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What happens when doing choreographed burnouts grows passé? For Mercedes’ performance arm AMG, it means finding new use for its engine.
We’ve already known that former Formula 1 double world champion Mika Häkkinen will be piloting an SLS AMG GT3, and now we have our first preview of him preparing to get back behind the wheel in a competitive fashion.
It’s been four long years since Mika has raced competitively, so it’s interesting to see how Mercedes-Benz is hyping it up. Really for us, the video is all about staring at the amazingly beautiful SLS AMG GT3 taking laps around a real race track in its full glory. There is seriously very few race cars that rivals the SLS AMG GT3 in the aesthetics department.
Check out the video after the break.
A little jealous of what Jay Leno was allowed to do recently with AMG? It’s OK, we were too. But now AMG is offering what are being called ‘Emotion Tours’ to satisfy those who want to visit AMG’s factory and enjoy a few lifestyle events surrounded by some of the Mercedes performance brand’s best vehicles. If you’re a hardcore Mercedes-Benz fanatic, or looking to cross another item off your bucket list – you know, the one where you want to drive a SLS AMG GT3 on the track – then AMG’s Emotion Tours are for you.
The tours can range from a day through AMG’s factory and Performance Studio in Affalterbach while enjoying a standard AMG automobile for around $530, or for a little over $810 you’ll be able to enjoy guided test drives behind the wheel of the infamous SLS AMG.
Then there are the lifestyle tours which include guided test drives in various AMG vehicles while enjoying wine and fine dining, or touring through Montreux and enjoying the famous Garden Party and Jazz Festival on Lake Geneva. Or there’s the golf tour where you’ll enjoy nine holes in Munich. Race junkies can take part in the Tour DTM, where they’ll be able to witness DTM racing up-close and personal.
Those with big wallets can take part in other tours including the Masters SLS AMG experience, which will eventually graduate you into campaigning a full blown SLS AMG GT3 race car on the track against others. Definitely a great way to enjoy the sights and sounds of Europe.
It certainly wasn’t the ideal result for the first outing of Team AMG Mercedes and their SLS AMG GT3 race car. Piloted by Bernd Schneider and Thomas Jäger, the team recently had its maiden voyage at the VLN Langstrecken Meisterschaft Nürburgring.
The race car is powered by the exact same 6.2-liter AMG V8 that’s found in the production car and was a total of 8 seconds off the pole in the qualifying sessions. But that’s not the bad part. Driver Bernd Schneider made an overly aggressive move trying to cut into a corner in wet conditions and the result was a collision with a Corvette GT3 that caused the SLS AMG to spin around, ultimately being hit by an Audi R8 LMS race car.
The car received mostly cosmetic damage in the rear, making it out back on the track in less than 30 minutes. It finished 89th place overall once the race was cut short.
We’re sure the team got a lot of data and information to continue fine tuning the race car. We can’t wait to see its next outing. Make sure to check out the first video where the crash occurs around the 30 second mark. The second one is purely for your pleasure; listen to how good the SLS AMG GT3 sounds.
GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 Race Car
[Source: Jon Sibal]
The Mercedes SLS AMG is a stunning looking machine, and a serious performer. Better yet is the FIA regulation GT3 model, which debuted at the New York Auto Show earlier this year. Up until now we’ve only seen this vehicle in a pristine racing white, but now Mercedes has rolled out an all-chrome version of the racing machine, in association with Laureus.
Unveiled at the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim, Mercedes is helping to support and promote the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which works to get kids off the street and away from drugs though sports.
Based on the street car and powered by the same 6.2-liter AMG V8 engine, the SLS AMG GT3 gets a six-speed sequential racing transmission and ultra-low curb weight to deliver a 0-60 mph time of just 3.5 seconds. That light-weight body is made entirely of carbon fiber, with impressive new aerodynamics including a massive front splitter, rear diffuser and enormous rear spoiler. Compared to the road car, the GT3’s bodywork is two inches wider, enough to accommodate some massive center locking 18×12-inch front and 18×13-inch rear wheels with racing slicks. Inside those wheels is a special composite AMG race braking system with six-piston front calipers and four-piston rear calipers.
Mercedes has announced the FIA GT3 spec car is able to compete in all FIA GT3 series, including the 24-hour races at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, and on the Nürburgring in Germany. There’s no word on a factory backed team and initially Mercedes will offer the car for sale to customers this Fall, with delivery set for just ahead of next year’s racing season.
GALLERY: Chrome SLS AMG GT3
GALLERY: Mercedes SLS AMG GT3
[*UPDATE*] Official info available after the jump, with official images added to the gallery [*UPDATE*] Several images of a GT3-style version of the Mercedes SLS AMG exotic have surfaced online, reportedly showing the upcoming racing version of the flagship performance model from Mercedes. No details are yet available, but much can be surmised from the photos. Along with specially designed aerodynamics replacing much of the standard bodywork, there’s a big carbon front lip spoiler, special cannards, a vented hood and massive rear spoiler.
Inside the car is a true racer with carbon fiber racing seats, a carbon center console and racing digital dash – which even has lights to notify the driver when to shift.
There’s now word on engine modifications, but we don’t expect a bit increase from the already potent 563-hp, 6.2-liter V8.
According to the Mercedes-Benz-Passion blog, full details are set to be released on March 27th, with the car set for its racing debut in the Spring of next year.
GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 Race Car
Source: Mercedes Benz Passion via WorldCarFans]
Official release after the jump: