Mercedes-Benz AMG: SLS Black beauty and the GL63 beast (pictures)
Mercedes-Benz took the wraps off two unlikely compadres at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, the SLS AMG Black edition and the GL63 AMG, one a torpedo two-seater and the other an overpowered SUV.
The tuning arm of Mercedes-Benz, AMG, is known for fitting high-performance gear in standard Mercedes-Benz models, but the SLS originally launched as a dedicated AMG model, and the epitome of its performance theme. However, the Black edition of the SLS AMG, a 2014 model, shows that still more performance could be derived from the car. The Black edition name has only been bestowed on four cars previous to the SLS AMG.
Although it uses the same 6.2-liter twin turbo direct injection engine as the standard SLS, AMG squeezed another 39 horsepower out of the engine for a total of 622. The tuner division upped the redline to 8,000rpm and fitted a higher-performance valve train to get the extra power.
The basic shape of the car is unchanged, but AMG lightened the load with carbon fiber components. With a curb weight down to 3,417 pounds, 154 pounds lighter than the standard SLS, the SLS AMG Black hits 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, according to Mercedes-Benz.
New wheels shaved almost 9 pounds from the overall weight. AMG widened the front and rear track by almost an inch and tuned the suspension tighter, which will probably make the SLS AMG Black edition perform better at higher speeds but be less comfortable on public roads.
The SLS AMG Black uses a seven-speed dual clutch automated manual transmission. AMG gave it a rev-matching function, which blips the engine speed during downshifts. The SLS AMG Black edition goes on sale next summer as a 2014 model. Mercedes-Benz has not released pricing information.
AMG adds aggressive air intakes to the front of the GL63, helping feed its 5.5-liter twin turbo direct injection V-8. That engine produces 550 horsepower and 560 pound-feet of torque, giving this behemoth a top speed of 174 mph.