LA 2009: Mercedes Gives First “From-Scratch” AMG Model Its U.S. Debut in Los Angeles

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LA 2009: Mercedes Gives First “From-Scratch” AMG Model Its U.S. Debut in Los Angeles

With a very large percentage of all AMG vehicles sold in Southern California, it’s not surprising that Mercedes-Benz chose the LA Auto Show as the first North American location to showcase the performance brand’s first ever ground-up vehicle.

Inspired by the 300SL Gullwing, the new SLS AMG is powered by AMG’s first “from scratch” engine. That engine, a 6.2-liter mill, makes 563-hp and 479 ft-lbs of torque in the SLS – enough to propel the company’s new flagship sports car all the way to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 196 mph. Helping achieve that low sprint time is a sophisticated double-clutch automatic transmission, that can be operated via paddle shifters. The SLS is the first production Mercedes to get double-clutch technology.

The engine uses a dry-sump lubrication system (great for serious abuse), as well as a transaxle. That transaxle layout means that the tranny is located out back (for an ideal weight balance of 48/52) and it attached to the engine by a carbon fiber driveshaft.

The curb weight is just 3,571 lbs, due mostly to the fact that this is the first model Mercedes has ever produced with an all aluminum chassis and body. Weight is also saved by using carbon ceramic brakes and light weight wheels, that measure 19×9.5-inches up front and 20×11-inches in the rear. Tires measure 265/35/19 front and 295/30/22 rear.

GALLERY: Mercedes SLS AMG Debut in LA

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  • Erin Donohue

    That’s a bad ass looking car!