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F1's new safety car is 510bhp of awesome
It replaces one of the finest safety cars in the history of Formula One, big brother SLS AMG, which featured that rather glorious 6.2-litre V8. With the advent of 2014’s newer, quieter, turbocharged V6 engines, the SLS’s eight-cylinder baritone warble was a welcome relief.
This new one, then, promises to be just as loud. How do we know this? “As music to the ears of the Formula 1 fans in the stands and in front of their TV screens,” says Mercedes, “the GT S is fitted with a modified Performance exhaust system for an even more striking and emotive AMG V8 engine sound.” Good.
Everything else is pretty much as is on the AMG GT S roadcar, which means a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 up front with 510bhp and 479lb ft of torque, allied to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox driving the rear wheels. 0-62mph takes just 3.8 seconds, before hitting a top speed just shy of 200mph.
Being a safety car, it gets a Massive Orange Light on the roof to signal its authority, mounted on a carbon fibre air scoop. Orange lights indicate no overtaking, while green lights indicate FLAT OUT.
Then there’s a TV camera mounted inside, a special number plate, strobe-effect head- and tail-lights, and an excellent driver in the shape of Bernd Mayländer, who has been the safety car pilot since 2000.
Merc will also provide the official F1 Medical Car too, in the shape of the new AMG C63 Estate. Same engine as above, but here it’ll do 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds and top out at 155mph. It gets all manner of medical equipment - think respirators and defibrillators - as well as AMG adaptive suspension, some fancy lights and an in-car hotspot.
Which one do you lot prefer - the old SLS or this new AMG GT? Don’t forget, the AMG GT3 racing car will actually use the SLS’s old 6.2-litre V8, too…