Mercedes Releases More Details on its Upcoming SLS AMG Supercar
In case the earlier factory-sanctioned spy shots of a disguised prototype weren't enough, Mercedes-Benz has now put out a series of stylized sketches and interior images that provide an even clearer vision of what we can expect of the SLS AMG supercoupe when it arrives on the scene in 2010. Like the iconic 300 SL that inspired it, the first car totally developed in-house by AMG uses elegant "gullwing" doors as the centerpiece of its riveting design. Complementing that theme, the SLS's long hood and crisp shoulder line are set off by a completely new headlight treatment that flanks its dramatically proportioned grille and front air intakes. To further reinforce the character of the original 300SL, the SLS boasts bold side strakes and tightly drawn rear quarters set off by prominently flared fenderwells. Unlike the best-known Mercedes-Benz in history which used a direct injected 3.0-liter inline-six that made 222-225 horsepower, this modern homage packs a 6.2-liter/571-horsepower AMG V8 engine and a new, rear-mounted seven-speed AMG dual-clutch transmission that promises to take it from 0-60 mph in less than 3.8 seconds.
Inside, the two-passenger SLS AMG cabin melds its own new take on a driver-oriented cockpit with a number of more familiar M-B design cues including the flat-bottomed steering wheel that's similar to the one in the existing SLR model and a COMAND integrated controller on the console that is a standard-issue piece. As in all top M-B models, the SLS AMG will feature Nappa leather throughout. One unique but unexpected flourish is the retro-aero look of its aluminum-accented circular dash vents that hearken back to Mercedes-Benz cars of bygone days.
The new SLS AMG is expected to make its public debut next March at the Geneva Auto Salon with sales to begin by early summer. No firm word on pricing as yet, but it's estimated to fall into the $250,000-$300,000 range. Production numbers are equally vague, although 3,000-5,000 units annually over a two-year period seems most likely at the moment. Rumor has it that, like the original 300SL, a convertible version of the new SLS AMG also is in the works.