The Stig versus the Mercedes SLS Black
Our tame racing driver gets sideways in the very maddest Merc before a road trip to AMG headquarters…
Posted: 13 Dec 2013
We hit Lyon at midnight. Lyon has tunnels. And the SLS has short gearing, the final drive reduced by 20 per cent to improve sprinting. Basically, its ratios are stacked like a hot hatch’s, but here you have 622bhp to jet you between the change-up points. So these quiet tunnels become echo chambers for second, third and fourth gears. Occasionally, fifth, sixth and seventh too, as this is an engine which, to my ears, sounds best in the rumbly mid-range. The upgraded gearbox is beltingly good to use now, the kind where you pull paddles just for the hell of it. Ought to be retrofitted to the standard SLS.
Tiredness starts to kick in once the Lyon adrenalin has filtered out. It’s a long way up to Dijon, Besançon and the German border. That’ll be the next adrenalin kick, but getting there, well, between lulling satnav tones, companionable snoring and V8 throb, I’m beginning to feel a touch tired. Nope, it’s no good. I’m going to have to get Justin to drive.