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Pebble Beach 2018

The Merc SLS AMG Black Series is officially a modern classic

A 622bhp road-racing Benz is up for auction at Pebble. For double its original price

Published: 01 Aug 2018

When Mercedes officially launched the SLS AMG Black Series back in 2013, it cost £230,000 – a hefty £60,000 more than the standard SLS AMG. And thanks to the crazy world of supercar auctions and rare car values, that mark-up is starting to look like a bit of a bargain.

Case in point: this nearly-new SLS AMG Black Series is up for auction at Pebble Beach with Gooding & Company, guided with an estimated price of $450,000 – $550,000. That’s a top-end estimate of £420,000 – quite the increase in five short years.

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This particular example is, depending on your view, a 600-mile minter, or a 600-mile waste of a fabulous, savage driver’s car that arguably exists as the high point of AMG’s achievements to date. We’d err towards the latter. But will anyone wealthy enough to drop around half a million dollars on chassis number 147 here – resplendent in Solarbeam yellow, just like 29 other US-spec cars – be brave enough to drive the thing?

Hopefully the first time they hear the naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 wind itself out to 8,000rpm, that’ll encourage them to ignore the odometer. The SLS Black took the fast but wayward SLS and used GT3 racing know-how to turn this enormous gullwing clown shoe into a razor-sharp road racer. Revised engine internals increased power - and reduced torque, for rapid rev response – while a carbon fibre and titanium diet helped save a useful 70kg of weight. AMG claimed 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 196mph. Even today, you’d need the ultimate AMG GT R to keep a well-driven SLS Black honest.

Only 132 SLS Blacks were imported to America, so it’s a pretty rare beast, and its status as one of AMG’s most extreme creations – and its final normally aspirated model – cements its status as a modern classic, with values going stratospheric to match. Lot number 63 here will go under the hammer at Pebble Beach on 24th August, so you’ve just under a month to scrape together the reddies. Just promise to drive it, please?

Photos: Gooding & Company/Brian Henniker

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