2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series Preview

Jeff Youngs | Nov 13, 2012
FAST FACTS
  • Inspired by SLS AMG GT3 race car
  • More powerful 6.3-liter V-8 engine
  • Faster transmission shift response
  • New electronic rear differential lock
  • Revised suspension tuning
  • Upgraded steering tuning
  • Ceramic two-piece brakes
  • Lightweight forged aluminum wheels
  • Sheds 154 pounds, compared with SLS AMG model
  • Subtle styling modifications
  • On sale in summer of 2013

Introduction

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series is a high-performance version of the SLS AMG sports car, one that Mercedes says was inspired by the SLS AMG GT3 racing car, and is 154 pounds lighter due to numerous weight-savings measures.

Underscoring the weight reduction efforts undertaken for the new 2014 SLS AMG Black Series, Tobias Moers, head of Total Vehicle Development and Member of the Board of Mercedes-AMG GmbH, said, "The basis for passionate performance and supreme driving dynamics is provided by numerous new developments in the engine, transmission, suspension, and aerodynamics--also giving top priority to our 'AMG Lightweight Performance' strategy."

The 2014 SLS AMG Black Series benefits from numerous hardware upgrades, as well, from a more powerful engine and improved dual-clutch automated manual transmission to suspension, steering and braking component modifications. "The new SLS AMG Black Series is a perfect study in the 100-percent transfer of technology and engineering from motorsport to road," said Ola Källenius, chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.Exterior FeaturesOnlookers won't mistake the new 2014 SLS AMG Black Series for anything else, especially when the car is painted in its exclusive Solar Beam color. If the Solar Beam paint isn't appealing, Mercedes will offer its new high-performance GT in six additional hues, including a matte-finish Magno Alanite Grey.

Subtle styling modifications include tinted headlights, black trim surrounding the taillights, flared fenders, and enlarged air intakes with carbon fiber trim. Carbon fiber-reinforced plastic is used to construct the SLS AMG Black Series model's exterior body kit, hood and other structural components, helping the car to weigh in at just 3,417 pounds.

The new SLS AMG Black Series rides on a set of staggered-width forged AMG lightweight alloy wheels, painted matte-black and featuring a 10-spoke design. The 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 performance tires.

Interior Features

The 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series seats two passengers in AMG sport seats. Black Designo leather is standard, with the buyer's choice between black Alcantara inserts or red/black Alcantara inserts with red interior trim panels. All versions include red seat belts, contrast red stitching, and red piping on the floor mats.

A flat-bottomed AMG performance steering wheel wrapped in black Alcantara includes a red 12 o'clock marking at the top of the rim, helping the driver to center the wheel while shuffle steering. The SLS AMG Black Series is trimmed out with high gloss black and carbon fiber decor, as well as a "3D seam" on the dashboard.

If interested, buyers can delete the standard COMAND infotainment system to save another 13 pounds of vehicle weight.

Optional Features

There are few options planned for the 2014 SLS AMG Black Series. An AMG Aerodynamics package will supply an adjustable carbon fiber rear spoiler and modifications to the front skirt design, both changes intended to provide additional downforce and stability.

An AMG Carbon Fiber Interior package adds plenty of carbon fiber to the interior, and the SLS AMG Black Series can also be outfitted with a Bang & Olufsen BeoSound premium surround-sound audio system, carbon fiber exterior mirrors, and a carbon fiber engine cover.

Under the Hood

Offering a front mid-engine layout, the SLS AMG Black Series is equipped with a hand-built, 6.3-liter V-8 engine generating 622 horsepower at 7,400 rpm and 468 lb.-ft. torque at 5,500 rpm. The engine provides an 8,000-rpm redline, and a Lithium-ion engine starter battery saves 17.6 pounds alone.

Power flows to the sports car's rear wheels through a 7-speed AMG SpeedShift DCT dual-clutch automated manual transmission equipped with Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Manual shift programs. The transmission is mounted lower in the car for a lower center of gravity, braced against the body with gas struts to "avoid stress cycling," according to the manufacturer, and equipped with a carbon fiber torque tube. According to Mercedes, it offers downshift rev matching and delivers quicker shift response, compared with a standard SLS AMG. A new electronic AMG rear axle differential lock and a Race Start launch control system are standard.

Together, the engine and transmission produce acceleration to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and a 196-mph top speed, according to Mercedes.

Additional performance upgrades include a coil-over-spring AMG Adaptive Performance Suspension, and AMG high-performance ceramic two-piece braking system, three-stage stability control system with a Sport Handling mode, and an AMG sport exhaust system constructed of titanium.

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Summary, Photos & Specs

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