When they're not trying to win races, race car drivers often drive cushy, well-appointed luxury cars. When you endure the punishment of a racetrack, you want something comfortable for the ride home.
That's not the case with IndyCar racer Graham Rahal, who counts among his toys a supercharged, 825-horsepower version of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series. The Black Series SLS AMG was the final send-off for the reimagined Gullwing, and thanks to its beefed-up, 622-hp 6.3-liter V-8, it makes for an excellent tuning canvas.
Enter Weistec and its series of power-adding upgrades. Rahal owns a tuning shop that sells and installs Weistec parts. Weistec's CEO, Michael Weiss, brought Rahal's SLS to Jay Leno's Garage so Leno could sample the modern Gullwing formula with a little extra punch.
Leno describes Rahal's 6.2-liter SLS as "tastefully modified," sporting a supercharger, a full exhaust, and other supporting modifications included in Weistec's SLS825 package. This is considered a mild build for the SLS; Weistec offers much beefier upgrades for those who want to upgrade the engine internals. The company aims to make its modifications look like they came from the factory.
Leno says early on that he never had the opportunity to drive the reincarnated Gullwing, which was only built from the 2011 to 2015 model years, despite owning a classic '55 Mercedes-Benz 300SL, which he describes as one of his favorite cars.
Weiss and Leno walk around Rahal's monster, and Weiss shows off the tweaks Mercedes made for the Black Series as well as the changes his company made. The engine bay looks like it's clean enough to be factory as well.
Like just about all Jay Leno's Garage videos, this one ends with Jay taking it for a spin. The experience gives Jay the opportunity to hear the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 at full song. Give it a watch.