Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG gets driven, details revealed

2010 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG - Click above for high-res image gallery

The recent spate of leaks surrounding the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG were a clear indication that a few select members of the press were invited to a pre-debut debut ahead of the gullwing's official unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show and that we could expect some initial driving impressions soon. Well, with the embargo dam critically injured, the first round of reviews have hit, revealing some critical details about Mercedes' all-new supercoupe.

Get the scoop after the jump.

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Both Road & Track and Inside Line have published initial impressions of the SLS, and aside from glowing praise of the gullwing's dynamics ("The steering imparts a direct, communicative feel like no other Benz we've driven, SLR included." – Andreas Stahl, IL and "Unlike many cars that corner extremely flat, adhesion at the limit is easy to sense and control, with ultra-predictable breakaway and recovery." – Douglas Kott, R&T) the SLS' specs are out in the open.

Unlike the SLR, the SLS' chassis is all aluminum (all told, it tips the scales at around 3,550 pounds), and according to AMG Development Chief, Tobias Moers, "Aluminum is a better material, especially when it comes to quelling vibration." AMG's 6.2-liter M156 V8 is mounted aft of the front axle, but after undergoing a series of changes – dry-sump lubrication system and twin exhaust headers – it's been designated the M159 and puts out 571 hp at 6,800 rpm and 479 lb-ft of torque at 4,750 rpm.

A seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox is integrated into the rear axle, helping the SLS achieve a 48/52 front-to-rear weight distribution, and the new transmission is mounted to the naturally aspirated V8 by a carbon fiber driveshaft housed within an aluminum torque tube.

The wheelbase spans 105.5 inches, with the front track coming in at 66.1 inches and the rear covering 64.9 inches. Double-wishbones are mounted at all four corners along with 19-inch wheels up front and 20s in the rear (shod in 265/35 R19s in front and 295/30 R20s out back). Carbon ceramic brakes are an option, and come in at 15.4-inches in front and 14.2-inches in the rear. AMG claims a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds, a top speed of 196 mph and a 1.38g on the skid pad.

Every tantalizing tidbit about the SLS will be officially revealed in two month's time, but if these initial impressions are any indication, Mercedes has a hit on its hands – assuming the SLS' exterior is as intriguing as its stats.

[Sources: Inside Line, Road & Track]

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