The 2014-MY Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series

Inspired by the SLS AMG GT3 race car — already a winner in 37 races this year — the 2014-MY SLS AMG Black Series from Mercedes-AMG combines superlative design, driving dynamics and lightweight construction.

To be released mid-year, the fifth Black Series model weighs 3,417 pounds while delivering a power/weight ratio of 5.49 lb/hp — the best by far of all AMG Black Series vehicles to date. The lighter-weight AMG 6.3-liter V-8 generates 622 horsepower at 7,400 rpm and 468 lb/ft of torque at 5,500 rpm.

Zero to 60 mph is accomplished in 3.5 seconds with a top speed of 196 mph — making the car the most powerful AMG automobile with a combustion engine. Only the SLS AMG Electric Drive with 740 horses has more power.

The excitement goes on-sale for the U.S. market in summer 2013.

The suspension matches the power, with the coil-over AMG Adaptive Performance Suspension, AMG high-performance ceramic two-piece brake system and weight-optimized forged AMG light-alloy wheels and new sport tires.

Adding to stability and the excitement of driving are the electronically controlled AMG rear-axle differential lock and the AMG Speedshift DCT seven-speed sports transmission, with superlative shift and response times. The optional AMG Aerodynamics package delivers further boost to the vehicle’s handling and dynamics.

“The new SLS AMG Black Series is a perfect study in the 100-percent transfer of technology and engineering from motorsport to road,” says Ola Källenius, chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. “We have drawn inspiration from the worldwide success of the SLS AMG GT3 customer sport racing car on both a conceptual and a technological level. Boasting numerous lightweight components and fascinating dynamics, our fifth Series model guarantees pure, unadulterated ‘Driving Performance.’

“The SLS AMG Black Series is the ultimate choice for fast laps and a highly emotional driving experience,” he adds. “Fans of high-performance super sports cars will be fascinated by its high-tech package. The basis for passionate performance and supreme driving dynamics is provided by numerous new developments in the engine, transmission, suspension and aerodynamics — also giving top priority to our ‘AMG Lightweight Performance’ strategy.”

Hand-built in the AMG factory in Affalterbach — “one man, one engine” — the 11.3:1 compression-ratio 6.3-liter produces 39 horsepower more than the standard SLS AMG GT powerplant through a variety of enhancements. In keeping with the Black Series models, a black AMG engine badge carries the signature of the engine builder.

For one, maximum rpms have been increased from 7,200 to 8,000 for the engine, mounted behind the front axle. In addition, the valve train has been optimized with modified camshafts featuring a coating used on race vehicles. The intake air ducting has been matched to the new maximum engine speed, and the crank assembly has been toughened to race track conditions with components such as modified oil bores, new crankshaft bearings, a new oil pump and high-strength screw fasteners for the connecting rods.

The water and oil-cooling system for the engine and transmission have been improved as well and, to eliminate load shifts during performance driving, a gas-filled strut braces the engine against the body.

The racing heritage is further affirmed by the lighter-weight AMG sport exhaust system, for the first time in titanium, announcing the car as it arrives and punctuating its departure. The new system also incorporates performance fan-type exhaust manifolds.

To reduce the weight of the Black Series models by 154 pounds, body elements are made from Carbon-fiber Reinforced Plastic. These include the hood, the rear panel behind the sports bucket seats, the diagonal braces on the underbody, the torque tube between the engine and transmission and the drive shaft. In addition, a lithium-ion battery saves an additional 17.6 pounds.

Much of the car’s exhilaration comes from the AMG Speedshift DCT 7-speed sports transmission, whose installation delivers a lower center of gravity; the tranny is also braced against the body by gas-filled struts.

A dual-clutch has four drive modes — C, S, S+ and M; the “Sport plus” and “Manual” selections offer performance experiences unique to the Black Series cars. The Manual mode allows the driver to activate manual mode without releasing the steering wheel; he or she just pushes the “up” or “down” shift paddle once for the excitement of performance driving.

The new electronically controlled AMG rear-axle differential lock provides for better responsiveness and traction for the rear wheels and safety and stability in slaloms or lane-changing lane at high speeds. Its three-stage ESP® system features “ESP ON,” “ESP SPORT Handling Mode” and “ESP OFF” — precision-tuned to the electronic AMG rear-axle differential lock.

Enhancing the aluminum double-wishbones layout are features such as coil-over spring suspension; an increase in track width for added grip; new wheel mounts on the front axle and a new front stabilizer tuning for added grip; AMG 10-spoke lightweight forged alloy wheels; new Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 sports tires; and AMG speed-sensitive steering for optimum steering precision and control.

The standard ceramic two-piece brake system incorporates features that enhance thermal stability and reduce weight, optimizing comfort, grip and steering response. AMG forged wheels are in a signature Black Series 10-spoke design, painted in matte black with a high-gloss finish.

Aerodynamic balance is optimized by front, rear and side skirts and a rear diffuser, all in a signature Black Series design with extensive use of CFRP on the front splitter, side sills and rear skirt. Enlarged air intakes also ensure optimum airflow into the front cooling modules.

Inside, choose either black designo leather with black Alcantara® or black design leather with black/red Alcantara®. The AMG Performance steering wheel with flattened rim at the bottom is wrapped entirely in Alcantara® for excellent grip, and the metal bezel matches the high-gloss black surrounds of the air vents. The combination of designo leather and Alcantara® features continue throughout the interior.

Among the many options is the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end surround sound system, with Dolby Digital 5.1 a 1,000-watt amplifier, 11 speakers and a 250-watt subwoofer.

The optional AMG Aerodynamics package has an adjustable carbon-fiber rear wing with a Gurney flap, named for its inventor, Dan Gurney, the former racing great, designer and team owner.

AMG Solar Beam exterior paint is available exclusively on the SLS AMG Black Series, and six further exterior paint finishes from the SLS AMG range can be ordered, including the matte-finish designo magno alanite grey. Matte black-forged wheels are also available.

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