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gull wing openSince its inception in 2009, the SLS AMG has been creating quite a stir in the automotive world. Whether you choose the GT3 Racing version, the F1 Safety Car, the Black Series, the Electric Drive, or the FINAL EDITION, you can count in the latest and greatest in breathtaking design, awe-inspiring power, and superb driving dynamics. As one of the most capable performance vehicle lines ever produced, the SLS has been offered in configurations that range from 563 to 740 horsepower combined with the necessary traction and handling tools to provide enthusiasts a one-of-a-kind driving experience. It is an experience which perfectly straddles a line between total control and utter chaos.

SLS Model Timeline:

Mercedes-Benz introduces what will become the SLS AMG Coupe with a market launch taking place in 2010.

  • 2011 – The spectacular gull-wing model was introduced along with the SLS AMG GT3 customer sport racing model.
  • 2012 – The SLS AMG GT takes over the role of official Formula 1 Safety Car at the Shell Belgian Grand Prix.
  • 2013 – The two most powerful SLS AMG cars to date are released. The SLS AMG Coupe Black packs 622 horsepower and the SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive boasts 740 horsepower.

roadster frOutstanding quality and craftsmanship in vehicle design and production has ensured that these timeless models were not only instant classics which will remain in our hearts forever but also highly competitive forces on the track. The SLS AMG GT3 has experienced unprecedented success in the ADAC GT Masters, the FIA GT3 European Championship, and the FIA GT1 World Championship, as well as victories in over 100 racing contests on five separate continents. Specializing in long distance events such as the Bathurst 12-hour (in Australia), the Dubai 24-hour race (India), 24-hours of Nurburgring (Germany), and the Total 24-hours of Spa (run on the Circuit de’ Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium), the SLS GT3 realized a climactic finish in 2013 when it won the grand slam of classic GT3 endurance races posting 4 victories in succession and winning the hotly contested Blancpain Endurance Series championship.



gw frontIn fitting style, the 2105 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG FINAL EDITION was released in the fall of 2014. In what Mercedes-Benz is calling “a victory lap for a performance legend” the 2015 model will be produced as a limited run of only 350-units, globally. At a starting price of $221,580 (plus a minimum of $1,000 in destination fees), this could afford wealthy consumers a chance to get in on a tremendous collector opportunity. Undoubtedly, the SLS AMG FINAL EDITION will not decrease in value as mere mortal cars but increase every year depending largely on the total number of units sold. If you are considering the purchase from a collector’s standpoint, then you can’t go wrong with a guarantee of only 350 production units worldwide. After all, this is the first vehicle to be designed and built exclusively (from the ground up) by the AMG performance wing of Mercedes-Benz.

roadster downThe 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT FINAL EDITION, like all other SLS AMG cars which precede her, exemplifies individual craftsmanship. She is a high-performance front-engine rear-wheel drive automobile that is totally handcrafted to strenuous specifications at the Affalterbach, Baden-Württemberg, Germany manufacturing facility. The design features a rear-mounted transmission for optimum balance. It is available as either a convertible roadster model or a coupe. Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH: “As the first car to be completely developed by AMG, the SLS AMG marked the beginning of a new era for our company and now, in the form of the SLS AMG GT FINAL EDITION, we are offering our customers one final and extremely attractive variant of our super sports car. With its numerous carbon-fiber-look body components, a further optimized aerodynamic balance and optional Cup tires, the SLS AMG GT FINAL EDITION has the potential to absolutely fascinate.”



gw sideBy beginning with a superlative space-frame, which is composed like a fine concerto in a process that encompasses nearly 30-hours of handcrafted expertise, the SLS AMG GT FINAL EDITION possesses a core that is strong yet lightweight. Space-aged materials like carbon-fiber and aircraft-grade aluminum make-up all but 4-percent of the 530-pound cockpit weight. Bolted, bonded, and riveted together, these components are designed with one goal in mind; to make this super car lighter and faster, without sacrificing strength.

gull wing closedThe most notable exterior feature is quickly evident. The long and smooth exposed carbon-fiber hood (with active duct and aerodynamic elements) doesn’t hint at the performance prowess of the SLS so much as it shouts it from the mountain tops.


roadster rearThe functional hood is used to dissipate engine heat while applying needed downforce to the front axle area. This design takes advantage of a natural vacuum effect that delivers the double-benefit of drawing hot air from the engine area while simultaneously drawing cool ambient air from underneath. The enhanced aerodynamic characteristics of this process not only help out at the race track, they also contribute to handling safety (especially at high speeds).

roadster upIn addition to a carbon-fiber hood, the splitter on the front apron, fixed rear spoiler, exclusive forged AMG light-alloy wheels, and sideview mirrors (optional on coupe and roadster) are also made using carbon-fiber with its natural beauty exposed and protected by hundreds of coats of protective lacquer. The coupe is of the “gull-wing” variety. This design was first used to accommodate GT series drivers who faced the daunting task of a rapid vehicle entry with a racing helmet attached. The roadster version is a soft-top convertible with a supple padded fabric top fitted tautly over a lightweight frame that is made of aluminum, steel, and magnesium, designed to preserve the car’s low center of gravity. It is operated electronically and takes only 11-seconds to open or close, completely. Available colors include: Iridium Silver Metallic, Obsidian Black Metallic, Mars Red, designo Mystic White II, and AMG Imola Grey. All are impressive, particularly with the carbon-fiber accents.

gw wheelCustom made AMG forged light-alloy wheels come in two distinctive colors, both of which are exclusive to the SLS AMG GT FINAL EDITION. They are inlayed in matte black with the spokes and rim flanges finished in a high-gloss or painted completely matte black with only a thin gloss accent stripe around the rim flanges. Wrapped around the eye-catching rims is a set of Dunlop Sport Maxx Race Cup tires. The sizes are 235/35ZR19 for the front and 295/30ZR20 for the rears. The high-performance tires are available as a “no-cost” option, at the customer’s request. These tires have been specifically designed with/for Mercedes-Benz AMG vehicles. They are tested and proven to improve steering performance and handling safety, as well as to maximize traction during periods of full acceleration. Of course, these times should only take place on a closed circuit with a professional driver behind the wheel.


gw engineThe 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT LIMITED EDITION utilizes a front engine design (although the engine is situated relatively far back in the engine bay) and a rear-mounted differential/transmission assembly for maximum balance and premium handling. Under the hood, a massive 6.3-liter naturally aspirated V8 delivers 583-horsepower and 479-pound-feet-of-torque at 6,800 RPMs. Each engine is handcrafted and vigorously tested before being affixed with a tiny plaque bearing the name of the talented engine craftsman and the AMG logo. An AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT dual-clutch seven-speed sport transmission has proven to be the perfect match for the bothpowerful V8. It is mounted near the rear of the car in a transaxle configuration with the rear differential. This design provides dynamic sifting characteristics in automatic mode and quicker reaction times in manual mode. The car also utilizes an adaptive shifting mode selector (with four settings) in conjunction with an adaptive handling mode selector (with two settings) to accommodate the needs of the driver in virtually any driving condition. The SLS AMG GT FINAL EDITION is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 3.6-seconds on its way to a 11.2-second quarter-mile at 124 mph. It has an electronically controlled speed limit of 197 mph.

S.M. Darby

S.M. Darby

I am a freelance author with over 25 years of experience as a professional, ASE certified automotive technician and shop owner, muscle car enthusiast, avid street racer, and classic car restoration specialist.