Wings of desire
For some, the $500K twodoor is not a flight of fancy
began with a pocket-rocket SLK and most recently brought a CLK with Bathurst-style wings to Australia.
The SLS Black Series retains the signature gullwing doors and luxury kit but the upgrade is all about the numbers.
That means 464kW/635Nm, 3.6 seconds to 100km/h, 315km/ h at the top end and 70kg less to carry. The engine spins to 8000rpm but also claims a thirst of 13.7L/100km.
Did I mention the price— topping $500,000— and the fact that fewer than a dozen will come to Australia?
‘‘ Yes, it is coming. We already have a handful of orders,’’ confirms Mercedes spokesman David McCarthy. There are already 69 Black Series cars in Australia, comprising C63, CLK and SL examples.
The SLS is the work of the talented and focused engineers at AMG, the hot-carHQfor Benz in Germany and also the source of the E-Class lookalikes that will compete in the V8 Supercar title from next year.
The style of the speedster is drawn from the GT3 racing version of the SLS, which is already winning in Australia.
That explains the wild wings front and rear, forged aluminium rims and giant tyres. But the Black Series car still comes with aircon, power steering, top-end Bang & Olufsen audio system and the expected top-end exotic kit.
All of the running gear has been tweaked and tuned, from lower and stiffer suspension to bigger carbon-ceramic brake discs, lithium-ion battery and carbon fibre-reinforced plastic tailshaft that weighs only 4.7kg. So, what’s the bottom line? ‘‘ We don’t know the price yet. Let’s just say that it won’t be crossed-shopped against anything from Hyundai,’’ laughs McCarthy.
That means somewhere handily north of a half million, since the regular SLS coupe already costs $468,320 here.
But the price will not be a hurdle and McCarthy says there are nearly 100 SLS examples, both gullwing coupe and the recently introduced Roadster, in Australia
The first Black Series cars will arrive about the middle of next year. Mercedes is considering an air-freight preview car— as with the CLK Black Series— for its customer drive day on the eve of the Australian Grand Prix.
‘‘ We might get one. We’ll see,’’ says McCarthy.
Off the track, is there any point to the SLS Black Series?
‘‘ The point is that there will always be people who can appreciate what the car is about,’’ McCarthy ripostes. ‘‘ We’re in the business of fulfilling dreams.’’