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
All this, I’m promised, has been addressed. The Black is 70kg lighter – of the body panels, only the doors are carried over; the other panels have swollen to cover the increased track widths that make the car 13mm wider at the front and 26mm at the rear. There are now dampers on the front-mounted engine and rear-mounted transaxle to minimise movement of the 6.2-litre V8 and seven-speed double-clutch gearbox, tyre widths are up, yet the wheels are a kilo per corner lighter, there’s a lithium battery, a carbon bonnet and an ability to rev to 8,000rpm.
Big deal, you might think, an extra 800rpm, but allowing pistons, 102.2mm across, to pound up and down those bores 133 times a second isn’t the work of a moment. AMG claims it’s had to fight for every 100rpm beyond the standard SLS’s 7,200rpm limit. It’s taken 20 months of work. There’s even a new coating for the bucket tappets. Whatever they are.