Mercedes-Benz is updating its SLS AMG supercar for the 2013 model year, adding more power, a recalibrated transmission and more dynamic suspension settings to make it worthy of its new GT title.
More hardcore in every way, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT, which comes in either coupe or convertible bodystyles, has been developed using experienced gained from racing the GT3 version of the SLS AMG
in various forms of motorsports.
Just one look at the technical specifications highlights the fact that AMG engineers have successfully elevated the dynamic profile of the SLS AMG GT closer to that of its racing sibling.
At its heart is the now familiar 6.3-liter V-8, but peak power has been lifted to 583 horsepower while peak torque is maintained at 479 pound-feet.
This results in a new 0-60 mph time of just 3.6 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 197 mph. Fuel economy, according to the automaker, is 14/20 mpg city/ highway and 15 mpg combined.
To go with the extra power, the car’s seven-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT dual-clutch transmission has been recalibrated for faster shifts when in "M" manual mode. Thanks to newly developed gear change logic and optimized transmission control, AMG engineers were able to shorten the shift time required for each gear change.
Furthermore, the automatic double-declutching function when downshifting is also more pronounced in the SLS AMG GT. Due to a modified engine mapping profile that changes the engine torque delivered in manual mode, the shift procedure is even quicker than previously.
The SLS AMG GT also benefits from a new AMG Adaptive Performance Suspension setup. While the car still features twin aluminum wishbones all around, it now sports some specially tuned electronically-adjustable dampers. Compared with the previous setup, the new suspension is said to be stiffer and much more aggressive overall.
The most hardcore setting for the suspension is “Sport plus" mode, which Mercedes-Benz says is proven to deliver faster lap times than with the regular SLS AMG. All of these settings are controlled via the AMG DRIVE UNIT, a carbon fiber encased control module located in the center console.
To set apart the latest SLS AMG GT, the car gets darkened lights, unique 20-inch wheels and red-painted brake calipers. A glossy black finish is used on elements such as the side mirror housing and fender strakes, while “GT” badging on the rear decklid should ensure no one mistakes the new car for the regular model.
Inside, there’s more of the glossy black finish on the center console and door panels, red seat-belts and red-trimmed floormats, and a custom AMG Performance steering wheel with a real metal insert and side grips finished in Alcantara.
In the U.S. Mercedes-Benz will be offering the 2013 SLS AMG GT exclusively, with the new car replacing all previous SLS AMG versions. First sales are scheduled to start in November.