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First Look: The Ultimate Mercedes-Benz SLS

Black Series Gullwing brings power up to 622 hp and 0 – 60 times down to 3.5 seconds.

by on Nov.09, 2012

Lighter, stronger, faster, the SLS Black Series.

One thing we’ve learned, over the years, if you wait long enough a manufacturer will always find a way to squeeze out a few more horsepower from your favorite model.  Just look at the latest Shelby Mustang.

Or the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. It’s been difficult to even imagine how much further the maker might go with this two-seater considering the awesome performance of the “base” car. But never bet against German engineers, as we discovered this morning with a news release from Stuttgart.

Voice of the Automotive World!

It gives us a first look – and some key details – covering the ultimate version of the top-line Benz, the 2014 Mercedes SLS AMG Gullwing Black Series.  Consider this: it probably took you longer to pronounce that than the 2-seater will need to get from 0 to 60, or about 3.5 seconds.

By stripping out unnecessary mass – bringing the SLS Black Series down to just 3,417 pounds – while beefing up the stock 6.3-liter V-8 to 622 horsepower, an extra 39 hp, you come up with an impressive power-to-weight ratio of 5.49 pounds per horsepower. For those not in the know, that translates into what Mercedes is billing as the “ultimate” SLS.

Mercedes promises that handling has also improved substantially thanks to an adjustable coil-over suspension, an electronically controlled rear differential and upgraded carbon ceramic brakes with two-piece rotors.

The track of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series has been widened by an inch.  And stiffness has been improved by upgrading a number of braces in the aluminum spaceframe to carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, or CFRP.  That’s also helped trim the weight.

In fact, the maker attacked mass in a variety of ways, even opting for a lighter lithium-ion battery rather than conventional lead-acid technology, saving almost 18 pounds.

“The new SLS AMG Black Series is a perfect study in the one hundred percent transfer of technology and engineering from motorsport to road,” contends Ola Kallenius, CEO of the AMG division. “Fans of high-performance super sports cars will be fascinated by its high-tech package,” he says, which is driven by the “AMG Lightweight Performance” strategy.

The exterior, meanwhile, undergoes a number of subtle revisions that, Kallenius says, were inspired by the maker’s GT3 race car.  That includes the front chin spoiler, rear diffuser and fascia, vented side skirts and new forged alloy wheels.

The uprated V-8 also sees a bump to 468 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough to not only deliver that 3.5 second 0 to 60 launch but help get the new SLS Black Series up to a top speed of 196 mph.

Mercedes promises to have the SLS AMG Gullwing Black Series in showrooms by next summer. But it’s yet to release a price.

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