Fab­u­lous five fly

It doesn’t get much hot­ter than this for Aussie AMG fans

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige - NEIL DOWL­ING neil.dowl­ing@cars­guide.com.au

FREN­ZIED en­thu­si­asts have al­ready swooped on Aus­tralia’s al­lo­ca­tion of AMG’s lat­est gull-wing weapon.

The SLS Black Se­ries, set for its pub­lic de­but at the Los An­ge­les mo­tor show, had a quota of only five for next year and Mercedes Aus­tralia is scram­bling for more.

‘‘ We are now talk­ing to AMG (but) re­al­is­ti­cally the to­tal num­ber will not ex­ceed 10 cars for Aus­tralia,’’says spokesman Jerry Sta­moulis.

‘‘ The fi­nal price has not been set but it’s likely to be sim­i­lar to the SL65 Black Se­ries which was around $700,000.’’

Cars­guide saw the new SLS Black Se­ries, in­spired by the track-only SLS GT3, at AMG head­quar­ters in Af­fal­ter­bach just be­fore it was flown to LA. Sport­ing ex­posed car­bon-fi­bre com­po­nents, black wheels and gold brake calipers, it is lower than the reg­u­lar SLS, hun­kered down on its fat wheels and ag­gres­sive with its dom­i­nant rear spoiler.

AMG en­gi­neer Alexan­der We­ber says its spec­i­fi­ca­tions are closer to a GT3 car than a road car. It has a 6.2-litre V8 with 464kW— up 44kW on the SLS— but torque has been clipped back to 635Nm, down 15Nm on the SLS.

The coupe needs less torque as it has a lower fi­nal drive ra­tio and weighs 100kg less than the stan­dard SLS. The en­gine is red­lined at 8000rpm, up from 7200rpm in the nor­mal SLS. It hits 100km/h from rest in 3.6 sec­onds on its way to 315km/h.

It has launch con­trol— with soft­ware tai­lored for this car— that al­lows for a 10 per cent slip for bet­ter ac­cel­er­a­tion.

‘‘ We changed a lot in the en­gine,’’ says We­ber. ‘‘ It has a new in­take man­i­fold— made shorter— and new valve gear that is a lot lighter. The oil cir­cuit is new and so are the en­gine bear­ings.

‘‘ We have re­duced back pres­sure and fit­ted a 100 per cent ti­ta­nium ex­haust sys­tem.

‘‘ There is an im­proved cool­ing sys­tem that was devel­oped for the race track.’’

Much of the per­for­mance in­crease has come from the weight-loss pro­gram, bring­ing the car down to 1550kg through ex­ten­sive use of car­bon-fi­bre and car­bon com­pounds, in­clud­ing trim in the cabin, brake ro­tors and spoiler.

We­ber says the car has hy­draulic en­gine dampers spe­cific to the Black Se­ries but other AMG cars may get this sys­tem to im­prove han­dling.

Com­pared with the stan­dard SLS the SLS Black Se­ries is 26mm wider at the rear and 13mm wider at the front.

Mercedes-Benz Aus­tralia says the car will ar­rive in here from the sec­ond half of next year and that most of the buy­ers who have placed or­ders are pre­vi­ous AMG own­ers.

The SLS Black Se­ries is the fifth of this model line-up to be pro­duced by AMG. The com­pany started the Black Se­ries with the SLK55 in 2006, fol­low­ing it with the CLK63 in 2007, SL65 in 2008 and C63 Coupe in 2011.

Slim pick­ings:

Much of the SLS’s en­hanced per­for­mance comes from shed­ding weight

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