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First Look: 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

By KBB.com Editors on November 30, 2009 1:32 PM
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We won't have to wait until next week to see Mercedes-Benz' latest gull-winged wonder, as the automaker has just released the first official images of the 2011 SLS AMG supercar -- at least of the coupe version of this strikingly styled super-sportscar that recalls the timeless grace of the original M-B 300 SL. The accompanying release, while a massive 19 pages in length, mostly reconfirmed all of the key mechanical elements of the car that had already trickled out during the past few months of well-orchestrated "teaser" events. A quick recounting of the many impressive attributes to be found in the 3,571-pound SLS AMG include its all-aluminum bodywork and spaceframe construction, a mid/front-mounted naturally aspirated 6.3-liter AMG V8 engine that makes 563 horsepower and 479 lb.-ft of torque, and a new AMG SPEEDSHIFT dual-clutch transmission with seven speeds and four different programming modes. Couple this with the SLS AMG's racing-inspired double-wishbone suspension, high-performance three-stage ESP stability control and incredibly capable AMG ceramic-composite brakes and you've got a car that can rocket from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds -- and on to an electronically limited top speed of 195 mph -- possesses world-class corner carving potential and generates literal eye-popping deceleration forces.

Beneath its big, easy-access gullwing doors, the SLS AMG also pampers those within, teaming rich designo leather trim, heated sport seats and numerous AMG accents with functional features like Keyless-Go, THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control, SPEEDTRONIC distance-maintaining cruise control, PARKTRONIC parking assist and M-B's COMAND-APS integrated telematics/telecommunications/navigation system. Buyers will be able to choose from nine exterior colors, including two different matte-grey looks and a new AMG Alubeam Silver finish that uses nanoparticle paint pigment to create a finish that mimics the appearance of liquid metal.

Volker Mornhinweg, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH, says the new SLS AMG is represents far more than just modern-day homage to what has become one of the most widely recognized and admired automotive icons. "In the SLS AMG, our customers benefit first-hand from the expertise gleaned by Mercedes-AMG from more than 40 years of motor sports experience. Our aim with this interpretation is to create the classic car of the future and put the most beautiful sports car of the 21st century on the road. Another of our goals is to create a new design icon that, like other Mercedes models such as the CLS and the SL, will help shape the incomparable myth of our brand. At the same time, the new SLS is a harbinger of the design philosophy of future Mercedes-Benz sports cars." As the automaker revealed last month, that future also includes a roadster version of the SLS AMG -- as well as a full-electric all-wheel drive version. Initial sales on the SLS AMG coupe are set to start next summer, with a likely price in the $250,000-$200,000 range.

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