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by Tim Beissmann

More power, enhanced transmission and suspension set-ups and mild styling tweaks headline the upgrades to Stuttgart’s brawniest supercar, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT.

But although Mercedes promises the new GT will offer “enhanced driving dynamics and even better race track performance” over the ‘standard’ SLS AMG, it will not be sold down under.

Mercedes-Benz Australia confirmed to CarAdvice it is holding out for an even more powerful variant, expected to be the SLS AMG Black Series that is due in 2013.

Power from the Merc’s 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 climbs 15kW to 435kW in the SLS AMG GT – just enough to leapfrog the 425kW Ferrari 458 Italia – as a result of in-engine dethrottling measures and an increase in peak pressure. Peak torque is unchanged at 650Nm, produced at 4750rpm.

The accelerator pedal is more responsive and Mercedes says the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission’s shift times have been shortened noticeably in manual mode. AMG’s engineers have also made the automatic double-declutching function more pronounced to enhance the emotional experience for the driver.

The performance upgrades have shaved one-tenth of a second off the SLS AMG GT’s 0-100km/h sprint time, which it now completes in 3.7 seconds. Its top speed is now electronically limited at 320km/h (up from 317km/h), while fuel consumption has dipped one-tenth to 13.2 litres per 100km.

Underpinning the GT is the newly developed AMG Ride Control Performance suspension, which features stiffer spring and damper tuning and dispenses with the standard car’s ‘Comfort’ mode.

Visually, the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT gets darker headlight and tail-light lenses and red brake calipers, as well as ‘GT’ badging on the right of the boot lid.

The optional AMG Designo Exclusive Style leather package is now available in a range of colour combinations, giving customers the choice of single or two-tone finishes and diamond stitch patterns.




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