Mercedes re-enters the supercar market with the SLS AMG. The last time Mercedes swam in these waters, it partnered with the McLaren Formula One race team, but this car was designed completely in-house. Standout features include gull-wing doors and a 563-horsepower, 6.3-liter V-8 engine. Competitors include the Bentley Continental GT and Lamborghini Gallardo.
Mercedes says the design of the SLS AMG is meant to reinterpret the 300 SL, an iconic car most people recognize for its gull-wing doors. It's a design that features a long hood — nearly 6 feet long — and a short rear deck. The SLS AMG also features gull-wing doors. The front wheels measure 19 inches and the rears are 20-inchers. The SLS AMG's body and chassis are both made of aluminum, which Mercedes says was done to keep the weight of the car low.
The interior is supposed to evoke the feel of an aircraft cockpit, and the numerous buttons on the center console certainly help with that. There is also a lot of metal and long, angular planes to carry over the aircraft theme. The seats' backrests are made of magnesium, which is lightweight and strong. The seats are heavily bolstered to provide support when driving at high speeds.
Under the hood
The SLS AMG gets a 6.3-liter V-8 that produces 563 hp and 479 pounds-feet of torque. It teams with a dual-clutch, seven-speed automatic transmission. The SLS AMG is expected to go from zero to 60 mph in less than four seconds. Weight is distributed in a 47/53 front-to-rear ratio.
Safety equipment includes up to eight airbags, including adaptive front airbags, a knee airbag for the driver and front passenger, side-impact airbags integrated into the seats and curtain airbags that deploy from the side doors.