GULL in the wings

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - Front Page -

THE gull wing Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG su­per car is a hat lift to iconic Benzs of the past and em­bod­ies a raft of new tech­nol­ogy the com­pany has de­vel­oped.

It caused a sen­sa­tion at the re­cent Frankfurt Mo­tor Show and is due to be un­leashed onto the mar­ket soon. If you have the dosh, you can or­der one right now for de­liv­ery down the track.

The price is 177,310 Euro or about A$300,000 but given our ex­treme car tax sys­tem that would likely dou­ble for lo­cal de­liv­ery, as­sum­ing it’s made in right hand drive.

The new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG daz­zles with its purist de­sign, light­weight construction and han­dling dy­nam­ics, and is bound to ruf­fle feathers in the su­per sports car seg­ment.

It’s the first com­pletely in­de­pen­dently de­vel­oped AMG ve­hi­cle, and takes AMG into a new era demon­strat­ing de­vel­op­ment ex­per­tise of the high­est or­der.

The SLS AMG’s tech­nol­ogy pack­age is an al­lur­ing propo­si­tion: alu­minium space­frame body with gull­wing doors, AMG 6.2-litre V8 front-mid-en­gine de­vel­op­ing 420 kW peak out­put, 650Nm 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 1620kg.

The front/rear weight dis­tri­bu­tion is 47 to 53 per cent and the ve­hi­cle has a low cen­tre of grav­ity to aid sta­bil­ity at high speed.

The “Gull­wing” as it will in­evitably be called ac­cel­er­ates from 0-100km/h in 3.8 sec­onds, and has a top speed of 317kmh (elec­tron­i­cally lim­ited). Fuel con­sump­tion is 13.2 litres/100 km (com­bined) one of the best in the seg­ment.

A di­verse range of op­tional ex­tras is avail­able to en­hance or in­di­vid­u­alise the car. Some of the main op­tions in­clude an AMG ce­ramic com­pos­ite high-per­for­mance brak­ing sys­tem, AMG per­for­mance sus­pen­sion with a stiffer setup for op­ti­mum lat­eral dy­nam­ics, AMG light-al­loy wheels in a five-twin-spoke de­sign, size 9.5 x 19in (front) and 11.0 x 20in (rear). Forged alu­minium wheels are avail­able.

It starts rolling off the pro­duc­tion line in April 2010.

Su­per Merc: The SLS AMG starts rolling off the pro­duc­tion line in April 2010.

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