benefits when it comes to dynamics, as this sophisticated solution enables the entire driveline to be laid out with significantly less play.

Alongside the traction control, a multi-plate locking differential integrated into the transmission delivers outstanding acceleration characteristics. Inside the torque tube, a drive shaft rotates at engine speed. As in the series production model, and in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class DTM touring car, the shaft is made from carbon fiber.

With its long wheelbase, low center of gravity and wide track, the SLS AMG vehicle concept was predestined for the race track – its strengths include precise turn-in characteristics, first-class agility, low inertia under sudden changes of direction and a high cornering limit.

It required only minimal modification for perfect race track performance. The lightweight aluminum chassis with double wishbone suspension at all four corners has modified kinematics to take into account the lower vehicle height. The array of adjustability options facilitates optimal modification to suit individual race track characteristics and varying weather conditions. As well as the ability to vary the spring and damper setup, there is also the freedom to adjust track and camber, vehicle height and the stabilizers on the front and rear axles.

Like the series production SLS AMG, the GT3 version is also equipped with rack and pinion steering with speed-dependent power assistance. The more direct input ratio facilitates even greater handling agility on the race track.

AMG race braking system using composite technology

Shortest stopping distances, highest stability and optimal control are guaranteed by the AMG race braking system. All four corners feature brake discs in motorsport-tested composite technology. Gray cast iron axial and radial floating discs are fixed to an aluminum hat via stainless steel composite elements.

This sophisticated technology enables perfect heat dissipation and thus reliable stability. The SLS AMG GT3 is also equipped with precisely calculated cooling channels – openings in the front skirt and ahead of the rear wheels direct cool airflow over the brake discs. All four brake discs are ventilated, slotted and drilled. Six-pot fixed calipers on the front axle and four-pot fixed calipers at the rear, finished in anthracite with the AMG logo in white, provide plenty of brake pad surface. An anti-lock brake system with special race track settings is fitted as standard.

Due to space restrictions, the AMG high-performance ceramic composite brake system, available as an option on the series production vehicle, is not compatible with the 18-inch wheels prescribed by FIA regulations.

The AMG center-locking alloy wheels – 12×18 inches front and 13×18 inches rear – are fitted with racing tires in formats 11.3 x 26.9 inches (front) and 12.4 x 27.9 inches (rear). Depending on the application, the tires are available as profile-free slicks, intermediates or wet weather tires. The classic multi-spoke design aids ventilation of the braking system. Fast pit stops and wheels changes are ensured by the pneumatic lift system integrated into the underbody. Four pneumatic rams raise the GT3 race car by around 7.5 inches, enabling the pit crew to change the racing tires in double quick time.

Interior with racing bucket seat and race steering wheel

On opening the gullwing doors, the SLS AMG GT3 displays a functional interior with a distinctly race car feel. The driver sits in a racing bucket seat fitted with a six-point harness and the HANS system (Head andNeck Support) that fixes the helmet in place in the event of an accident, thus minimizing the risk of injury. Additional safety comes courtesy of the steel roll cage, which also serves to further stiffen the aluminum spaceframe.

A steering wheel with a diameter of 13 inches facilitates perfect vehicle control. Because it is open at the top, the driver always has a perfect view of the central display, which provides all relevant information such as road speed, engine speed, operating temperatures, lap times and gear selection. The steering wheel is fitted with a quick-release mechanism that makes entering and exiting the vehicle considerably easier. The switches on the steering wheel hub enable the driver to activate additional functions such as the pit radio, headlamp flasher and the drink supply. Further operating elements are mounted on the center console and include the start/stop function for the AMG V8 engine, the traction control, reverse gear and – just in case – the integrated fire extinguisher. The control for adjusting brake balance is located on the torque tube tunnel.

The close relationship between the GT3 and its series production sibling is demonstrated by the instrument cluster, with its powerfully taut wing profile providing visual breadth. Integrated into the dash are the highly distinctive air vents galvanized in “Silver Shadow” and with adjustable cross-shaped nozzles – their form evocative of a jet engine.

Deliveries of customer vehicles to start early 2011

The new SLS AMG GT3 has been developed in accordance with FIA GT3 regulations and is entitled to participate in all GT3 race series – including the popular 24-hour races in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, and on the Nürburgring in Germany. Interested customers can order the vehicle starting in autumn 2010, with delivery scheduled prior to the start of the 2011 racing season. Homologation will be completed in March 2011.

AMG has been producing racing versions of Mercedes-Benz cars and high performance street machines for over four decades.That tradition continues with the unveiling today in Mexico of a GT3 spec version of the new SLS gullwing coupe. Sales will start this fall and AMG hopes to have the homologation process completed in time for the 2011 race season.

The GT3 SLS will use the same 6.3-liter V8 as the road car, but the FIA will determine its final output for racing. The aerodynamic enhancements are the big news here, with changes to the bodywork evident all over. The front end features a deep carbon fiber splitter that’s only bested by the large rear wing out back.

The hood sports a large cooling event and there are air intakes for brake cooling in the side skirts and cooling vents in the fenders behind the front wheels as well. Other race-spec features include a smooth underbody, rear diffuser, central-locking wheels and fuel filler pipes in the C-pillar.

Given the racing heritage of the original SL from the 1950s, seeing a gullwing back racing on the track will be the best kind of déjà vu for fans of the three-pointed star. Follow the jump for the official press release from AMG and Mercedes-Benz that includes a few more specifics.

Source: Autoblog

Spectacular racing car for the sporting customer

New York – Coinciding with the market launch of the SLS AMG on 27 March 2010, Mercedes-AMG is presenting a GT3 variant. This racing version of the gullwing model stands out with its spectacular design and thoroughbred motor sports technology. Developed to comply with the GT3 specifications of the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile), the SLS AMG GT3 is designed as a racing sports car for customers competing in sprints and long-distance races. These race series for near-series GT cars are noted for their very varied participants and great excitement. Not least because of their comparatively favourable cost structure, they are enjoying increasing worldwide popularity.

AMG, the performance brand within Mercedes-Benz, is entering a new business sector with the new SLS AMG GT3: the development, production and marketing of sports racing cars intended for customer use. Sales of these customer cars are expected to commence in autumn 2010, and homologation of the GT3 variant will be completed in time for the 2011 racing season.

“Thanks to uncompromising lightweight construction and superior handling dynamics, the SLS AMG provides an outstanding basis for a highly competitive racing car. This exciting GT3 version is our response to strong customer demand for a car designed for these attractive motor sports series. Once again, it demonstrates AMG’s huge experience gained in more than 40 years of motor sports, and its great expertise in the development of unique high-performance cars,” says Volker Mornhinweg, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

The new SLS AMG GT3 is an emphatic continuation of AMG’s commitment to motor sports. AMG has been a pioneer in the motor sports world ever since its foundation in 1967. The new racing version of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is developed and produced by AMG in close cooperation with HWA AG. HWA is responsible for the DTM racing team on behalf of Mercedes-Benz Motorsports. The HWA team is one of the most successful in international motor sports, as witness nine driver championships in the DTM and ITC, as well as two championship titles in the FIA GT Championships.

The SLS AMG GT3 is set to write another chapter in this success story, and harks back to the 300 SL racing sports car of 1952 which first established the “gullwing” legend. Its historic victory in the “Carrera Panamericana” long-distance race also made Mercedes-Benz a household name in North and Central America, and demonstrated the know-how and expertise of the Stuttgart-based automobile company.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3

Spectacular racing car looks and top-class performance

The purist design and breathtaking contours of this gullwing model are effectively emphasised by specific modifications to the bodywork. The new components made mainly from carbon-fibre are an unmistakable testimony to the outstanding racetrack performance and extensive aerodynamic development work.

At the front the GT3 racing car has a new front apron with larger air intakes: the wide aperture below the characteristic radiator grille with a large Mercedes star and a wing-shaped transverse fin supplies the engine oil cooler and brake discs with cooling air. The two air intakes below the vertically arranged bi-xenon headlamps have the same function. Downforce at the front axle is provided by four externally mounted “flics” and the carbon-fibre front splitter: this blends into the smooth underbody cladding which ends with the rear diffuser.

The bonnet has a central aperture to dissipate the engine heat. The hot air is vented in the wheel arches from side vents in the front wings. Particularly lightweight polycarbonate is used to glaze the side and rear windows, and this is also available for the windscreen.

The front and rear wings have been widened to make space for the large racing tyres. With a width of 1990 millimetres, the body of the GT3 is a good 50 millimetres wider than that of the standard SLS AMG. The new side skirts have apertures for cooling the rear brakes. The smooth underbody is visible at the lower edges of the side skirts. The standardised filler pipe for the fast-refuel system is accommodated in the B-pillar. The 120-litre fuel tank is centrally located behind the driver.

Wide rear apron of carbon-fibre

Viewed from the rear, the SLS AMG GT3 impresses with its sheer width. The boot lid is surmounted by a wide carbon-fibre rear aerofoil, which has multiple adjustments and allows a perfect setup for the type of racetrack concerned. The new rear apron features two apertures designed to vent the rear wheel arches. The carbon-fibre rear diffuser is another eye-catching feature: as an extension to the smooth underbody, it gradually rises in the rear axle area and generates a downforce thanks to its shape. The overall aerodynamic concept of the SLS AMG GT3 was refined and finalised in extensive wind tunnel and racetrack tests.

The black exhaust tailpipes emit a thrilling and very characteristic AMG eight-cylinder sound. The rain light prescribed by the rulebook is integrated into the boot lid – it must remain permanently switched on if the weather conditions are poor.

Near-series AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine

As prescribed by the FIA GT3 rules, the AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine is practically identical to that in the standard model. Thanks to its lower weight, the GT3 will easily better the already outstanding acceleration of the standard model – 3.8 seconds from zero to 100 km/h; depending on the final drive ratio, the top speed will exceed 300 km/h.

The AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine also has a dry sump lubrication system in the racing model. Using vacuum and pressure pumps, as well as an external oil tank, makes it possible to dispense with a conventional sump. This technology ensures reliable engine lubrication even under the high lateral acceleration forces encountered on the racetrack.

Dry sump lubrication also allows a low installed position for the V8 engine – one of the key technological highlights of the SLS AMG. Installing the eight-cylinder engine in the lowest possible position behind the front axle as a front-mid engine, and combining it with the transmission in a transaxle arrangement, produces a very favourable weight distribution.

Six-speed racing transmission with sequential gear-changes

Unlike in the standard model, power in the SLS AMG GT3 is transferred by a six-speed racing transmission with sequential gear-changes. Thanks to its compact construction, this race-tested transmission has advantages in terms of packaging – after all, the GT3 version has a smaller ground clearance than the standard model. The driver shifts the gears using two shift paddles on the steering wheel. The transmission is mounted directly on the rear axle, and connected to the V8 engine via a flexurally and torsionally rigid torque tube.

This has decisive advantages with respect to handling dynamics, as this sophisticated solution enables the entire powertrain to be configured with far less free play. In conjunction with the traction control system, a multi-disc locking differential integrated into the transmission ensures outstanding acceleration. A drive shaft rotates at the engine speed within this torque tube. As in the standard model, and also the Mercedes-Benz C-Class DTM racing cars, the shaft is made from carbon-fibre.

The vehicle concept of the SLS AMG is predestined for top-class racetrack performance, with a long wheelbase, a low centre of gravity and a wide track. Its strengths include precise over/understeer characteristics, first-class agility, low inertia during fast changes of direction and high physical limits when cornering.

Very few modifications were required for perfect racetrack performance: the lowered, lightweight aluminium suspension with double wishbones all-round has the ideal kinematics. Multiple adjustments allow the best possible adaptation to the relevant racetrack characteristics and prevailing weather conditions. Not only the spring and damper setups, but also the track width and camber, the suspension height and the stabilisers at the front and rear axles can be adjusted.

The rack-and-pinion steering system with speed-sensitive servo assistance is basically the same as in the standard SLS AMG. The more direct steering ratio makes for even more agile handling on the racetrack.

AMG motor sports braking system with composite technology

The AMG motor sports braking system ensures extremely short braking distances, outstanding fade-resistance and great sensitivity: race-tested composite technology is used for all the brake discs. In this system, the grey cast-iron discs are mounted on an aluminium bowl via stainless steel connections in a radially and axially floating arrangement. This sophisticated technology allows perfect heat conduction, and therefore reliable fade-resistance.

The SLS AMG GT3 also features precisely configured cooling ducts: apertures in the front apron and in front of the rear wheels supply the brake discs with cool air when on the move. All four brake discs are ventilated, grooved and perforated. Six-piston fixed calipers at the front and four-piston fixed calipers at the rear in anthracite with a white AMG logo allow generous brake lining surfaces. An anti-lock braking system with a special racing configuration is standard. For space reasons, the AMG high-performance ceramic composite braking system optionally available for the standard model is not compatible with the 18-inch wheels prescribed by the FIA rulebook.

The size 12 x 18-inch (front) and 13 x 18-inch (rear) AMG light-alloy wheels with central locking are shod with racing tyres in size 287 x 682 mm (front) and 315 x 708 mm (rear). Depending on the conditions, untreaded slicks, intermediates or rain tyres are used. The classic multi-spoke design assists ventilation of the braking system.

Rapid pitstops and wheel-changes are assured by the pneumatic jacking system integrated into the underbody: four pneumatic jacks lift the GT3 racing car by around 190 millimetres to allow very rapid wheel-changes by the pit crew.

Interior with racing bucket seat and racing steering wheel

Opening the gullwing doors of the SLS AMG GT3 reveals a functional interior with a racing car atmosphere. The driver is seated in a racing bucket seat, his safety assured by a six-point seat belt and the HANS system (Head and Neck Support), which fixes his helmet in a defined position during an accident to minimise the risk of injury. Additional safety is provided by the steel rollover cage, which also serves to reinforce the aluminium spaceframe.

A racing steering wheel with a diameter of 330 millimetres allows perfect vehicle control. Thanks to the open upper section of the rim, the driver always has a clear view of the central display. This keeps him informed about all the relevant parameters such as speed, engine rpm, operating temperatures, lap times and the selected gear.

The steering wheel also has a quick-locking feature which allows much easier access and egress. Switches on the steering wheel boss enable the driver to activate additional functions such as the radio link to the pits, headlamp flasher or the drink function. Further controls are mounted on the centre console, for example the start/stop function for the AMG V8 engine, the traction control system, reverse gear and  – if the worst should happen – the integrated fire extinguisher system. The brake balance adjustment control is mounted on the tunnel of the torque tube.

The near-series specification of the GT3 version is reflected in the dashboard, whose powerfully arching wing section gives an impression of width. Strikingly integrated into the dashboard, the air vents galvanised in “Silver Shadow” have adjustable, cruciform nozzles reminiscent of an aircraft’s jet engines.

Deliveries of customer vehicles will commence in spring 2011

The new SLS AMG GT3 was developed to comply with the international FIA GT3 race rules, and is entitled to take part in all GT3 race series – which of course includes the popular 24-hour race in Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium) or the Nürburg-ring. Interested customers are able to order the GT3 from autumn 2010, and delivery will take place in time for the start of the 2011 racing season. Homologation will be completed in March 2011.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: fascination and high-tech

New legend with unrivalled performance – the gullwing super sports car from Mercedes-Benz and AMG

The new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG offers automotive passion and high-tech at the highest level. This gullwing model dazzles with its purist design, in-telligent 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 its first completely 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-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 6.3-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 dynam-ics of the highest order.
The ideal front/rear weight distribution of 47 to 53 per-cent and the vehicle’s low centre of gravity are testimony to the uncompromis-ing sports car concept. The SLS AMG accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 sec-onds, 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.
Key data at a glance:
Mercedes-Benz 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.
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 without doubt 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 uncompromising 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 ra-diator 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 wheel arches bulging impres-sively from the side wall and the pronounced shoulder line, which extends from the front to the rear end like a taut muscle. Dynamism and power are also communi-cated 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 reminiscent of an aircraft cockpit
Mercedes-Benz designers took their inspiration from the aviation world when de-signing 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 AMG DRIVE UNIT, which enables the driver of the SLS AMG to choose a personal vehicle setup. The AMG SPEED-SHIFT 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 ty-pical of a sports car, the wide-opening gullwing doors allow easy access and egress. The gullwing doors 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 1620 kilograms.
The newly developed bodyshell consists of an aluminium spaceframe. This exclu-sive 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 neces-sary, direct transfer of drive, braking and suspension forces. The structure pre-vents unwanted flexibility; the vehicle responds rigidly, directly and with practi-cally 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 alu-minium and 4 percent from steel. Maximum occupant safety requires the use of ul-tra-high-strength, heat-formed steel in the A-pillars. The bodyshell weighs 241 kilo-grams – 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 the lowest possible cen-tre of gravity. This applies both to the low connection of the powertrain and axles, as well as to the arrangement of the rigidity-conducive bodyshell structure, which has been kept as low as possible. Examples include the rigid flexural and tor-sional connections between the front and rear section and the safety passenger cell, which have been realised consistently using force paths that are 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 pas-senger, a kneebag for each, two seat-integrated sidebags and two windowbags de-ploying from the waistlines of the gullwing doors.
Further development of the AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine developing 420 kW/571 hp
A powerful eight-cylinder engine manufactured by Mercedes-AMG 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 seg-ment. 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 SLS accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds, and has an elec-tronically 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 move-ments 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 bear-ing, optimised crankcase structure, along with improved lubrication thanks to a demand-controlled, high-performance oil pump ensure optimum durability. De-spite these higher loads, the engine weight for the M 159 has been further re-duced. 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 competi-tion. Sophisticated catalytic converter technology enables current and future ex-haust 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 ran-king. 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 CClass 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 transmis-sion 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 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 dou-ble wishbones with a track rod, a technology that has proven itself in motor rac-ing right through to Formula 1.
With a double-wishbone axle, the wheel location and suspension functions remain separate; the spring/damper struts are sup-ported 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 en-tirely 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 ou-ter 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, providing the driver with access to 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.
The acceleration skid control (ASR) system’s traction logic is active in all three ESP® modes. If one of the drive wheels starts to spin, specific brake pressure is ap-plied to improve traction significantly – especially in conjunction with the stan-dard-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 particu-larly 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 enormous loads. The newly developed, optional ceramic composite brakes with even larger brake discs guaran-tee 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 mas-ses 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 op-timum 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 completely independently developed car, the super sports car is the high-light of the company’s more than 40-year history. With this car AMG, the perform-ance 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 motorsports. Following the cooperation agreement concluded in 1990 with Daimler-Benz AG, the com-pany was gradually incorporated into what at the time was DaimlerChrysler AG in 1999.
On 1 January 2005, DaimlerChrysler AG acquired 100 percent of the sha-res. 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 en-compasses 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.
The market launch of the SLS AMG will commence on 27 March 2010, with a sell-ing price of EUR 177,310 (incl. 19 % VAT).

Related Articles

Back to top button