The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG has been the apex of the luxury automaker’s sports car lineup since 2011. In 2012, Mercedes released the GT variant of the SLS AMG as the official safety car in the Belgian Grand Prix. The GT variant was a highly desired car, but Mercedes did not offer it up to retail customers.
That was until now, as Mercedes announced it will offer up this model to the public for the first time. What’s more is that Mercedes has also released the official details on this all-new variant of the famed SLS AMG. Being the official F1 safety car, the 571 ponies that the standard SLS AMG’s 6.3-liter V-8 pumps out just won’t cut it, so we will see a nice boost in this variant’s powerplant.
Also included are minor aesthetic and functional additions to the interior. The real test is how this supercar stacks up to its competition, though there is not much out there that can compete with it.
Click past the jump to read all about the SLS AMG GT and to see how it stacks up to its competitors.
From a distance, the SLS AMG GT looks pretty much the same as the base SLS AMG. That’s not a bad thing, as the SLS AMG is likely one of the few supercars in the world that perfectly balances muscle and grace in its body design. Just like the SLS AMG, the GT variant will be available as either a roadster or a gullwing hardtop model, so you don’t have to sacrifice body style options when moving up to this new model.
Like its SLS AMG brother, the SLS AMG GT features a cab-rearward design, which positions the cabin nearer to the rear axle for better road feel, leaving an oddly long nose hanging out front. That long nose, however, is just a part of the SLS’s charm. The cross fins and famed Mercedes star emblem still rest in the center of the SLS GT’s front grille, but they are coated in high-gloss black paint, much like the side-view mirrors, and the fins covering the heat extractors on the hood and front fenders.
Also painted black, but in a matte finish then clear coated to give them sheen, are the AMG forged rims. These small additions of black to the exterior of the SLS AMG GT may seem almost unnoticeable, but it does give the GT model a darker and more sinister appearance, letting those around you know that’s no regular SLS AMG.
Also changed up are the headlights and taillights on this SLS AMG GT. Sure, they are the same design as the base SLS AMG, but they are darkened slightly to add to the already darker appearance of the GT model.
The only other addition to the SLS GT that lets unsuspecting challengers know that this is the more powerful GT variant is the “GT” tag affixed to the rear end.
The SLS AMG GT is not a small car by any stretch of the imagination. It measures in at 182.6 inches long x 1,939 inches wide x 49.7 inches high and it weighs in at a rather flabby 4,265 lbs in the coupe variant. As a roadster, the SLS AMG GT’s height drops by 0.1 inches and its weight increases to 4,321 lbs. This is certainly not your typical low-weight sports car and it will take a drivetrain of massive proportions to get this beat rolling.
Overall, we love what Mercedes did with the SLS AMG GT; it added just enough to set it apart, but retained the overall athletic look and feel of the SLS AMG’s exterior. This is something that Mercedes has really perfected over its history and we wish more automakers would follow its lead.
|Vehicle Length||4,638 mm (182.6 inches)|
|Vehicle Height||Coupe: 1,262 mm (49.7 inches) Roadster: 1,261 mm (49.6 inches)|
|Vehicle Width||1,939 mm (76.3 inches)|
|Wheelbase||2,680 mm (105.5 inches)|
|Curb Weight||Coupe: 1,935 kg (4,265 lbs) Roadster: 1,960 kg (4,321 lbs)|
|Weight Distribution (Front/Rear)||45 percent/55 percent|
- AMG Carbon-Fiber Mirrors
- AMG Carbon-Fiber Engine Cover
- AMG 10-Spoke Forged Rims in Varying Colors
On the inside, the SLS AMG GT takes the SLS AMG’s already luxurious and sporty look and adds a racecar feel to it. You get a set of sports seats that hug you like the aunt you barely know does during a holiday family get together, but without that awkward feeling. These seats are wrapped in leather with Alcantara center sections and an embossed badge on each headrest.
The Alcantara treatment continues to the door panels, giving the interior a very luxurious, soft-touch feel. The entire interior is draped in black, but the red accent stitching and seatbelts help contrast the black nicely. You’ll find this contrasting stitching on the seats, center console, floor mats, door panels, and dashboard.
On the outside, Mercedes added in the dark accents and it carried this theme into the interior. You’ll find high-gloss-black AMG trim on the center console, the door panel lining, the cross-shaped air vents, and the metal insert on the steering wheel. Speaking of the steering wheel, it is a flat-bottomed piece with a red dot at the 12 o’ clock position, so you can easily find center, should you choose to race this ultra-powerful buggy.
Mercedes finished off the interior with a black AMG instrument cluster.
For an extra €5,771.50 ($7,566 at current exchange rates), you can add in the AMG designo Exclusive Style leather. This upgrade is available in a single color or two-tone and adds a diamond design with contrasting stitching to the seats and door panels. You can have this upgrade in three combinations: mocha brown and porcelain, titanium grey pearl and porcelain, or mystic red and porcelain.
For that extra-sporty look, you can opt for the AMG Interior Carbon-Fiber package. This includes carbo-fiber trim, seat back and sides, and door sill panels. You can also purchase an optional AMG Performance Media system.
If the SLS AMG GT’s stock stereo system isn’t enough for you, you can add in the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound system for a whopping €7,080.50 ($9,281 at current exchange rates). This surround-sound system punches 1,000 watts through 11 speakers and is adjustable to be driver- or passenger-centric, or you can set it to be non-biased.
|Seating||Leather/Alcantara Sport Seating|
|Steering Wheel||Flat-Bottomed w/ Metal Insert and 12 o’clock Reference|
|AMG designo Exclusive Style leather||€5,771.50 ($7,566 at current exchange rates)|
|AMG Interior Carbon-Fiber package||TBD|
|Bang & Olufsen BeoSound system||€7,080.50 ($9,281 at current exchange rates)|
Engine and Drivetrain
Okay, enough with the cute stuff, let’s move onto what you’re really here to learn about: the drivetrain. Under the hood is a familiar sight, the same 6.3-liter V-8 engine that you’ll find in the SLS AMG. This 6.3-liter engine pumps out an amazing 591 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 650 Nm (479 pound-feet) of torque at 4,750 rpm, which is a 20-horsepower increase over the SLS AMG. As you can tell from the high engine speeds required to reach the peak horsepower and torque, this is a naturally-aspirated engine. The engine can reach a max speed of 7,050 rpm and features an amazing 11.3-to-1 compression ratio, which likely means tons of maintenance in its later years.
The engine mates up to Mercedes 7-speed sports transmission. AMG tuned this transmission to shift in a more responsive manner when you put it in manual mode, giving you racecar-like performance. This dual-clutch shoots the 591 ponies to the rear wheels without the use of a separate differential, as it is mounted in the rear axle. This helps minimize horsepower loss through the driveline.
So, with 591 ponies and a curb weight over 4,000 lbs, you may expect slightly above average performance. Not true; Mercedes managed to tune the SLS AMG GT to hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.7 seconds – the same time as the base SLS AMG – and hit an electronically-limited 320 km/h (198 mph). The SLS AMG GT is also capable of hitting 200 km/h (124 mph) in just 11.2 seconds.
The vast majority of SLS AMG GT buyers couldn’t care less about the CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of this monster, but we have to take a look at it. It is rated at 19.91 l/100 km (11.8 mph) in the city and 9.3 l/100 km (25.3 mpg) on the highway, resulting in a combined 13.2 l/100 km (17.8 mpg). Honestly, for a car of this type, that’s not too bad. In terms of CO2 emissions… Well, you may want to look the other way if you are trying to also be “green,” as it dumps 308 grams of CO2 per km.
Engine and Drivetrain Specifications:
|Engine Type||6.3-Liter, 32-Valve V-8|
|Engine Power||591 Horsepower at 6,800 rpm|
|Engine Torque||650 Nm (479 Pound-Feet) at 4,750 rpm|
|Transmission Type||7-Speed Dual-Clutch Automated Manual|
|Drive Type||Rear-Wheel Drive|
|0-100 km/h (0-62 mph)||3.7 Seconds|
|0-200 km/h (0-124 mph)||11.2 Seconds|
|Top Speed||320 km/h (198 mph) Electronically Limited|
|Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined)||19.91 l/100 km (11.8 mpg) / 9.3 l/100 km (25.3 mpg) / 13.2 l/100 km (17.8 mpg)|
|CO2 Emissions||308 g/100km|
Braking and Handling
The SLS AMG GT comes with the all-new AMG Ride Control Performance suspension system, which is essentially a higher spring rate and fine-tuned dampers. This system also eliminates the option to choose between “Comfort” and “Sport” modes, because who the hell wants “Comfort” in this car? Instead, AMG tuned the suspension to an optimum setting that gives you the best balance of the two.
There is, however, a “Sport Plus” mode that stiffens the dampers on smooth roads, giving you precision handling and a better feel of the road. The Ride Control Performance system changes between these two modes in a fraction of a second, so there is no ramp-up time to getting you precise handing or better shock absorption.
At the front and rear, you get a double wishbone configuration, which allows the left and right sides to work independently of each other at all times. This keeps the 265/35R19 and 295/30R20 tires on the front and rear, respectively, glued to the road’s surface.
On the corners, you have four-wheel disc brakes that are cross-drilled and vented to help dissipate heat. The rotors are two-piece units to help farther reduce its heat absorption.
|Steering Type||Rack-And-Pinion w/ Electric Power Steering|
|Suspension Type||Double Wishbone Front & Rear w/ AMG Ride Control Performance|
|Tires (Front/Rear)||265/35R19 / 295/30R20|
|Brakes||Four-Wheel Ventilated and Cross-Drilled Disc|
Pricing and Availability
As expected, the SLS AMG GT is rather pricey. In Germany, the SLS AMG GT runs €204,680 ($268,315 at current exchange rates) in coupe form and in roadster form it comes in at €213,010 ($279,235 at the current exchange rates). The SLS AMG GT is currently available for pickup at the AMG Customer Center in Affalterbach, but there is no mention of its pricing and availability in the U.S.
|2013 SLS AMG GT Coupe||€204,680 ($268,315)|
|2013 SLS AMG GT Roadster||€213,010 ($279,235)|
You can’t really compare the SLS AMG GT to the likes of the Lamborghini Aventador or the Ferrari 458 Italia , as those are true supercars that are significantly faster, but lack the refinement of the Benz. You can, however compare it to other luxury brands, like Aston Martin and Jaguar.
The closest competition that the SLS AMG GT gets is from the Aston Martin DBS and DBS Volante . These powerhouses boast a 5.9-liter V-12 engine that pumps 510 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. This immediately puts the DBS at a significant horsepower loss. When you toss in the DBS and DBS Volante’s fit 3,737- and 3,990-pound curb weights, the playing field starts to level out. Unfortunately, the weight savings is still not enough, as the DBS gets to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.3 seconds – 0.6 seconds slower than the SLS AMG GT.
In terms of style, the two are equals, but vastly different. The SLS AMG GT boasts a more classic style, whereas the Aston Martin boasts a more modern body. The DBS gets a slight edge here, thanks to the fact that it has rear seats – if you can call those tiny things “seats.”
When it comes to pricing, the SLS AMG GT comes out a little bit on top, as the DBS Coupe runs $275,461 and the DBS Volante runs $290,461. Add in the fact that the Mercedes is bound to be a rarer find and that you likely couldn’t care less about having rear seats and the Mercedes wins out, hands down.
|Specification||Mercedes SLS AMG GT||Aston Martin DBS||Advantage|
|Engine Output||591 Horsepower and 650 Nm (479 Pound-Feet) of Torque||510 Horsepower and 420 Pound-Feet of Torque||Mercedes SLS AMG GT|
|Transmission||7-Speed Dual Clutch Automated Manual||6-Speed Manual||Mercedes SLS AMG GT|
|0-to-60 mph||< 3.7 Seconds||4.3 Seconds||Mercedes SLS AMG GT|
|Top Speed||198 mph||191 mph||Mercedes SLS AMG GT|
|Weight||4,265 lbs to 4,321 lbs||3,737 lbs to 3,990 lbs||Aston Martin DBS|
|Pricing||Coupe: €204,680 ($268,315) Roadster: €213,010 ($279,235)||Coupe: $275,461 Roadster: |
|Mercedes SLS AMG GT|
We absolutely fell in love with the SLS AMG GT once we saw it, but it’s not perfect. First off, Mercedes likely could have milked much more power out of the 6.3-liter V-8 engine. Secondly, it is not as feature-packed as a nearly $300K car should be and the options that put it where it should be are outrageously priced. At the price Mercedes is asking, this car should be able to just about compete with the Aventador, but it simply cannot hang with it in any shape or form.
However, if you are looking for a well-behaved car on the road that you can get into a little trouble with, the SLS AMG GT is the way to go. Its adaptive suspension gives you a better ride that any Lamborghini or Ferrari can give, plus you are getting a limited edition of a limited edition model, so it is bound to be worth some serious scratch in the future.
- Kept the outside simple with only basic changes
- 20 extra ponies is nice
- Sweet-looking interior
- Needs more standard features
- Outrageously priced options (Nearly $10K for a sound system?)
- So much more power potential in this engine, unleash it already!
Gallery Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT
The new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT boasts enhanced driving dynamics and even better race track performance. With a maximum output of 435 kW (591 hp), the optimised AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission and the redeveloped AMG RIDE CONTROL Performance suspension, the SLS AMG GT – which is available both as a Coupé and a Roadster – has raised the bar even higher. As a further highlight, the new high-quality AMG designo Exclusive STYLE leather is now also available as an optional extra for all SLS AMG models.
According to Tobias Moers, Board Member and Head of Overall Vehicle Development for Mercedes-AMG GmbH: "The new SLS AMG GT demonstrates the sort of potential which lies in AMG’s super sports cars. With its even higher levels of performance, the SLS AMG GT excites out on the race track in particular by providing an emotionally enjoyable and passionate driving experience."
Masculine and decidedly athletic: with darkened headlamps and tail lights as well as red-painted brake callipers, the new SLS AMG GT also features a unique look. The wing-shaped cross fins and the star recess in the radiator grille also retain a high-gloss finish, as do the exterior mirrors and the fins on the bonnet and wings. The AMG logo on the right of the boot lid also features the additional letters "GT".
One look at the technical specifications highlights the fact that AMG has succeeded in enhancing the dynamic profile of the SLS AMG GT even further. The maximum output of the AMG 6.3-litre V8 front mid-engine is 435 kW (591 hp) at 6800 rpm, while the maximum torque is 650 Nm at 4750 rpm. The SLS AMG GT accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 3.7 seconds, and can reach a speed of 200 km/h in 11.2 seconds.
The key data at a glance:
|Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT|
|Valves per cylinder||4|
|Bore x stroke||102.2 x 94.6 mm|
|Output||435 kW (591 hp) at 6800 rpm|
|Max. torque||650 Nm at 4750 rpm|
|Fuel consumption NEDC combined||13.2 l/100 km|
|CO2 emissions||308 g/km|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||3.7 s|
|Top speed||320 km/h*|
* electronically limited
Mercedes-AMG has achieved the output of 435 kW (591 hp) through in-engine dethrottling measures in conjunction with an increase in peak pressure. The GT version of the AMG 6.3-litre eight-cylinder front mid-engine responds with even greater agility to accelerator pedal movements and excites with even sportier-tuned performance characteristics. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7‑speed sports transmission located on the rear axle is more direct and spontaneous in the manual "M" transmission mode: thanks to newly developed gear change functions and optimised transmission control, it has been possible to shorten reaction time significantly. When changing gears manually via the real metal shift paddles on the AMG Performance steering wheel, control commands right through to the noticeable gear change are executed markedly quicker than previously – all of which is ideal when striving to achieve some ambitious lap times on a closed-off race circuit.
The reaction time experienced by the driver is made even more emotional as a result of more distinct gear changes. The automatic double-declutching function when shifting down is also more pronounced in the SLS AMG GT. Due to an increase in engine torque in manual mode, the shift procedure is even quicker than previously – and is accompanied by some passionate acoustic feedback for the driver. Overall, the optimisation of the dual clutch transmission complements the sporty nature of the SLS AMG GT perfectly.
New AMG RIDE CONTROL Performance suspension
But it is not just the AMG 6.3-litre V8 front mid-engine and the optimised dual clutch transmission which are responsible for increasing the driving dynamics of the SLS AMG GT. The newly developed AMG RIDE CONTROL Performance suspension also enhances the vehicle’s sportiness. In the case of the SLS AMG GT, Mercedes-AMG has combined the sophisticated suspension layout with twin aluminium wishbones all round and variable, electronically controlled damping. Compared with the AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension, the new AMG RIDE CONTROL Performance suspension features basically stiffer spring/damper tuning and dispenses with "Comfort" mode.
"Sport" mode is recommended as the optimum setting for undulating road surfaces and routes requiring increased suspension travel – such as found on rural roads or the legendary North Loop of the Nürburgring, for example. The control algorithm of the AMG RIDE CONTROL Performance suspension reacts best to fluctuations in the road surface with a tendency towards lower damper force levels. The resulting effect is the best possible performance by effectively preventing rolling and pitching and providing excellent contact with the road when adopting a sporty driving style. The enhanced driving dynamics and even better race track performance are measureable: as part of an internal comparison with the SLS AMG, the SLS AMG GT was able to achieve faster lap times on a race track.
"Sport plus" provides higher damping forces and features specific control algorithms which have been adjusted for a decidedly sporty driving style on routes with a level road surface - such as when trying to achieve ambitious lap times on a race circuit such as Hockenheim.
Selection of suspension modes via the AMG DRIVE UNIT
Depending on the driving conditions, speed and vehicle load, the AMG RIDE CONTROL Performance suspension adjusts the damping characteristics at lightning speed and automatically reduces the roll angle of the body. The two modes can be selected via a button on the AMG DRIVE UNIT. The activated suspension mode is indicated by means of indicator lamps on the button and the display in the AMG main menu.
As standard, the vehicle comes with 265/35 R 19 tyres on the front and 295/30 R 20 tyres on the rear, fitted to weight-optimised AMG forged light-alloy wheels featuring a 10-spoke design and painted in matt black and with a high-sheen finish. Three additional AMG light-alloy wheels are also available.
Interior with consistently sporty highlights
The interior too features a consistently sporty design: the SLS AMG GT combines the high-quality, exclusive ambience of a true AMG model with the functional atmosphere of a racing car. The sports seats not only have an embossed badge on the head restraints, but the centre sections are also finished in Alcantara. Continuing the theme, Alcantara is also found on the door centre panels. The black interior appointments are combined with red seat belts, plus all of the contrasting stitching on the AMG sports seats, the centre console and the door panel lining is finished in red too. The floor mats also feature red edging.
The high-gloss black AMG trim on the centre console and door panel lining perfectly matches the high-gloss black edging on the adjustable cross-shaped air vents and the high-gloss real metal insert on the AMG Performance steering wheel with flattened lower section. The grip area is finished in Alcantara, while the upper part of the steering wheel has a red 12 o’clock marking. The AMG instrument cluster is fitted with a black faceplate – at the top it also features an upshift indicator with seven LEDs.
AMG designo Exclusive STYLE leather for all SLS AMG models
Also now available for all SLS AMG models is a new, highly exclusive optional extra in the form of AMG designo Exclusive STYLE leather. This high-quality extra is available in single or two-tone finishes and comprises distinctive upholstery with a diamond design with contrasting stitching. The lavishly finished diamond design features not only on the AMG sports seats, but also on the door centre panels.
Other highlights include a designo leather finish for the entire dashboard, the beltlines and door armrests, the handrest on the centre console, AMG floor mats in black with porcelain leather edging, roof lining in Alcantara ® porcelain, and the parcel shelf (Coupé) or roll-over bar (Roadster). Seams finished in contrasting colours create exciting highlights and underscore the high-quality, hand-finished nature of this new leather package. Available colour combinations include mocha brown/porcelain, titanium grey pearl/porcelain and mystic red/porcelain. The colours of all of the elements of the interior appointment such as the roof liner, carpet and centre console are perfectly matched to each other.
Other attractive optional extras for all SLS AMG models include (extract):
- AMG carbon-fibre exterior mirrors
- AMG carbon-fibre engine compartment cover
- AMG Interior Carbon-Fibre package (carbon-fibre trim, trim on seat backrest and side, door sill panels)
- AMG ceramic high-performance composite braking system
- AMG Performance Media
- AMG 10-spoke forged wheels in other colour variants
- AMG carbon-fibre trim
- AIRSCARF (Roadster)
- Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG surround sound system
The market launch of the SLS AMG GT will commence in October 2012. An overview of the pricing for Germany is as follows (incl. 19% VAT):
SLS AMG GT: 204,680 euros
SLS AMG GT Roadster: 213,010 euros
AMG designo Exclusive STYLE leather: 5771.50 euros
Six SLS AMG models
The SLS AMG Coupé presented in 2009 was the first vehicle developed independently by Mercedes-AMG. The spectacular gullwing model was followed in 2011 by the open-top SLS AMG Roadster as well as the SLS AMG GT3 customer sports racing car. Having secured 26 victories and the FIA GT3 European championship title, the SLS AMG GT3 was the most successful newcomer to the world of motorsport in 2011. With the new SLS AMG GT, available as a Coupé and Roadster, the model range has now grown to five variants. The sixth model is expected to follow in 2013 in the form of the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-CELL: Mercedes-AMG is planning an exclusive series-production run of the purely electric-driven super sports car.
The specific assembly area for the SLS AMG is located in the largest Mercedes-Benz production plant in Sindelfingen. The AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine comes directly from the AMG engine workshop in Affalterbach, where it is hand-assembled according to the traditional "one man, one engine" philosophy.
40 significant awards for the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
The SLS AMG has succeeded in winning numerous comparison tests against
a host of international competitors conducted by the international specialist media – both as the gullwing model and the Roadster. Since its world premiere at the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt in 2009 and the presentation of the SLS AMG Roadster in May 2011, the super sports car from Mercedes-AMG has picked up a total of 40 awards – including such major prizes as the "German Design Award", the "Red Dot Design Award", the "Golden Steering Wheel 2009", "Classic of the Future", "Sports Car of the Year", "Best Performance Car" and "Legends on Wheels".