Seeing the Black Series in the metal for the first time this morning at the LA Auto Show, we were struck by the sheer volume of carbon fiber that has been employed in its manufacture. From the massive front splitter to the towering wing out back, the SLS is festooned with as much visible carbon as we've seen this side of a Koenigsegg.
Check back on our initial report of the SLS AMG Black Series launch to refresh your memory about the supercar, or just dive into our gallery showing the car's debut amongst the media hordes.
Extreme performance for the road
MONTVALE, NJ – Mercedes-AMG presents the most extreme version of the celebrated SLS, the 2014MY SLS AMG Black Series. Inspired by the SLS AMG GT3 race car, the fifth Black Series model from Mercedes-AMG boasts a fascinating mix of breathtaking design, outstanding driving dynamics and uncompromising lightweight construction in line with the "AMG Lightweight Performance" strategy. With a curb weight of 3,417 pounds, the 2014MY SLS AMG Black Series achieves a power/weight ratio of 5.49 lb/hp. The AMG 6.3-liter V8 engine generates a power output of 622 hp at 7,400 rpm and accelerates the most dynamic SLS of all time to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds. The SLS AMG Black Series achieves a whole new level ofperformance with the coil-over AMG Adaptive Performance Suspension, AMG high-performance ceramic two-piece brake system and weight-optimized, forged AMG light-alloy wheels with new sport tires. Additional highlights include electronically-controlled AMG rear-axle differential lockand the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission featuring spectacular shift and response times. The available AMG Aerodynamics package delivers a further boost to the vehicle's handling and dynamics. The 2014MY SLS AMG Black Series goes on-sale in the U.S. in summer 2013.
Black Series is a name that resonates with automobile experts and enthusiasts worldwide. Following the SLK55 AMG Black Series from 2006 (European model), the 2008 CLK63 AMG Black Series, the 2009 SL65 AMG Black Series and the 2013 C63 AMG Black Series, the fifth in the lineup sees the Black Series enter a whole new dimension with the iconic SLS AMG.
"The new SLS AMG Black Series is a perfect study in the one hundred percent transfer of technology and engineering from motorsport to road. We have drawn inspiration from the worldwide success of the SLS AMG GT3 customer sport racing car on both a conceptual and a technological level. Boasting numerous lightweight components and fascinating dynamics, our fifth Black Series model guarantees pure, unadulterated 'Driving Performance.' The SLS AMG Black Series is the ultimate choice for fast laps and a highly emotional driving experience," says Ola Källenius, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
"Fans of high-performance super sports cars will be fascinated by its high-tech package. The basis for passionate performance and supreme driving dynamics is provided by numerous new developments in the engine, transmission, suspension and aerodynamics – also giving top priority to our "AMG Lightweight Performance" strategy. Outstanding efforts in the field of lightweight design have resulted in a curb weight of 3,417 pounds," notes Tobias Moers, Head of Total Vehicle Development and Member of the Board of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
AMG 6.3-liter V8 engine – synonymous with thrilling driving dynamics
The uprated AMG 6.3-liter V8 engine generating a power output of 622 hp and 468 lb-ft of torque is a synonym for thrilling driving dynamics, making the 2014MY SLS AMG Black Series the most powerful AMG high-performance automobile with a combustion engine. Only the SLS AMG Electric Drive with a maximum output of 740 hp has more power.
The 2014MY SLS AMG Black Series accelerates to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds, and onward to a top speed of 196 mph. The additional 39 hp of power compared to the 583 hp delivered by the
SLS AMG GT is courtesy of the following enhancements:
-Increase in maximum engine speed from 7,200 to 8,000 rpm
-Fully revised high-speed valve train with modified camshafts, adapted cam geometry and optimized bucket tappets featuring a special coating that is typically used on race vehicles -Modification of the intake air ducting: de-throttling and adaptation tomatch the new maximum engine speed
-Adaptation of the engine mapping and increase in peak pressure
The engineers at Mercedes-AMG have further optimized the crank assembly in the interests of optimum stability under tough race track conditions. The measures include modified oil bores in the crankshaft, new crankshaft bearings, a new oil pump and high-strength screw fasteners for the connecting rods. The entire water and oil cooling system for the engine and transmission has been optimized further. The AMG V8 engine in the SLS AMG Black Series also has an additional specialized mounting system. A gas-filled strut braces the eight-cylinder engine against the body, effectively eliminating undesired load shifts during highly-dynamic race-track driving. The AMG 6.3-liter V8 engine is hand-built in the AMG factory in Affalterbach, in line with the philosophy "one man, one engine." This hand-made quality is confirmed by the black AMG engine badge bearing the signature of the engine builder, which is a hallmark of the Black Series models.
The key data at a glance:
SLS AMG Black Series
-Displacement: 6,208 cc
-Bore x stroke: 4.02 x 3.72 inches
-Compression ratio: 11.3 : 1
-Output: 622 hp at 7,400 rpm
-Max. torque: 468 lb-ft at 5,500 rpm
-Maximum engine speed: 8,000 rpm
-Engine weight (dry): 452 lbs
-Acceleration 0-60 mph: 3.5 s
-Top speed: 196 mph
The eight-cylinder naturally aspirated engine installed with a front mid-engine layout behind the front axle, and boasts racing car responses and an exceptional level of high-revving performance. The racetrack credentials of thepowerful AMG V8 engine are also apparent from its sound: the newly designed AMG sport exhaust system, produced for the first time in titanium, features distinctive center and rear mufflers, delivering a more powerful and even more striking engine sound. The switch from steel to titanium has spawned substantial weight savings: at just under 37.5 pounds, the new AMG sports exhaust system is around 28.7 pounds lighter than its predecessor. The new system features performance-enhancing, fan-type exhaust manifolds.
Systematic application of the AMG Lightweight Performance strategy
With a curb weight of 3,417 pounds, the 2014MY SLS AMG Black Series is not only 154 pounds lighter than the SLS AMG, but also attains the best power/weight ratio by far of all AMG Black Series vehicles to date. Even among super sports cars, the figure of 5.49 lb/hp is extremely competitive and made possible by consistent application of the "AMG Lightweight Performance" strategy. Numerous body elements, such as the hood, the rear panel behind the AMG sports bucket seats, the diagonal braces on the underbody and the torque tube between engine and transmission are made entirely from CFRP (carbon-fiber reinforced plastic). In contrast to its 58.6-pound counterpart with a sand-cast aluminum housing, the carbon-fiber torque tube weighs just 29.3 pounds. As before, a CFRP drive shaft weighing just 10.4 pounds handles power transmission between the engine and dual-clutch transmission (transaxle principle), which is flange-mounted on the rear axle. CFRP components also replace a number of parts of the aluminum spaceframe, while a lithium-ion battery takes on the role of the conventional starter battery, saving a further 17.6 pounds.
Dual-clutch transmission for even smoother performance
The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission is installed 0.4 inches lower in order to give the vehicle a lower center of gravity and is braced against the body by gas-filled struts to avoid stress cycling. The dual-clutch transmission features four drive modes (C, S, S+ and M). "Sport plus" and "Manual" deliver even more aggressive performance than in the SLS AMG and SLS AMG GT models. In addition to an increase in shift speed, the transmission also has reduced response time to shift commands from the driver.
An even more thrilling feature is the automatic rev-matching function during downshifting: the throttle blips when shifting gears are more pronounced and more striking than ever due to the AMG titanium sports exhaust system. There is also a new temporary M mode. In C, S or S+ mode, this enables the driver to activate manual mode without taking a hand from the steering wheel, bypressing the "up" or "down" shift paddle once. In temporary M mode the driver experiences the dynamism and performance of gear-shifting in manual mode in all of the automatic driving programs, with automatic up and down-shifting as well. This allows the driver to devote his full attention to the vehicle's impressive performance.
New electronic AMG rear-axle differential lock
A new electronically controlled AMG rear-axle differential lock with a shorter rear axle ratio replaces the mechanical variant. Integrated into the compact transmission housing, this system operates with a variable locking effect under acceleration and deceleration. In addition, the electronics are now more responsive, enabling excellent traction for the rear wheels under all roadconditions. The electronic AMG rear-axle differential lock also benefits safety. By reducing the vehicle's yaw around its vertical axis, the system provides a stabilizing effect in slaloms or when changing lane at high speeds. The standard 3-stage ESP®system featuring the functions "ESP ON", "ESP SPORT Handling Mode" and "ESP OFF" is precision-tuned to the electronic AMG rear-axle differential lock. The same applies to the RACE START function, which works with the electronic differential lock to provide perfect traction when accelerating from a standing start.
AMG Adaptive Performance Suspension and sports tires
The chassis and suspension of the 2014 SLS AMG Black Series are also new. The basic layout with aluminum double wishbones at all four corners remains unchanged, but virtually every single component has been refined for significantly enhanced track performance.
The new developments in detail:
-AMG Adaptive Performance Suspension with tauter base setup and electronically controlled two-stage damping (Sport, Sport +) for individual adjustment to suit personal driving style
-Coil-over spring suspension allows for adjusting wheel loads to individual race track setups
-Elastokinematics 50 / 42% more rigid (front/rear axle) for greater stability in turns
-Track width increased by 0.8 / 0.9 inches (front/rear axle) for added grip
-New wheel mounts on front axle and new front stabilizer tuning for addedgrip, reduced body roll in fast cornering
-AMG 10-spoke forged alloy wheels, in very lightweight forged design for optimum strength, painted matte black with high-gloss finish, dimensions: 10x19 front; 12x20 rear. Weight saving: 8.8 pounds
-Newly developed Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 sports tires. Dimensions 275/35 R 19 front and 325/30 R 20 rear, for added grip and cornering at the limit
-AMG speed-sensitive steering with revised power steering characteristics for optimum steering precision and outstanding control
Standard AMG high-performance ceramic two-piece brake system
The brake system on the SLS AMG Black Series boasts excellent deceleration performance and outstanding stability. The standard AMG high-performance ceramic two-piece brake system measures 15.8 x 1.5 inches at the front and 14.2 x 1.3 inches at the rear, and feature increased hardness for enhanced thermal stability, combined with a weight reduction of around 40 percent over their steel/aluminum counterparts. As a result of the reduced unsprung weight, they optimize both comfort and grip, while the reduced rotating masseson the front axle deliver a more direct steering response. The weight savings is approximately 35.3 pounds compared to a conventional steel/aluminum brake system.
Design inspired by the SLS AMG GT3 race car
The design of the SLS AMG Black Series takes its cues from the SLS AMG GT3 race car. The SLS race car developed in accordance with FIA GT3 rules has quickly become established as a serious contender among the super sports car elite.
In the 2012 motorsport season the SLS AMG GT3 is competing in more than 15 series on four continents. The triple victory in the 24-hour Dubai race in January 2012, three driver and team titles in the FIA GT3 European Championship, the ADAC GT Masters and the FIA GT3 World Championship, along with numerous podium places at various short-distance, 4 and 6-hour races provide impressive documentation of the SLS AMG GT3's sporty performance. To date, the car has notched up 37 victories in the 2012 season (as of October 28, 2012).
Flared fenders with an added width of 0.5 inches (front) and 1.0 inch (rear) on each side create the necessary space for the 10.8-inch and 12.8-inch sports tires. Tinted headlamps and black surrounds for the rear lights give the SLS AMG Black Series a muscular and aggressive look. The vehicle's aerodynamic balance is optimized by front, rear and side skirts and a rear diffuser, all in a signature Black Series design. The package features extensive use of CFRP on the front splitter, side sills and rear skirt. The enlarged air intakes with carbon-fiber flics also ensure optimum airflow into the cooling modules at the front.
As on the SLS AMG GT3, the carbon-fiber hood features a central air outlet. Aside from effectively dissipating engine heat, this outlet also increases downforce at the front axle and improves the cd value. The wing-like cross-fin and the star recessed into the radiator grille are finished in high-gloss black to match the exterior mirrors and the fins on the hood. The carbon-fiber insert on the sides with air outlet and a black fin is also reminiscent of the GT3; this feature helps reduce the temperature in the engine compartment. The result is maximum stability, even in tough race track use.
Matte black AMG forged wheels in signature Black Series design
A striking feature along the sides is the attractive integration of the side skirts, which combine with the character line for a striking look. The carbon elements fitted along the bottom edges carry the line of the carbon-fiber front splitter through to the rear of the vehicle. AMG forged wheels in a signature Black Series 10-spoke design, painted in matte black with a high-gloss finish provideglimpses of the AMG ceramic high-performance two-piece brake system. Also available are AMG forged wheels in matte black with a polished flange.
The muscular look of the SLS AMG Black Series carries through to the rear. The wide fenders and the striking rear diffuser are the dominant features here. The diffuser extends beyond the profile of the rear skirt to produce additional downforce at the rear axle. This results in greater driving stability at high speeds. Visible air openings behind black grilles control the discharge of hot air around the AMG titanium sports exhaust system. The two sets of twin chrome tailpipes with a square cross-section are a visual indication of the super sports car's power – an impression reinforced by the exhaust note. The exclusive AMG logo with contrasting Black Series lettering in black adds a discreet yet striking touch at the top right of the trunk lid.
AMG Aerodynamics package with carbon-fiber components
The SLS AMG Black Series can be upgraded with the optional AMG Aerodynamics package. This package features an adjustable carbon-fiber rear wing in place of the standard wind deflector. The rear wing is braced by aluminum elements on a special insert on the trunk lid that provide even greater downforce on the rear axle – especially with the Gurney flap, named for its inventor Dan Gurney, a former racing driver, designer and team owner. This 0.3-inch spoiler lip fitted to the rear wing at an angle of 90 degrees delivers a further increase in downforce without significantly increasing drag. The rear wing is complemented by additional carbon-fiber flics on the front skirt, which further increase downforce at the front axle, as opposed to the more inward-lying standard carbon-fiber flics, which optimize airflow into the cooling modules.
The eye-catching AMG Solar Beam exterior paint is available exclusively on the SLS AMG Black Series. Six further exterior paint finishes from the SLS AMG range are available, including the matte finish designo magno alanite grey.
Functional, performance interior that exudes quality
The interior of the SLS AMG Black Series features high-quality materials with precision workmanship and exquisitely designed details. There is a choice oftwo color variants: black designo leather with black Alcantara® or black designo leather with black/red Alcantara®. With the two-tone variant, the door cente rpanels and the applications on the center console and above the glove box are finished in red. The AMG Performance steering wheel with flattened rim at the bottom is wrapped entirely in Alcantara® for excellent grip. The top section of the steering wheel features a red 12 o'clock marking. The metal bezel has a high-gloss black paint finish to match the high-gloss black surrounds of the airvents. An exclusive Black Series detail is the "3D seam" that runs horizontally along the dashboard - a fine Alcantara®strip in anthracite running across the entire width of the leather covering. Red contrasting stitching provides a striking finish to the 3D seam, underscoring the hand-crafted character.
The combination of designo leather and Alcantara® features throughout the interior – on the bottom section of the dashboard, on the door center panels and on the AMG sports seats with center sections upholstered in Alcantara®. Embossed AMG logos on the head restraints are further exclusive eye-catchers.
For additional weight savings, the customer may delete the COMAND multimedia system. This reduces the vehicle's weight by an additional 13 pounds and further enhances the uncompromising character of the SLS AMG Black Series. In place of the screen between the air vents, a carbon-fiber trim element enhances the authentic racing atmosphere. Vehicle occupants will alsofind carbon fiber covering the entire center console, which is home to the AMG DRIVE UNIT. Bold highlights come from the red seat belts and red contrasting stitching on the AMG sports bucket seats, the center console, the upper and lower section of the dashboard and the door paneling. The floor mats also feature red piping.
Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end surround sound system
A highlight among the optional equipment is the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end surround sound system, developed by Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG together with renowned Danish audio specialist Bang & Olufsen. The Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end surround soundsystem with Dolby Digital 5.1 delivers an exclusive music experience of the very highest order. This is made possible by a 1000-watt amplifier and 11 speakers in conjunction with precise distribution of the music signals by the sound processor according to the selected seat positions – driver, co-driver or central. The DSP digital sound processor also enables the user to switchbetween high-end studio sound ("Reference") and a surround sound option. Allfunctions are controlled via COMAND in a special Bang & Olufsen menu. The illuminated 50-watt lens tweeters on the dashboard are a particular highlight,while the 250-watt subwoofer is integrated into the rear shelf. High-quality speaker covers sporting the Bang & Olufsen logo indicate the high-end system's exclusive character.
Further stand-alone options are also available:
-AMG carbon fiber exterior mirror
-AMG carbon fiber engine cover
-AMG Interior Carbon Fiber Package
The U.S. market launch of the 2014MY SLS AMG Black Series is scheduled for summer 2013.
-On-Sale: Summer 2013
-2014 SLS AMG Black Series: 622hp, 468 lb-ft (SLS AMG GT: 583hp, 479 lb-ft)
-Top Speed: 196 mph
-0-60 mph: 3.5 seconds
New Standard Feature Highlights:
-Modified engine components for more power, increased rev limit of 8,000 rpm
-Track increased 0.8" (front) / 0.9" (rear)
-AMG 10-spoke forged alloy wheels in matte black, 10 x 19 (front)/12 x 20 (rear)
-CFRP hood, torque tube, diagonal underbody braces
-Revised AMG speed-sensitive power steering
-AMG Adaptive Performance Suspension
-AMG high-performance two-piece ceramic brakes
-Matte black forged wheels
-Electronically-controlled AMG rear axle differential lock
-Modified AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission
-New engine brace with gas-filled strut
-Titanium exhaust system
New Optional Equipment Highlights:
-AMG carbon-fiber exterior mirror
-AMG carbon-fiber engine cover
-AMG Interior Carbon Fiber Package
-AMG Aerodynamics Package
-AMG forged matte black wheels with polished rims
-Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end surround sound system
-COMAND multimedia system delete