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First Look: 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3

German maker sets SLS base price and reveals new race car.

by on Mar.31, 2010

The track-ready, custom-built Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 should be ready well in time for the 2011 race season.

Supercar fans can finally head down to their nearest Mercedes-Benz dealer.  The German maker has set the price for its new, gullwinged SLS AMG sports car at $183,000 – barely half the price of the old Mercedes-Benz SLR, which it replaces.

But those with a bit more cash in the bank and a serious need for speed could always put an order down for the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, a fully “customized race car,” which Volker Mornhinweg, outgoing head of the maker’s high-performance AMG brand, promises to have ready for the 2011 racing season.

The GT3, unveiled at the New York International Auto Show, will share the 6.3-liter powertrain in the standard-edition SLS, but will boast custom bodywork emphasizing aerodynamic performance.  The chassis will be modified to handle the needs and stresses of the track.

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According to Mornhinweg, the 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 will be able to launch from 0 to 60 in just 3.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 180 mph.

The GT3 will share the basic 6.3-liter V8 with the standard-issue Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, but gets chassis and aerodynamic modifications, like this high-mounted wing.

It is expected to reach racer wannabes by this coming autumn and should hit the circuits by early next year.

The automaker didn’t provide a price for the GT3 version of the new SLS AMG.

Along with the new supercar, the German maker revealed two more mainstream models at the New York Auto Show’s press preview.  The first is the 2011 update of the Mercedes-Benz R-Class.  (For more details, Click Here.)

It also unveiled the 2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Wagon.  The “two-box” version of the latest generation E-Class sedan will go on sale later this year.  The wagon will feature a one-touch automatic hatch revealing space for up to 70 cubic feet of cargo.

The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 Wagon will feature all-wheel-drive and 3-row seating for up to seven.

Under the load floor is a fold-out third-row bench seat that gives the E350 Wagon room for up to seven passengers.  All-wheel-drive will be offered as standard equipment.

Separately, Mercedes announced that the Cabriolet version of the 2011 E350 will be priced at $56,850, while the V8-powered 2011 Mercedes-Benz E550 Cabriolet will go for $64,800.

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