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Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT

The essence of AMG.

The SLS AMG is the first Mercedes designed in-house by AMG, and it uses the well-known 6.2-liter V-8 from Mercedes’ tuning division. The coupe’s gull-wing doors hark back to the 300SL, but the SLS replaced the more recent SLR. That car, produced in a joint venture with McLaren, cost nearly $500,000 — or more than twice as much as the SLS — and didn’t drive nearly as well. With dry-sump lubrication, revised camshafts and valves, and less-restrictive intake and exhaust systems, the SLS V-8’s peak output is 583 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. The SLS is a bit lighter than the SLR was and features a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission in place of the old five-speed torque converter automatic. The result is that the SLS is just as quick to 60 mph — Mercedes claims it can do the run in 3.6 seconds. Last year, the coupe was joined by a convertible that trades the gull-wing doors for a folding fabric roof. To compensate for rigidity that was lost when the roof was chopped of, the roadster features thicker side sills, additional supports for the structural cross member at the base of the windshield frame, and a curved brace between the strut towers of the rear suspension. The AMG GT’s balance is brilliant, its steering is quick and accurate, and its brakes are instantly responsive and fade resistant.

COMPETITORS

Aston Martin DB9

Audi R8

Ferrari California

Lamborghini Gallardo

new for 2013

Last year’s SLS AMG has been replaced by the SLS AMG GT. The implications for the prospective owner are about as serious as adding two letters to the car’s name, though. The transmission has been recalibrated, the suspension has been retuned, and the engine now makes 20 more hp. A well-trained eye will also pick up on darkened headlamp housings and taillights, gloss black finish on the mirror caps and grille, and GT badging.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

ABS; front, side, side curtain, and knee air bags; tire-pressure monitoring; parking sensors; a rearview camera; and traction and stability control are standard. There is no optional safety equipment on the SLS AMG GT.

MPG

CITY 14

HWY 20

PRO

Coupe’s doors look awesome

Brutish 6.2-liter V-8

Quick dual-clutch tranny

CON

Doors make entry difficult

More grand tourer than supercar

Base Price Range: $195,000–$210,000 (est.)

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Rear-wheel

TRIM LEVEL: SLS AMG GT

BODY STYLES: Coupe, convertible, 2-passenger

ENGINE: 6.2L V-8, 583 hp, 479 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION: 7-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: (convertible/coupe) 53.5/53.4 cu ft

CARGO SPACE: (convertible/coupe) 6.1/6.2 cu ft

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