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Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: From luxury to racing

Mercedes-Benz launched the SLS AMG GT3 at the 2010 New York auto show.

Designed for FIA GT3 racing, the SLS AMG GT3 was unveiled at the 2010 New York auto show. Sarah Tew/CNET

NEW YORK--Mercedes-Benz is so proud of its new SLS AMG supercar that it took the unusual step of unveiling the GT3 racing version at the 2010 New York auto show. The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 complies with FIA GT3 race regulations, and is eligible to compete in torture tests such as the 24-hour Nurburgring race.

As a GT3 racer, the SLS AMG GT3 is little changed from its production counterpart, using the AMG 6.2-liter V-8, six-speed transmission, and torque tube driveshaft. It also retains the gull wing doors and general profile of the production car.

But the SLS AMG GT3 has been lowered and fitted with some new body panels that provide more venting for the engine and wheels. Likewise, the fenders have been widened so that a variety of wider tires can be fitted to the regulation 18-inch wheels. A large adjustable wing attached to the rear provides more downforce.

The cabin has been completely stripped and refitted with racing gear, and a quick fill adaptor for the fuel tank is embedded in the B-pillar.

Mercedes-Benz announced a price of a little over $187,000 for the SLS AMG, but has not yet announced pricing for the GT3 version.