Mercedes SLS AMG in the test

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Mercedes SLS AMG in the test
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He can finally prove himself. The Mercedes S LS AMG only passed around in public. He seemed on the best way to the show star corner. But the super sports car doesn't belong there any more than in the shadow of its ancestor, the Mercedes 300 SL. So up on the racetrack. Attack in Hockenheim: Regardless of the retro romanticism, we throw the SLS AMG into the corner, give it a fire under its buttocks, whip it out of the curve, compress it again in the braking zone, let the relieved rear end fly and the rear rubbers smoke until the front wheels hook onto the start-finish straight. This is what it is made for, which it conveys over the first few meters.

No shy checking of the grip level, no embarrassed accelerating, no searching steering wheel saws. Already the first lap on the small course flies, the next increases to the limit: depending on your personal driving style in the ESP sport level, slightly understeering when pulling or gently oversteering when changing load. Drift artists will, however, be bothered by the non-deactivatable braking intervention; he should make the work of the differential easier, but botched the line. At the end the clock shows 1.11.5 minutes, the Mercedes SLS AMG is faster than a Porsche 911 Turbo (1.11.9) running along for comparison. Do we feel so at home when driving fast because we already know these buttons?

The interior of the SLS AMG does not keep pace with the exterior

The SLS AMG cockpit also remains, in principle, a customized Mercedes -Confabricated goods; there is no supercar awe. Even the carbon fiber wallpaper (8,330 euros) doesn't change much. The internal appearance does not keep up with the external. And the latter is impressive, also because the SLS is as long as an E-Class, so let's look beyond the world of mass production and instead focus on something special: the stretch front hood. A 6.2-liter V8 snorkels underneath, AMG's bestseller - more potent than ever. With 571 hp, the SLS is one hp more than the Ferrari 458 Italia. Unlike the Italian 4.5-liter racing engine with a 180-degree crankshaftthe German displacement giant puts its torque on a 90-degree crankshaft, so it starts the big block beat. As patriotic as the AMG loosens, even the US Republican Sarah Palin would naturalize it.

Full throttle. After 150 milliseconds, the two throttle valves of the Mercedes SLS AMG open, and eight intake funnels empty the nine and a half liter airbox. The V8 stomps from the depths. The eardrum trembles, the diaphragm tingles, the neck pulls. The eruption of 650 Nm at 4,750 rpm is just the beginning; it follows the explosion of 571 hp at 6,800 rpm. You have to be grateful to the developers that they have this edgy naturally aspirated engine and not the V12 biturbo beast from the SL? 65 AMG sunk behind the front axle. It would have been a dragster and not a dribbler.

Automated launch control function turns every buyer into a racing driver

That the measuring device in the Mercedes SLS AMG goes to zero to one hundred at 3 , Pauses for 9 seconds, is not due to a lack of performance, but rather to a lack of traction. The automated launch control function of the rear-wheel drive Mercedes SLS AMG cannot do anything against the all-wheel drive of a Porsche 911 Turbo (3.3 seconds). After all, it elevates every buyer to the status of a tried and tested racing driver, he only has to adhere to the following procedure: preselect transmission program on RS such as Race-Start, ESP-Sport, left foot on the brake, the right middle finger pulls on the upshift paddle right foot gives full throttle and the left slips off the brake pedal. Violence march.

The dual clutch transmission from Getrag offers four programs from Controlled Efficiency for torque enjoyment in high gear to Sport Plus for excessive revs and manual; But too much time passes between the snap of a finger on the steering wheel paddle and the gear change - when the engine speed limit is reached, the V8 initially gets stuck in the limiter, even though the driver impatiently pulls the rocker. In the recently introduced Ferrari 458 Italia, the Getrag transmission reacts more jaggedly and the chassis is more sensitive. Although the suspension of the AMG responds willingly at first, it transmits long bumps in the form of light catapult bumps - a result of the compromise vote. Incomprehensible: AMG does not offer an adaptive chassis, which is already in the option list for the Mercedes E-Class, for the super sports car, only an even tighter performance kit.

Mercedes SLS AMG guarantees a Hollywood appearance

The Ferrari 458 Italia explained the state of the damper technology on the first exit; State-of-the-art sports cars master the balancing act between limousine-like swallowing power and racetrack toughness. At 194,000 euros, the Italian is only apparently more expensive than the Mercedes SLS AMG: if you add the ceramic brake system (11,305 euros, standard at Ferrari) and sports suspension (1,428 euros), the base price of the SLS increases significantly from 177,310 euros. Thereforethe gullwing guarantees a Hollywood appearance. And it keeps you fit - with stretching exercises when you get started. You start with a bend towards the door handle; After pressing the key, it moves out of the door skin at the level of the shin. The handle is pulled upwards (front lift), then the one-and-a-half-meter limbo follows under the open wing, whereby, unlike the evening before, we try not to hit our heads this time. The training ends with the hyperextension of the left arm to close the door. How can little drivers do that? A loop would be helpful. More than with any other car, the SLS has a gentleman’s duty to open and close the door for the companion.

Apart from that, the Mercedes SLS AMG hardly requires any special knowledge - the SLS gives climbers a sense of success without the Bored of experts. Although the ceramic brake system relentlessly anchors the Mercedes SLS AMG, the pedal can be dosed gently. Although the V8 is rumbling over a large area, the fine-resolution Bang & Olufsen system (7,021 euros) still has a chance against it. Although the bulldog gives in wiry, it doesn't pull on the leash on the highway. And although it is as heavy as a C 350, the aluminum-titanium waves uninhibited around the pylons at 150 km /h - faster than the Porsche 911 GT3, which weighs 230 kg less, in the test (147.8 km /h). The Mercedes SLS AMG even moves into the range of a Ferrari 430 Scuderia (151.7 km /h) that is almost 300 kilograms lighter.

Somehow, the Mercedes SLS AMG creates the ideal connection to Mercedes' Formula 1 commitment . It is the first worthy successor to the original gullwing 300 SL. And it proves that the Swabian brand can still build a super sports car today.

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