Gullwing high flier
It’s yours for $500,000-plus, writes NEIL McDONALD
TWOwealthy Australians have raced to the front of the queue for one of the world’s most anticipated new super cars.
They have joined the Gullwing club, putting down a substantial deposit to ensure they get the first 315km/h Mercedes-Benz SLS coupes to land in Australia.
The $500,000-plus super car is in final development at AMG Mercedes-Benz in Germany and is expected to be revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, with local deliveries from the middle of next year.
It will zap to 100km/h in 3.8 seconds and the top speed puts it into the exclusive 300-plus class.
The SLS pays homage to Benz’s classic 1950s 300 SL, which was nicknamed the ‘‘gullwing’’ for its lift-up doors.
Several original gullwings are in Australia, most with cashed-up collectors led by trucking magnate Lindsay Fox.
The SLS will not be as expensive as the $1.2 million McLaren-Mercedes SLR, which was never built in right-hand drive and never sold officially in Australia.
Even so, the new-age gullwing’s $500,000-plus price— even more costly than current benchmark the $492,331 SL65 AMG— will ensure it remains a rare sight on Australian roads.
The SLS makes extensive use of alloy for its body and chassis to keep its weight down to about 1600kg and the American dealer guide shows it has a mid-front mounted 6.3-litre hand-built V8 AMG engine developing 420kW and 650Nm.
The engine, which is mid-front-mounted to deliver a 48/52 front-to-rear weight balance, is mated to a standard AMG seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and limited-slip differential.