This is the Mercedes SLS Black Series*
*Sort of. Merc reveals halo 622bhp SLS ahead of LA Show, but admits it will change…
Posted: 12 Nov 2012
What you're looking at is, technically, a Mercedes-Benz SLS Black Series. That suffix alone should send you cowering into the far recesses of the Internet.
It's the range-topping, all-shouting, all-dancing version of Mercedes' halo supercar, built by the blacksmiths embedded deep within AMG, responsible for turning fast cars into, well, stupidly fast cars.
As such, they've taken inspiration from the SLS AMG GT3 racer, and have been rather busy with the Merc's 6.2-litre V8. The rev limiter has been raised from 7,200rpm to 8,000rpm, there's a larger inlet manifold, a high lift camshaft, lighter bearings and stiffer conrods, amongst other things, which help boost power from 563bhp to 622bhp. That's a lot, if you need reminding. Somehow though, the 6.2's torque has dropped from 479lb ft in the standard SLS, to 469lb ft in the Black.
That engine is now hooked up to a modified seven-speed DCT auto that's mounted 10mm lower than the standard car, with shift times said to be more aggressive than before. Underneath, the front and rear tracks have been widened by 20 and 24mm respectively, there's stiffer suspension (naturally) and an electronic diff lock, along with the AMG ride control offering up different performance suspension settings (sport, sport+).
AMG has also managed to shed around 70kg from the SLS's kerbweight to a relatively lithe (for a big super/GT car) 1,550kg. This is thanks to lots of carbon fibre, which also appears on the bodywork: there's a deeper CF front spoiler, bonnet and rear diffuser, along with an aero package including a fixed rear wing. The front wings are flared, you get darkened headlamps and bigger air intakes too. Talk about shouty.
You get carbon ceramic stoppers as standard, and big ones at that: 402mm x 39mm up front, and 360mm x 32mm at the back. They're around 40 per cent lighter than their standard counterparts as well.
Now, here's the nub. Mercedes has confirmed to TopGear.com that the SLS Black Series is still undergoing final aerodynamic revisions, so the car we'll finally see at the Los Angeles motor show later this month will look different to the beast you see above.
Thankfully though, these aero changes should be drowned out by the SLS Black's sound. Mercedes has fitted a titanium exhaust system which is 13kg lighter than the standard SLS's steel construction, reducing back pressure and - most importantly - making it even louder and more raucous. This is Good News, because the normal SLS sounds like this. Imagine!
And here's the bit you really want to feed your forum companions with: 0-62mph takes 3.6 seconds - 0.2s quicker than the standard car - while top speed drops 1mph to 196mph.
We'll get you the final car as soon as we see it, but for now, what's the dot.com take on Merc's new Black Series entrant?