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Spy Shots: 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

New supercar caught along the coast.

by on Aug.20, 2009

The thin disguise does little to hide the shape and dimensions of the 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS.

The thin disguise does little to hide the shape and dimensions of the 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS.

Automakers typically go to great pains to keep their future products concealed from the prying eyes of the press.  But sometimes, a simple bit of serendipity comes into play – as happened today, when Mercedes-Benz engineers just happened to take a break during testing, parking a convoy of cars along the legendary Cannery Row, in Monterey, California.

They just happened to pull over in front of the Clement Hotel, where a number of us in the automotive media just happened to be holed up for a preview of the latest Mazda line-up.  The resultant spy shots, shown here, were snapped before the men from Mercedes could get back behind the wheel and move on.

Your Spy Shot Source!

Your Spy Shot Source!

What you see is the thinly-disguised 2011 Mercedes SLS AMG, the replacement for the German automaker’s SLR supercar, which never came close to living up to its initial expectations – Mercedes hoped to sell 4,000 SLRs during its lifetime, but has to come up with a variety of variants to come close to meeting that demand, including the 722 and a convertible version.

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS is a sleeker, less over-the-top design than the poorly-received SLR.  But it carries over the predecessor's gullwing doors.

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS is a sleeker, less over-the-top design than the poorly-received SLR. But it carries over the predecessor's gullwing doors.

The SLS project has been handled entirely in-house, with Mercedes’ brand-within-a-brand, AMG, taking lead.  The SLR had been overseen by the automaker’s former Formula One partner, McLaren.  For the first time, Mercedes has opted for an aluminum body stretched over an aluminum spaceframe.  Like the older SLR, the new 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS will feature gullwing doors.

Weighing in just under 3,600 pounds, the SLS is expected to yield top speeds in excess of 200 mph – the current minimum for supercars – and 0 to 60 times in the mid-3 second range.  To get there, the 2-seater will be powered by a front-mid-mounted 6.2-liter V-8 making around 565 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque.  Power will be pumped out through a 7-speed dual-clutch transaxle mounted in the rear.

It doesn't take much to look past the window reflections to see that the 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS will feature a more refined interior than the relatively spartan SLR.

It doesn't take much to look past the window reflections to see that the 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS will feature a more refined interior than the relatively spartan SLR.

Company officials aren’t providing much detail, but it’s been reported that the SLS will come in at around $250,000, which would be roughly half the price tag of the old SLR.  Expect to get more information during a planned preview at the Frankfurt Motor Show, next month.

Some tape and a couple frames attempt to mislead the eye when it comes to the front end design of the 2011 Mercedes SLS, but the German maker's big tri-star badge on the grille is still quite obvious.

Some tape and a couple frames attempt to mislead the eye when it comes to the front end design of the 2011 Mercedes SLS, but the German maker's big tri-star badge on the grille is still quite obvious.

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