Company insiders have told CarAdvice Mercedes is working on creating a “GT3 for the road”, referring to the motorsport category in which a racing car version of the ‘Gullwing’ coupe already competes.
CarAdvice’s European spies had already caught a camouflaged SLS AMG coupe testing at Germany’s Nurburgring track last year.
The SLS AMG flagship approach would be a different tact to previous Black Series models, such as the CLK63 AMG Black Series, SL65 AMG Black Series and forthcoming C63 AMG Coupe Black Series that, while more powerful, tend to focus heavily on upgraded aesthetics and cabin features.
The SLS AMG Black Series, however, is expected to have a “much rawer” cabin, according to our source – suggesting fewer creature comforts and more exposed carbon-fibre should be anticipated for the interior.
Firmer springs and dampers, and wider tracks, are also expected as engineers target improved roadholding. Extra aerodynamic aids are likely to include a front splitter and a rear diffuser.
The SLS’s 6.2-litre normally aspirated V8 may not produce significantly more power than the 420kW currently generated in the coupe and just-launched Roadster. Speculation suggests about 440kW, with about 680Nm of torque (up 30Nm).
A price tag staring with a ‘6’ can’t be ruled out. Mercedes charges significant premiums for its Black Series models and the SLS AMG ‘Gullwing’ already costs just under $470,000 before on-road charges are added.
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 racers will contest the Bathurst 12-hour that runs from 24-26 February. A pair of GT3s from the German team Black Falcon, which recently won the Dubai 24-hour, will take on GT3 rivals including Audi R8s and Ferrari 458s.
One of the Black Falcons will be raced by Peter Hackett, who currently runs the only SLS AMG GT3 in the Southern Hemisphere and is about to purchase a second one.