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The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is a front-engine, 2-seat luxury grand tourer automobile developed by Mercedes-AMG to replace the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. The car is the first Mercedes automobile designed in-house by AMG and is described by Mercedes-Benz as a spiritual successor to the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing. Mercedes presented at the 2012 Paris Motor Show an electric version of the car, named Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive.
The SLS AMG will be made in at least four different versions. The first to launch is the coupe with gullwing doors. In 2009 a Desert Gold version debuted at the Dubai International Auto Show, in mid-2010 a FIA-GT3 racing version. For 2011–2013 Mercedes will also be releasing a roadster (with conventional doors and a soft top), an electric powered E-Cell version (most likely to be a coupe), and there will be a Black Series version, which will see its weight being reduced by as much as 300 kg (661 lb).
The SLS AMG “Blackbird” was a unique, special edition SLS AMG created by Mercedes-Benz’s Australian subsidiary specifically for the 2010 Australian International Motor Show.
The SLS AMG Electric Drive will be powered by four electric motors with combined ratings of 552 kW (740 hp) and 1,000 N·m (740 lb·ft). Each motor can spin up to 13,000 rpm and weighs 45 kg (99 lb). In addition, the transmission allows each motor to selectively drive all 4 wheels. With this, the SLS AMG Electric Drive accelerates from standing still to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds.
The SLS AMG Electric Drive will include a liquid-cooled 400 V lithium-ion battery rated to 60 kWh. The 548 kg (1,210 lb) battery pack is made up of 12 modules, each comprising 72 lithium-ion cells. The system was designed as a collaboration between Mercedes-AMG and Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains Ltd.
The SLS AMG Roadster was unveiled by Mercedes-Benz via press release on May 5, 2011. It retains the same specifications, dimensions and drivetrain as the Coupe but is a more traditional convertible with a power folding fabric top and conventional doors. The roadster weighs only 40 kg (88 lb) more than the original SLS AMG coupe, and the top can be raised or lowered up to 31 mph (50 km/h).
The SLS AMG is featured as the cover car for the PlayStation 3 racing game Gran Turismo 5, and is the safety car for the Formula One seasons from 2011 to present.
The car was featured in the Top Gear Series 16 Premire, in which the three presenters use various sport cars to drive up a part of the east coast. Jeremy Clarkson brought along the car, praising virtually everything about the car (although he does mention that the doors are a bit excessive. Also in the Xbox 360 video game Forza Motorsport 4, Clarkson commented that “This is not just the greatest car Mercedes makes; right now, I think, it’s the greatest car in the world.”
The car is also used for the 2011 film Transformers: Dark of the Moon, as the Decepticon Soundwave.
A silver version of this car features in the television series The Cape, driven by Summer Glau in the second episode.
The SLS AMG Roadster is described by Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear as being the best car in the world and is a huge fan of the car.
The SLS AMG Electric Drive is an upcoming electric version of the SLS AMG planned for release in June 2013.