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.
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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.
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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.
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AMG used carbon fiber for this fender vent insert, along with a carbon fiber hood, carbon fiber drive shaft, and carbon fiber torque tube.
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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.
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The gull-wing door layout remains unchanged, although the shelf behind the seats is now made of carbon fiber.
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AMG kept the adaptive suspension, which the driver can set between various comfort and sport modes.
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A fixed carbon fiber wing across the back causes downforce at speed, enhancing grip.
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Although AMG added power, tuned the suspension, and lightened the car, buyers can still opt for a Bang & Olufsen audio system, if the engine does not provide enough music.
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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.
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Sharing the stage with the SLS AMG Black edition was this 2013 GL63 AMG, an AMG-tuned vehicle based on Mercedes-Benz's large GL SUV. It seems an unlikely counterpart to the two-seater SLS.
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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.
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Along with an air suspension, AMG fitted the GL63 with active stabilizer bars front and rear to control lean in turns.
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AMG had to flare the fenders on the GL63 to accommodate these 21-inch wheels, wrapped in Continental tires with a width of 295 millimeters, or 11.6 inches.
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Despite its AMG tuning, the GL63 remains a large, seven-passenger SUV with a cavernous cargo area.
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Some elements of the GL63 AMG are more cosmetic than functional. What looks like quad exhausts with square tips are really just covers for a standard dual exhaust ending in round pipes.
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