Mercedes-Benz has used the occasion of the 2009 Geneva Motor Show to release the first official details about a car that won't even be shown in Switzerland at all. It is the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, which has long been referred to as the SLC or modern day Gullwing. Mercedes has confirmed that the car will feature the same gullwing-style doors made famous by the classic 300SL, and from there things get very interesting.
While not ready to unveil the final design of the car, Mercedes did release dozens of images of SLS prototypes being tested by its engineers. It's readily apparent that the SLS looks smaller than Mercedes' current supercar, the SLR McLaren, but the smaller shape just hints at extensive weight saving measures. An all-new aluminum space frame contributes to a curb weight of just 3,571 lbs, a full 300 lbs less than the SLR McLaren. The SLS also rides on a long 105.5-inch wheelbase with a front track that's 1.2 inches wider than the rear.
Power will be provided by a tuned version of AMG's familiar 6.2L V8 producing 563 hp at 6,800 rpm and 479 lb-ft of torque at 4,750 rpm. The engine, which sits low and behind the front axle, will send all that power across a carbon-fiber driveshaft to the rear axle where a new seven-speed dual clutch gearbox carves it up. There will even be a Race Start launch control function that guarantees an estimated 3.8-second 0-62 time every time. Top speed: 196 mph. Stopping? 15.4-inch discs in front squeezed by six-piston calipers and 14.2-inchers with four-piston calipers out back, and a full set of carbon ceramic rotors will be optional.
Pricing hasn't yet been released, but expect to drop at least 200 large on the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG when it goes on sale. The car is clearly not ready for the showroom yet, but Mercedes just wanted us all to know it's coming... fast.