The out­stand­ing SLS, and the ‘45’ line

Car India - - CONTENTS - Story: Jim Gorde Pho­tog­ra­phy: Daim­ler, Mercedes-Benz, DPPI

AMG HAVE BE­COME AN ICONIC name in the per­for­mance car world and for good rea­son. Thus far, we’ve seen not just cars like the 300 SEL 6.8, the Ham­mer, and the CLK GTR, but also how their en­gines went on to build more leg­ends — the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, the SLR Stir­ling Moss, as well as the Pa­gani Zonda and Huayra. How­ever, it takes an al­most unimag­in­able level of com­mit­ment to push the en­ve­lope even fur­ther, still stay­ing true to your roots yet ex­pand­ing the lim­its of the pos­si­ble. And the SLS AMG went on to do just that.


Some call it bru­tal. Some call it sharp. Oth­ers call it wild. Yet, some even called it cute. Be­hind that smil­ing face, un­der that long bon­net, and in­side those gull­wing doors was a mon­ster wait­ing to be un­leashed.

The M156 V8, the 6,208-cc nat­u­rally-as­pi­rated brute of a bari­tone mo­tor, made head­lines in the AMG ‘63’ line-up with be­tween 457 and 525 PS. The M159, on the other hand, was dry-sumped and turned up to 571 PS in the SLS; the first car in­dige­nously de­vel­oped by AMG. With a weight of just 1,620 kg, it turned out to be a raw and en­gag­ing sport coupé with as much pres­ence as it had per­for­mance. Built as a 2010 model, its styling harked back to the 1954 300 SL, a car which rev­o­lu­tionised the sports car cat­e­gory with its ahead-of­time en­gi­neer­ing and de­tail, in­clud­ing its fa­mous gull­wing style doors. So con­fi­dent were Mercedes with this car and its per­for­mance, in terms of both ac­cel­er­a­tion and down­force, that they suc­cess­fully man­aged a corkscrew ma­noeu­vre in­side a tun­nel, with the SLS suc­cess­fully driv­ing up­side-down for a brief mo­ment!

For those who thought the gull-wing was a bit too much, the SLS Road­ster ar­rived two years later, in 2012. It of­fered drop-top mo­tor­ing with con­ven­tion­al­ly­hinged doors and had the same out­put too. What got a fur­ther boost, how­ever, was the SLS AMG GT.

The winged GT that came about one year later got an­other 20 PS, for a to­tal of 591, at the same heady 6,800 rpm. With the ac­com­pa­ny­ing 650 Nm of torque, it de­liv­ered an even greater rush than be­fore. There was also an SLS AMG GT3, which went on to heat up the rac­ing scene. How­ever, noth­ing could pre­pare the world for what came next: the SLS AMG Black Se­ries.

A higher red-line and in­cred­i­ble 40 more horses was what the SLS Black brought to the ta­ble, or the track; more like it. With the 631 PS com­ing in at 7,400 rpm and peak torque ac­tu­ally drop­ping to 635 Nm, the SLS Black Se­ries was the wildest and, seem­ingly, most tame-less nat­u­rally-as­pi­rated beast to come out of Af­fal­ter­bach.

Recog­nis­ing the need to main­tain a bal­ance en­vi­ron­men­tally, Mercedes-AMG also in­tro­duced the SLS Elec­tric — a pure elec­tric car with four elec­tric mo­tors and a peak 552 kW (750 PS) and 1,000 Nm. It was quick, yes, and phe­nom­e­nally so, hit­ting 0-100 km/h in just 3.7 sec­onds.

While the Black Se­ries and SLS Elec­tric were ex­treme ex­am­ples of the car, 2014 also marked the end of the line. The ‘Fi­nal Edi­tion’ was the swan­song for the much-loved SLS.

Nat­u­ral M159 V8 in the SLS AMG GT made all of 591 PS and 650 Nm Some char­ac­ters speak vol­umes

A cus­tomer SLS AMG GT3 in ac­tion at the 24 hours of Brno

Test­ing AMG’s own home-grown V8 is a hot-bed of ac­tiv­ity. And it can get se­ri­ously hot! Ex­treme 631-PS SLS AMG Black Se­ries saw the V8’s abil­ity maxxed

The power of volts should never be un­der­es­ti­mated

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