A prototype replacement to the Mercedes-Benz SL Gullwing and the SLR has been seen in and around Nurburgring test circuit for a number of months already. What a chosen few know however is that this car is being developed totally in-house by AMG, the official tuner of the German carmaker. For this reason, the brand new model will be called the SLS AMG when it gets to show rooms in 2010.
Lots of details, including illustrations, have been released leading to the car's eventual unveiling later this year. The new SLS AMG will come with gullwing doors in keeping with the legendary SL Gullwing of the 50s it will replace although it also comes with a new aluminum spaceframe that provides the car with almost perfect weight distribution from front to rear of 48-52 percent.
A revised variant of the AMG 6.2 liter V8 will provide power for the car and it will be coupled to an all-new 7-speed dual-clutch transmission for a rear wheel drive. The engine generates a maximum power yield of 511hp (420kW) and 479lb-ft (650Nm) of torque.
Included in the revision of the engine is a new magnesium intake with 8 individual velocity stacks, two electronically controlled throttle plates, a high-flow exhaust and a new dry-sump lubricating system. For better weight distribution, the engine will be located up front but will be mounted behind the front axle. The final curb weight for the SLS AMG will be in the neighborhood of 1,620kg.
With its powerful V8 engine, acceleration rate from standstill to 100km/h would be attained in 3.8 seconds reaching a maximum speed of 315km/h. The new dual-clutch gearbox, which was developed by AMG, boasts of faster gear changes without tractive force loss.
The car comes with four driving modes ranging from comfortable to totally sporty and also a "RACESTART" function. Equally advanced are the SLS' suspension configuration with double wishbones and hub carriers from lightweight forged aluminum.
Carbon-ceramic discs provide braking power and are mounted on 19 inch light-alloy rims. The car's dimensions have also been released: 4.65 meters long, 1.95 meters broad and 1.25 meters high with a wheelbase of 2.7 meters. Illustrations seen previously provide the appearance of the new SLS AMG. The car comes with a vented engine cover and a new headlight design never before seen on any Mercedes models.
The interior comes with a regular Mercedes steering wheel and a special dashboard that's fitted with silver highlighted controls like the ones used in the present SLR supercar. Other features include air intake vents that look like those used by Mercedes in the 70s. Another familiar feature that is identical to other Mercedes models is the COMAND knob that is located on the console at the center.