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First Look: Mercedes-Benz SLS Roadster

Germans give unexpected sneak peek.

by on Feb.09, 2011

Look closely and you'll see several new Mercedes models, including the SLS Roadster and C-Class Coupe.

Sometimes you have to take a closer look at some of the ads automakers roll out.  Over the years, we’ve seen a number of future products put in cameo appearances behind other, more immediately apparent models – as we belatedly realized with the Super Bowl ad for Mercedes-Benz.

Okay, most folks were focused on the classic cars seeming to come to life or, perhaps, P Diddy.  But the rapper wasn’t the real star.  In the background, for those who bothered to look, was the first production version of the new Mercedes SLS Roadster, the latest incarnation of the German marque’s supercar flagship.

Set to come in north of the roughly $250,000 SLS coupe, the Roadster will share the same 6.2-liter V8, with its twin-clutch gearbox, and most of the other mechanicals.

But, obviously, the convertible will have to forego the signature detail of the SLS Coupe.  Gone are the distinctive gullwing doors, long a Mercedes trademark.  In their place, a pair of conventional portals.

The Mercedes SLS Roadster will opt for a relatively traditional canvas top, also foregoing a foldaway metal roof that would have complicated the vehicle’s design – and added a significant amount of weight.

The Mercedes supercar will get another variant, shortly, in the form of the SLS AMG E-Cell, the battery-powered super-coupe that the German maker revealed, in production form, at the Detroit Auto Show, last month.  Daimler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche told that production of that model will be extremely limited, perhaps a hundred or so, at most.

Look for the SLS Coupe to make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, later this year.  However, if you go back and check once again, you may see yet another cameo appearance in the Mercedes Super Bowl commercial: the next-generation C-Class Coupe, which will officially debut at the Geneva Motor Show, next month.

Magna Steyr Will Build SLS AMG Body

Aluminum body for Mercedes Benz super car sourced to Austria.

by on Oct.08, 2009

Mercedes-Benz at IAA 2009: Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton and Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars at the Mercedes SLS AMG.

Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton and Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, at the SLS introduction in Frankfurt.

Magna Steyr will develop and manufacture the aluminum body for the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG in Graz, Austria, the company announced today. The super car is due for a launch next spring.

Weighing only 1,620 kg, the car has the latest in lightweight technology and will be available as a coupe or a convertible.

“We are very proud that we are the only automotive supplier in Europe to master the technology needed to manufacture a pure aluminum body,” said Magna Co-CEO Siegfried Wolf.

The SLS 2-seat sports car arrives 55 years after the original gull wing Mercedes 300SL appeared to rave reviews and moderate sales. While the SLS clearly harkens back to that classic, “It is not a stroll down memory lane but a look into the future,” claimed Dieter Zetsche at its Frankfurt Motor Show introduction last month. Zetsche serves as both the Mercedes brand boss and CEO of its parent, Daimler AG.

Based around an aluminum space frame, there are design updates, starting with the rectangular, rather than round, headlights, which flow up into the front fenders; a more steeply-raked windshield; a decidedly taut and aerodynamic body; larger, wider tires; and a Formula One-style wing that cuts across the cross-hatched, blackout grille.


Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing Debuts

Selling nostalgia and technology.

by on Sep.14, 2009


One of the most alluring sports cars?

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG that will be revealed in Frankfurt now has official photos.

The car has an aluminum space frame with gullwing doors, an AMG 6.3-liter V-8 front-mid engine developing 571 horsepower and 650 Nm (470 lb. ft.) of torque and dry sump lubrication. The motor works with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission in a transaxle configuration.

Handling of the 1620 kg (3,571 lb) car should be of the highest level with sports suspension with aluminum double wishbones.