Mercedes SLS - Return of the Gullwing!

posted Nov 21, 2009, 9:47 PM by Quentin Ballard Tremeer   [ updated Nov 21, 2009, 9:59 PM ]
Imagine my surprise when on a very ordinary day with a very irregular task I flew to Port Elizabeth to deliver a report to a government office in Grahamstown and on my way back saw two black cars all taped up rush past me in the opposite direction like they had been stolen and where being chased by the police.
They were going so fast I didn't even have a second to figure out what make or model they may be, but my first taste of a “car spy” moment has me hooked. I feel like buying a telephoto lens and going and camping out on the hills above car factories and test tracks around the country. All I knew was that they had a LONG bonnet- two metres long I later found out.

A few weeks later I found these spy pics on the internet and to my surprise it turned out to the fabulous new Mercedes SLS.
One day I want to be as cool as the Top Gear team. To be able to drive the development car around the Nurburgring... but for now I will have to be happy with my chance encounter. The SLS is Mercedes' all-new supercar and the spiritual successor to the 1954 300SL.

The long bonnet hides a 6.3-litre V8 from the Mercedes C63 AMG which has been hotted-up. 571bhp and 479lb ft of torque. Seven-speed dual-clutch box. 62mph in 3.8 seconds. Top speed 197mph. Nearly as quick as the outgoing McLaren-Mercedes SLR 722.

The SLS is actually mid-engined, despite that LONG nose. The V8 sits in front of the cabin but so far behind the front axle that the SLS has slightly rear-biased weight distribution.

Starting at approx £140,000 - the new McLaren 12C and the Ferrari 458 Italia are serious competitors. The SLS launches in the UK in 2010 and is likely to be followed by a roadster, a wicked Black Series edition and an all-electric version in 2012 (Why).

Wow, what a beautiful looking car. I would be hard pressed to choose the McLaren 12C over this (see my article on the McLaren).
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