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Four Mercedes-Benz AMG engineers working on the engine of an SLS AMG GT3 in the dead of night – we're sure it's a scene that happens quite often throughout the year. But in this case, so close to the Yuletide, it turns out their prime concerns aren't horsepower and lap times but engine temperature. Specifically, everyone wants to make sure that the 6.3-liter V8 stays at 180 degrees.

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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 painte

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Despite what longtime rival Michael Schumacher might have to say about it, when you're a multiple Formula One world champion, you don't have anything left to prove. That leaves you free to do pretty much whatever you want with the rest of your life.

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Susie Stoddart drives the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 – Click above to watch video after the jump

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2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 – Click above to watch video after the jump

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If you believe it's time you learned more about the SLS AMG GT3, you're in luck. The gateway to knowledge has opened via a microsite for the FIA-spec racer.

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Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 - Click above for high-res image gallery

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Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 – Click above for a high-res image gallery

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