The new Formula 1 Safety Car is the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT, which replaces the regular SLS that had marshalled the events at the F1 race since 2010. There have been several AMG safety cars that had served as safety cars in the past years at this event. The GT is basically a modified version of the present SLS supercar.
It delivers 583bhp from its 6.2-litre V8 (up 20bhp) and comes with a retuned dual-clutch gearbox that offers better shift times. With these revisions, the SLS can accelerate from zero to 62mph by about a tenth of a second faster to just 3.7 seconds. It has a limited top speed of 197mph. Another feature that’s new to the SLS GT is AMG Ride Control.
This is the replacement for the three-mode system on the current car. It supposedly improves its dynamics with its aggressive suspension tuning. The automaker will be unveiling a production version of the SLS GT at the Paris motor show before it arrives this November at the UK showrooms. Mechanically, it is identical to the safety car.
It features darkened head and tail lamp lenses and its fins and grille-mounted Mercedes badge have a gloss black finish to distinguish it from the standard SLS. The steering wheel gets a coating of Alcantara while the dials and sections of the dashboard and centre console have a gloss black finish.
Upholding the traditions of the Mercedes-AMG, the new version of AMG was improved, as much as possible, without further technical alterations or other lightweight design measures. Even its outstanding driving dynamics has been maintained courtesy of its noble sport car heritage.
Its Official F1 Safety Car tips only 1620 kg with its aluminum space frame and its dry-sump lubrication system, allowing for the low installation of the V8 engine and giving the vehicle a low center of gravity. This version also features a good 47.53 percent weight distribution ratio for the front and rear because of its improved engine positioning at the back of the front axle as well as the transaxle arrangement in the rear axle featuring dual-clutch transmission.
Common to all racing cars, this version is equipped with aluminum double-wishbone axles to ensure high concerning limits, superb quality, precise turn-in characteristics and low mass inertia in the event of a sudden change of direction.
Some of the feature of this new series-production version include the AMG’s 6.3-litre V8 front mid-engine with a maximum output of 435 kW (591 hp) and peak torque of 650 Newton meters, SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission combined with optimized shift times, the recently developed AMG RIDE CONTROL Performance suspension and high-performance ceramic composite brake system as well as the weight-reduced AMG 10-spoke forged light-alloy wheels painted in matte black and finished in high-sheen.
However, the only exception to this is the specially developed rear silencer also featured in the SLS AMG Official F1 Safety Car. It generates a more sensational V8 soundtrack. This new AMG races from 0 up to 100 km/h within 3.7 seconds and may reach the whopping 200 km/h mark in 11.2 seconds.