On a wing and a prayer, part I

The Frankfurt floodgates have opened and we find ourselves in the midst of a deluge of supercars. This time we've received a batch of photos of Mercedes-Benz's revival of the 300SL Gullwing, the SLS AMG.

The SLS's real draw is its design homage to the 300SL Gullwing.

Photo by: Mercedes-Benz

On a wing and a prayer, part II

The door hinge is upward from the roof, giving the car the profile of a seagull in flight.

Photo by: Mercedes-Benz

Instant classic?

The SLS also features the classic long-hood, short overhang design of the sports cars of old, with a small passenger compartment mounted just ahead of the rear axle.

Photo by: Mercedes-Benz

A lot of brrrm, part I

Under the SLS AMG's long hood is a version of the V8 that we've seen powering every Merc of this generation with an AMG badge. Despite the "6.3" badge, this engine actually displaces 6.2 litres.

Photo by: Mercedes-Benz

A lot of brrrm, part II

Output has been tuned to 420kW of power and 650Nm of torque. The extra power comes partially from all-new intake and exhaust systems and a re-jiggered valve train.

Photo by: Mercedes-Benz

Easy does it

Mercedes-Benz claims that opening and closing the gullwing doors is a cinch thanks to the gas struts on the doors.

Photo by: Mercedes-Benz

Fast and comfy

As far as the SLS is concerned, going fast doesn't mean going without creature comforts. The Comand APS entertainment, navigation and telephone system fitted to the SLS should be instantly familiar to anyone who's driven an C- or E-Class.

Photo by: Mercedes-Benz

A conscience quickly

Although the first batch of SLSes will all be petrol powered, if you want to mix high speed, luxury and gullwings with a tinge of Peter Garrett, Mercedes-Benz is working an electric SLS.

Photo by: Mercedes-Benz

Swift and Shift, part I

Power flows through a SpeedShift seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and down an exotic carbon fibre driveshaft before meeting the road at the rear wheels.

Photo by: Mercedes-Benz

Swift and Shift, part II

The gearbox features three driving modes for Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus, as well as an automated manual mode. 100km/h happens in a blistering 3.8 seconds, while top speed is electronically limited to 317km/h.

Photo by: Mercedes-Benz

Wait for it

The SLS goes on sale in the northern spring (Q2) of 2010.

Photo by: Mercedes-Benz

Save those pennies

In Europe, the SLS will retail for €177,310 (AU$300,000). Thanks to our luxury car tax and small market, you can expect the price to rise considerably when it goes on sale here in the middle of next year.

Photo by: Mercedes-Benz

Float like a (carbon fibre) feather

An aluminium space frame body keeps the weight to a not unreasonable 1620kg.

Photo by: Mercedes-Benz

Would sir like fries with that?

Options include six-disc DVD stacker, Bang & Olufsen sound system and carbon fibre interior trim.

Photo by: Mercedes-Benz

1954 300SL, part I

As we've mentioned already, the SLS AMG is inspired by the 300SL. The original car's reputation lay not just with its distinctive gullwing doors, but also its performance in racing, as well as its advanced technology, like its aluminium construction and direct injection engine.

Photo by: Mercedes-Benz

1954 300SL, part II

While the doors on the modern day SLS are partially a stylistic and marketing ploy, the gullwing design on the original was required because the 300SL's tubular chassis precluded the use of normal swing-out doors.

Photo by: Mercedes-Benz
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