Mercedes usually reserves its in-house tuner AMG for the hottest version of its cars. So when the SLS AMG hit the scene we assumed it was the hottest thing going…we guessed wrong.
Mercedes has now introduced the SLS AMG GT. The new car is not just an upgrade on the original SLS, but it completely replaces the standard car when it arrives this November as both a coupe and a roadster.
The SLS AMG GT goes well beyond just dragging out the car’s alphabet soup-ish name. Like any good German update, there is more power. The GT version has the same 6.3-liter V8 engine, but it get a 3.5% bump from 563 to 583 hp (European versions measure it at 591 hp.) Mercedes says this will shave a tenth of a second off the car’s 0-60 time to 3.6 seconds, which could have come in handy during its latest world record stunt. The top speed is still 197 mph.
Other performance upgrades include a re-calibrated AMG DCT 7-speed transmission for faster shift action, and a redeveloped AMG Adaptive Suspension with two settings for stiffer and more adaptive springs and dampers. The wheels are still 19-inch up front and 20-inches in the rear. They are the standard 10-spoke alloy wheels in a matte black finish with a machine polished wheel face — three other styles/colors are also optional. The brakes carryover with 15.4-inch vented discs in the front and 14.2-inches in the rear with red calipers as standard. The carbon-ceramic discs are still an option.
The exterior gets a few minor up grades to make this mean machine even meaner. The headlamps and tail lamps that have been given darkened lenses. The front cross and badge are now a dark metallic as well as many of the trim pieces that were once a shinier silver.
Inside, there are leather seats for the two occupants, but most of what they’ll touch is Alcantara faux suede. The exceptions are some high gloss black trim pieces as well as red seat belts, red trimmed floormats and red contrast stitching on the seats, center console, dashboard, and door panels.
There is also a Style package that will be available at launch. It comprises a distinctive upholstery design featuring full designo leather with a contrast stitching and a diamond quilt design on the seats and door panel inserts (see interior photo at left.) The color combinations are mocha brown/porcelain, titanium gray/porcelain, and mystic red/porcelain.
We have not been given word about pricing yet, but we doubt all these extras will be freebies. So sometime between now and the arrival this fall, we expect a jump from the 2012 MSRPs of $189,600 for the coupe and $196,100 for the roadster.
Is it worth squeezing an extra 20 hp out of a car that’s only been around for two model years? Mercedes fans will likely think so, especially since the SLS AMG GT will be able to keep better pace with competitors like the Audi R8 5.2 and the Ferrari 458 Italia. So all those well-heeled Merc drivers will be ready to turn in their SLS keys come November, because their best just got a little better.