Frankfurt 2009: Gullwing Mercedes SLS AMG World Premiere

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

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

Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

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