By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor - Updated Date: 7/11/2012
Of the hundreds of cars produced for 2012, only a handful truly stand out as collectables the moment they leave the showroom floor. The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupe and Roadster are two such cars, infusing styling, technology and heritage to create a mobile work of art destined for a place in automotive history. Mercedes tasked its in-house AMG performance team with reanimating the SLS AMG, and the division has met the task with straight As. The SLS can dash to 60 mph in under four seconds, accelerate to 200 mph and round corners with the best from Ferrari, Audi and Aston Martin. In the 2012 SLS AMG, Mercedes now has a car unique from the ground up, with an emphasis as much on performance as on visual appeal.You'll Like This Car If...
If you fancy yourself someone who likes to be part of history as it's being made, you'll love every moment as others see you behind the wheel of the 2012 SLS AMG. Of course, the SLS AMG's performance credentials are equally appealing.You May Not Like This Car If...
If you're looking for a coupe that's as easy to live with as it is to drive, the SLS AMG's gullwing style is awkward and heavy doors may prove annoying after the novelty wears off.What's New for 2012
For 2012, Mercedes-Benz adds a convertible version of the SLS AMG. The roadster loses the gullwing door design, but retains the same thrilling performance in a package that is equally attractive.Driving It Driving Impressions
We were halfway expecting a lap or two behind the wheel of the Mercedes-Benz's 2012 SLS AMG would mimic our time in MB's SL63 AMG roadster, a car that shares the same engine, but little else. We were wrong. The SLS AMG has a driving experience quintessentially its own, highlighted by the insane quick acceleration from the 6.3-liter V8 beefed up to produce 563 horsepower. Combine this power with the SLS's all-aluminum body and frame and you have the equivalent of taping a bottle rocket to a paper airplane. The equally lightweight aluminum suspension parts are magnificent foot soldiers in the war against g-forces, holding the SLS in the corners while telegraphing precise feedback to the driver via the thick, grippy steering wheel. But, be warned. Even with all its electronic traction control hardware, the SLS's rear end can easily be made to step out, especially when the throttle is engaged or disengaged too quickly.Favorite Features
Mercedes' clever design allows the lightweight SLS top to stow itself in a small, shallow well behind the rear seat, leaving what precious little cargo space the 6.1 cubic-foot trunk has to offer completely intact.
EVERYTHING ELSE ABOUT IT, TOO
In the 2012 SLS AMG Coupe and Roadster, Mercedes-Benz has created a completely modern masterpiece endowed with a sense of the classic that, in many ways, only Mercedes-Benz can lay claim to.