SLS AMG GT3 gets dressed like the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 AMG

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 25, 2011

The Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 that will participate in the Total 24 Hours of Spa will have livery that’s similar to the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 AMG in 1971. The carmaker is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the triumph of its vehicle that won a class victory and that took second place in the overall ranking on its first race.

Hans Heyer drove the 300 SEL racer 40 years ago but on July 30-31, it will be his son Kenneth who will be driving. Thomas Jäger and Stéphane Lémeret will join him.

Private team Black Falcon will enter the SLS AMG GT3 to the race. This car features a red paint finish, the start number 35, and the sponsor stickers that were seen on the 300 SEL 6.8 AMG in 1971. Kenneth Heyer stated he considers it a “great honor” to bring the Black Falcon SLS AMG GT3 to the starting line of the 24-hour race in Spa-Francorchamps exactly 4 decades after his father won.

He asserts that he will aim for “at least second place.” He said that although the car is expected to draw in a lot of attention because of its appearance that’s reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.8 AMG, it’s the car’s racing performance that will be the focus.

He said that the SLS AMG GT3 has the potential to be on top but a 24-hour race “obeys laws of its own." His father, Hans Heyer, said that he believes it’s a “great idea” for the SLS AMG GT3 with the same appearance as his 300 SEL 6.8 AMG to join the Spa-Francorchamps race.

The newest version of the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG looks like a real racecar. At last, fantasy meets reality judging by the GT3’s highly epic design. The new SLS AMG GT3 is considered as a sport vehicle designed after the FIA GT3 standards. As a matter of fact, the same car would go around the circuits for the first time this 2011.

The GT3 is expected to deliver uncompromised aerodynamic performance as soon as it hits the speedways. Thanks to the high-precision braking system, optimised chassis and lightweight construction of the new Benz model. If that’s not all, the streamlined body of the new Mercedes has been modified to work effectively with its new components. Likewise, major parts of the vehicle only used carbon-fibre lightweight materials for a more impressive performance on the racetracks.

The most exciting Benz ever comes with a new front skirt to match the sporty air intakes at the front. The wide air vents at the front grille leave enough space for the new horizontal fins as well as for the ubiquitous large Mercedes star emblem at the centre. Under each Xenon headlamp positioned vertically on both sides comes another set of air intakes for cooling.

Adding to the downforce, the front axle is equipped with carbon front splitter and 4 side flics that run along the panel all the way to the rear diffuser. Apart from these, the hood is equipped with a special opening at the middle to extract heat from the engine. Another set of openings at the side of the fenders maximises the airflow along the wheel arches.

To enhance the lightweight standards even further, a choice of polycarbonate materials could be used for the windshield as well as for the rear and side windows.

Meanwhile, the front and rear fenders of the GT3 are significantly wider to house the big tyres required for the racing standards. In fact, the actual measurement (78.3 in.) on the latest SLS AMG series is wider by a couple of inches.

As for the B-pillars, this supercar is equipped with a standardised fuel tank adapter for fast refuelling while the fuel tank (with 31.7 gallon capacity) is placed strategically behind the driver’s seat. On the other hand, the GT3 comes with sill openings to help in cooling the rear brakes.

The wider rear of the new Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT3 features a sportier look. It showcases a highly adjustable carbon fibre spoiler to suit any type of racing environment. Furthermore, the aerodynamics concept of the GT3 went through a series of wind tunnel and racetrack evaluation procedures.

As for the engine, the 6.3litre V8 engine of the new SLS AMG is based primarily on the FIA GT3 regulations. Its low weight certainly contributes to its impressive acceleration time of 0-60mph in 3.7 seconds. These figures are exceptionally low for the series production model. Although the gear ratio may vary, the GT3 can also deliver more than 186mph at top speed.

The engine uses dry sump lubrication instead of the conventional oil sump. This innovation employs an external oil sump along with a suction and pressure pump to lubricate the engines. Dry sump lubrication also enables the V8 power unit to come up with a low mounting position. For exceptional weight distribution, the 8 cylinders are placed at an extremely low position coupled with transaxle transmission layout technique.

The tough-looking black exhaust end pipes deliver a distinctive 8-cylinder sound known to almost all AMG cars in the series. The rear hatch meanwhile comes with a highly useful regulation rain lamp that can be activated during emergencies. As a whole, The SLS AMG GT3 is meant to be one exciting sport vehicle by Mercedes.

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