2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
The supercar rumormill is a wild and wily thing, only credible because the real-world cars that form its fodder are themselves so unbelievable. But it's not beyond the pale at all to think Mercedes-Benz's AMG tuning arm might already be hard at work cranking out a lightweight, ultra-performance Black Series version of its new 2010 SLS AMG supercar. With our own Marty Padgett live at the trackside launch of the car today, we're bringing you all the latest on the SLS AMG as well, including a pair of videos of the car in action.
Just revealed officially in September, the SLS AMG already has an all-electric version due to arrive in 2013. And while the SLS AMG itself is intended as a replacement for the McLaren co-built SLR, a black series variant could help Mercedes push into the truly high-end supercar market with a vehicle somewhat more accessible than the SL 65 AMG Black Series that currently tops its noir-themed range.
Not that the "standard" SLS AMG is hurting for power or performance; with its 6.2-liter AMG V-8 piping 571 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque through a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, the car's capable of 3.8-second 0-62 mph runs and a top speed of 197 mph. Expect the Black Series version to generate well over 600 horsepower and 500 pound-feet of torque.
Following on from the lessons learned with the SL 65 AMG Black Series, the SLS AMG Black Series could find itself clad with even more lightweight carbon fiber body panels, a highly-tuned version of the 6.0-liter V-12 AMG engine and a much more stripped-down, utilitarian interior. Even with all the weight savings, the SL 65 Black still tipped the scales at a hefty 4,114 pounds, roughly 600 pounds heavier than a standard SLS AMG. Yet it was still capable of 3.9-second 0-60 mph runs thanks to its 661-horsepower twin-turbo V-12 engine. The SLS AMG is pegged to keep its V-8 configuration, however.
Applying a similar set of modifications to the SLS AMG could end up with a car weighing in just over 3,000 pounds and priced from the upper $300,000s. It would likely be capable of low-three-second 0-60 mph times, a top speed in excess of 220 mph and offer unprecedented performance for the Mercedes-Benz marque, possibly eclipsing even the legendary CLK GTR road car.