Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG 45th Anniversary - front three-quarter view, doors up

Mercedes-Benz has whipped up a special edition of its SLS AMG GT3 customer racecar to mark the 45th anniversary of the very first SL model. The company plans to build no more than five examples, each stitched together by hand in Affalterbach. Each of the bruisers will come with a special magno graphite matte paint slathered over carbon fiber bodywork. The racer wears a composite hood, trunk lid, aero work and doors. Jump inside, and the SLS AMG GT3 45th Anniversary offers a full race cage painted to match the vehicle's exterior as well as carbon-shell seats for both the driver and co-driver.

Meanwhile, each machine will receive an AMG 6.2-liter V8 hand-fitted by Bernd Schneider and an AMG technician. As you may recall, Schneider carried out most of the development testing of the SLS AMG GT3 and has won the DTM championship three times.

Buyers will receive their vehicles at a handover ceremony in Affalterbach, which includes a full factory tour by Schneider himself. If you want one, better scrape up €446,250, including the 19 percent Value Added Tax. That works out to around $578,250 at current conversion rates. Zing. Take a look at the full press release below.
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Limited-edition customer sport racing car to mark the 45th birthday: Exclusive collector's item – The new SLS AMG GT3 "45th ANNIVERSARY"

Affalterbach, Oct 08, 2012

With the new SLS AMG GT3 "45th ANNIVERSARY", Mercedes-AMG is presenting an exclusively appointed special series which is aimed at car collectors with a particular penchant for motor racing. The customer sport racing car is being built by hand in a limited edition of no more than five vehicles in Affalterbach. Record DTM champion and AMG brand ambassador Bernd Schneider is involved hands-on in the production process, installing the AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine in the SLS AMG GT3 "45th ANNIVERSARY" together with an AMG engine fitter.

The exclusive collector's item is also a synonym for the successful AMG Customer Sports Programme: With currently 32 victories in the 2012 Motor Sports Season and the winning of three driver and team titles in the FIA GT3 European Championship, the ADAC GT Masters and the FIA GT1 World Championship, the race edition of the gullwing car of Mercedes-AMG is an impressive success story as well.

A number of exterior and interior modifications have been carried out for the special SLS AMG GT3 "45th ANNIVERSARY" model. The body of the SLS AMG GT3 "45th ANNIVERSARY" gleams auspiciously in the new designo magno graphite matt paint finish, for example. To date, this matt paintwork has been exclusive to the SL 65 AMG "45th ANNIVERSARY", which was unveiled to mark the 45th birthday of Mercedes-AMG at the New York International Auto Show in April 2012. The AMG light-alloy wheels in designo magno graphite complement the body's matt paintwork to perfection.

Another eye-catching feature is the striking "45 Years of Driving Performance" logo framed in silver on the GT3 racing car's gullwing doors. The special edition's logo embodies consummate design right down to the finer points of detail: closer inspection reveals the exposed carbon-fibre structure of the gullwing doors under the matt paintwork. The doors, along with the bonnet, mudguards, boot lid, rear wings, front and rear apron, front splitter and rear diffusor, are produced in the particularly lightweight motorsport material CFRP (CFRP = carbon fibre reinforced plastic).

The interior of the SLS AMG GT3 "45th ANNIVERSARY" evokes a functional racing car atmosphere, refined by high-quality, exclusive details: the steel roll-over cage is finished in matt "designo magno graphite" to match the exterior. The racing car's dashboard and centre console sport a matt carbon-fibre finish. Effective contrasts are produced by six-point seat belts and a steering wheel spider in silver.

The collector's item also boasts a seat shell in a high-strength carbon-fibre safety cell on the co-driver's side. A special badge with a "1 of 5" logo on the seats and the centre console alludes to the limited production run for this racing car. The standard appointments for the SLS AMG GT3 "45th ANNIVERSARY" are rounded off by a high-quality AMG indoor car cover with "45 Years of Driving Performance" logo.

Bernd Schneider as a VIP engine fitter

In keeping with the exclusive exterior and interior equipment and appointments, the engineering under the bonnet is of a similarly exclusive standard. 48 year-old racing driver Bernd Schneider is assisting the responsible AMG engine fitter in installing the naturally aspirated AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine. The special AMG engine badge bearing the signatures of Bernd Schneider and the responsible engine fitter attest to this high-calibre duo's handiwork. Customers who acquire one of the rare SLS AMG GT3 "45th ANNIVERSARY" models also receive an exclusive vehicle certificate signed by Bernd Schneider.

The five-times DTM champion, overall ITC winner from 1995 and FIA GT world champion from 1997 works for Mercedes-AMG as a brand ambassador and an instructor at the AMG Driving Academy.

As an established expert in the field of SLS AMG GT3 customer sport Bernd Schneider has carried out the majority of the test drives for the racing version of the gullwing model. He also participates in selected races as part of the AMG driver support set-up. Bernd Schneider competed for various AMG customer teams in 2012, including the 24-hour Dubai race, at the Nürburgring and in Spa-Francorchamps. In the ninth race of the VLN Endurance Championship Nürburgring, Bernd Schneider took a start position together with Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED) for the AMG Customer Team Black Falcon and won the 4-hour race. After numerous podium positions in the past two years, this was his first victory with the SLS AMG GT3.

Vehicle handover directly at AMG headquarters

Handover of the SLS AMG GT3 "45th ANNIVERSARY" takes place directly at Mercedes-AMG in Affalterbach, where customers are also granted exclusive insights into the AMG world and have an opportunity to sample AMG's hallmark excellent service and support quality. An in-depth introduction to operation of the new vehicle and its engineering and technology is provided in the new 360 square-metre handover hall. In the case of this special GT3 racing car, this instruction is provided personally by AMG brand ambassador Bernd Schneider.

The programme also includes a tour of the factory, taking in the AMG Performance Studio, where exclusive series of individual AMG cars and one-off vehicles are developed and hand-made. This is followed by a visit to the AMG engine "Manufaktur" (hand-finishing section), where Bernd Schneider and the AMG engine fitter assembled this special AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine by hand. On request, the SLS AMG GT3 "45th ANNIVERSARY" customer can enjoy a race track coaching session as part of an initiation event with the vehicle.

Price for Germany (incl. 19% VAT):

SLS AMG GT3 "45th ANNIVERSARY"
€ 446,250