The successor to the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing from the 1950s (and replacement for the SLR) has finally been revealed today with a new batch of high-resolution photos after months of drip-fed teasers and spy shots. Picking up the official title of SLS AMG--a nod to its exclusive development by Mercedes- official in-house tuner, AMG--the latest model is set to grace the stands at next week's 2009 Frankfurt auto show before going on sale early next year.
In true gullwing style, the 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG features a pair of vertically lifting doors that almost resemble wings once fully extended. These are bolted to a new aluminum spaceframe, which provides an almost perfect front-to-rear weight distribution of 48-to-52%.
Power comes from a revised version of AMG's now-familiar 6.2L V-8 mated to an all-new 7-speed dual-clutch transmission mounted on the rear axle. Peak output stands at 571 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Changes to the engine include a new magnesium intake with eight separate velocity stacks, two electronically controlled throttle plates, a high-flow exhaust and a new dry-sump lubrication system.
The engine is located up front but is mounted behind the front axle for better weight distribution. The SLS AMG's final kerb weight is around 3,571 pounds, and with the V-8 mill it's claimed to accelerate from 0-62 mph in 3.8 seconds and reach a top speed in excess of 195 mph.
As for the new dual-clutch gearbox, the unit was developed by AMG and boasts fast gear changes with no loss of tractive force. The driver has a choice of four different driving modes, ranging from comfortable to extremely sporty, as well as a RACESTART function. The suspension set-up is equally advanced, with double wishbones and hub carriers made of lightweight forged aluminum. Stopping power comes from carbon-ceramic discs, and these are mounted within 19 inch light-alloy wheels.
The car's dimensions have also been revealed, measuring in at 4.65 m in length, 1.95 m across and just 1.25 m in height. The wheelbase stretches just 2.7 m.
Standard features includes the COMAND APS, leather trim, an electronic parking brake, headlamp assist, keyless ignition, PARKTRONIC, rain sensors, heated seats, AMG floor mats, cruise control, sports pedals and THERMOTRONIC. Optional goodies include a 6-disc DVD charger, Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG sound system, alarm, and several AMG paint schemes include the special Alubeam Silver.
AMG is also offering several performance modifications including a carbon-fiber bonnet, carbon side mirrors, carbon trim, stiffer suspension settings, forged 10-spoke wheels, sports bucket seats and a performance steering wheel finished in leather and Alcantara.
The starting price in Germany is set at €177,310 (approximately $257,232). U.S. pricing should be revealed closer to the car's sales launch, pegged for early next year as a 2010 model.