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 |  Sep 15 2009, 4:59 AM

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Mercedes introduced the SLS AMG supercar, the spiritual successor to the legendary 300SL Gullwing, at the Frankfurt Auto Show.

Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 Formula One World Champion, was on hand for the SLS AMG’s premiere, hopping into the supercar’s driver seat as the press mobbed him.

Powered by the same 6.2-liter V8 engine found in all of AMG’s 63 models, but with reworked internals, the SLS makes a total of 563hp and 479 ft-lbs of torque – enough to propel the SLS AMG all the way to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 196 mph.

The engine uses a dry-sump lubrication system (great for serious abuse), as well as a transaxle and a double-clutch seven speed transmission. That tansaxle 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 projected 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

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 |  Sep 09 2009, 4:56 PM

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It may surprise you to learn that these are the first images of the new SLS AMG supercar from Mercedes. Not only does the car look startlingly familiar to the legendary 300SL Gullwing, but thanks to spy photos (some of which were even provided by Mercedes) and a few leaked images here and there, there’s a good change you’ve already seen this new 563hp retro-styled exotic.

Powered by the same 6.2-liter V8 engine found in all of AMG’s 63 models, but with reworked internals, the SLS makes a total of 563hp and 479 ft-lbs of torque – enough to propel the SLS AMG all the way to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 196 mph.

The engine uses a dry-sump lubrication system (great for serious abuse), as well as a transaxle and a double-clutch seven speed transmission. That tansaxle 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 projected 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.

As for the styling we have to say its growing on us. From some angles its achingly beautiful, while from others it’s just ok. We’ll report back as soon as it’s unveiled at the Frankfurt Auto Show on September 15th.

GALLERY: 2010 Mercedes SLS AMG

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