Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 set to enter 2011 Dubai 24-hour Race

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 21, 2010

Mercedes-Benz wants to prove that its latest models deserve all the hype they are getting. The carmaker is entering one version at one of the most challenging races of the season, the 24-hour race in Dubai on Jan. 15, 2011.

Three Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 vehicles will join this race. The cars will be fielded by Black Falcon (two of them, the number 7 and the number 8) and Heico Motorsport (the number 9). Production has already started and deliveries will begin in February 2011, after the FIA gives the green light.

The SLS AMG GT3 will feature the same engine used in the production version of the model, an AMG 6.3l V8. But what makes the engine for the GT3 version different is that power is sent to the wheels via a six-speed racing transmission with sequential gear-changes.

The carmaker will equip the model for racing, with the interior getting a racing driver bucket seat with a six-point seat belt and the HANS system (Head and Neck Support).

For additional safety, the vehicle has the steel rollover cage, which also reinforces the aluminum spaceframe. To be able to purchase one, you need to pay at least EUR397,460 ($523,574) and be part of a certified racing team.

The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 is a good example of a race car design that has garnered plenty of admirers. Conceived as a sport vehicle, the SLS AMG’s racing version is expected to participate in FIA GT3 regulated-races. It was constructed with lightweight materials and it has had its chassis, brakes, and aerodynamics optimized. Combined, these different features result in uncompromising performance.

The SLS AMG was expected to make its debut in 2011. It has a breathtaking form with a clean design and is highlighted with the targeted modifications on its bodyshell. With the new components being made of lightweight carbon fiber, it’s highly aerodynamic, making it capable of performing very well on the race track. The front of this GT3 race car has a new front skirt with its enlarged air intakes.

The radiator grill bearing the Mercedes star has a wide opening underneath it and with the wing-shaped horizontal fins, it’s ensured that the engine oil cooler and the brake discs get the needed air supply. Air however is also supplied through the two intakes just under the vertical bi-xenon headlamps.

There are four side flics mounted on the exterior that provide downforce to the front axle. Much like the carbon front splitter, it runs straight to the underbody panel that connects it to the rear diffuser. The hood has a central opening to help release heat from the engine.

The front fenders have openings on its sides to facilitate the air flow that goes in the wheel arches. Its weight has been optimized with the use of lightweight polycarbonate for the side windows and rear windows. It even comes with the option to have them for the front windshield.

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