Well the details of the upcoming Mercedes SLS AMG Gullwing, the spiritual successor to the 300SL, just keep on aleakin’. We now know that there will be a 6.2L V8 under the hood and that its power will be routed to the wheels via a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
Oh, but there’s much, much more.
For starters, you get 5 points for noticing that the 6.2L V8 is related to the one in the C63 AMG (our 2008 Family Car of the Year), the difference being an output of 571 hp and 479 torques in the SLS. As such, 100 kph comes up in 3.8 seconds before hitting a top speed of about 315 kph. Slowing you down are track-ready carbon ceramic brakes. Which are completely necessary for bragging rights at the local TPC golf course.
Final kerb weight is expected to be in the neighbourhood of 1620 kg (3564 lbs), according to inside sources, with weight distribution being 48 front/52 rear.
The overall length of the car will be 4.65 metres with a wheelbase of 2.7 metres.
All of this is very impressive, but is the SLS AMG really the successor to the 300SL Gullwing? I don’t think that Mercedes’ nostalgic claim is any more true than BMW’s claim that the 135i is the successor to the 2002tii. It’s marketing hooey phooey. What the SLS AMG really is, is a successor to the SLR McLaren. Which, in my opinion, is great! The SLR was a brilliant grand tourer that oozed Germanic solidity. Unfortunately for the SLS AMG, while it will undoubtedly possess the same solidity, all of the retro-design cues fail to demonstrate any imagination by anyone at Mercedes. No doubt there are inventive technologies in play, but that’s not enough to evoke emotion. The SLR was unique, the SLS, nothing but a rehash.
Now the Gullwing-America 300SL Panamerica, now there’s emotion!