2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT ups the supercar stakes

Despite the addition of "GT" to its name, and despite the fact that this is indeed a more hardcore version of the tasty Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, there's one thing you need to keep in mind: This is not – we repeat, not – an addition to the SLS range. To pull from the automaker's press blast, " Mercedes-Benz will now exclusively offer the new SLS AMG GT. Available as a Coupe and Roadster, it will go on sale in mid-November 2012, replacing previous SLS AMG versions."

The SLS AMG is dead. Long live the SLS AMG GT.

So, let's dive in to the good stuff. For starters, the GT uses the same 6.2-liter fire-breathing V8 from the current SLS, though there's an additional 20 horsepower on tap – 583 versus the 563 of the outgoing model. Torque output remains the same at 479 pound-feet and the same seven-speed AMG Speedshift dual-clutch transmission is on tap as before. The added grunt shaves a tenth of a second off of the SLS' 0-60 time (3.6 seconds instead of 3.7), and the GT's top speed is electronically limited to the same 197 miles per hour as before.

But it's not just the powertrain that gets some enhancements. Mercedes has reworked its adaptive performance suspension, and compared to the 2012 model, we're told that the 2013 GT rides on stiffer springs and dampers that have been more aggressively tuned. The new SLS still rides on 19-inch alloy wheels up front, wrapped in sticky 265/35-series rubber, while 20-inch rollers are found at the rear, wearing even stickier 295/30-series tires.

A number of enhancements have been made to the SLS' interior with the introduction of the GT model, including a new Designo style package. This optional extra comes in three different color combinations – in both single- and two-tone finishes – and features only the finest leather surfaces with contrast stitching and a diamond quilt pattern on the seats and doors. Sounds plush. Of course, plenty of other optional goodies are also available, including carbon fiber parts for both the interior and exterior, carbon ceramic brakes, a Bang & Olufsen sound system and different wheel options.

We never could find much fault with the current SLS AMG, and it would appear that things are only getting better for 2013, added nomenclature aside. Scroll down to read all of the nitty-gritty details in Merc's release.
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Enhanced driving dynamics

The new 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT boasts enhanced driving dynamics and even better on-track performance. With an enhanced maximum output of 583 hp (435 kW), a re-calibrated AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission and the redeveloped AMG Adaptive Suspension, the new SLS AMG GT – which is available both as a Coupé and a Roadster – has raised the bar even higher. As a further highlight, a new optional AMG designo STYLE interior package is now also available for the 2013 SLS AMG GT. According to Tobias Moers, Board Member and Head of Overall Vehicle Development for Mercedes-AMG GmbH: "The new SLS AMG GT demonstrates the sort of potential which lies in AMG's super sports cars. With its even higher levels of performance, the SLS AMG GT excites out on the race track in particular by providing an emotionally enjoyable and passionate driving experience."

For MY2013 in the U.S., Mercedes-Benz will now exclusively offer the new SLS AMG GT. Available as a Coupe and Roadster, it will go on sale in mid- November 2012, replacing previous SLS AMG versions.

Masculine and decidedly athletic the new SLS AMG GT is distinguished by darkened headlamp and tail light lenses a unique wheel color and red-painted brake calipers. The wing-shaped cross fins and the star recess in the radiator grille are given a new high-gloss black finish, as do the exterior mirrors and the fins on the hood and front fenders. The AMG logo on the right of the trunk lid also features the additional letters "GT" to clearly identify this new model.

One look at the technical specifications highlights the fact that AMG successfully elevated the dynamic profile of the SLS AMG GT even further. The maximum output of the AMG 6.3-liter V8 front mid-engine has been increased to 583 hp at 6800 rpm, while the maximum torque is maintained at 479 lb/ft at 4750 rpm. These changes yield a 0-60 mph acceleration time of 3.6 (est) seconds with a max speed of 197mph (electronically limted)

The key data at a glance:

Cylinder arrangement: V8
Valves per cylinder: 4
Displacement: 6208 cc
Bore x stroke: 102.2 x 94.6 mm
Compression ratio: 11.3:1
Output: 583 hp at 6800 rpm
Max. torque: 479 lb/ft at 4750 rpm
Fuel economy: 14 city / 20 highway / 15 combined
Acceleration 0-60mph: 3.6s (est)
Top speed: 197mph*
Please note, preliminary figures. * electronically limited

Mercedes-AMG has achieved the output of 583 hp through internal dethrottling measures in conjunction with an increase in peak combustion pressure. The SLS AMG GT M159 6.3-liter eight-cylinder engine responds with even greater agility to accelerator pedal movements and excites with even sportier-tuned performance characteristics. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission located on the rear axle is more direct and aggressive in the manual "M" transmission mode. Thanks to newly developed gear change logic and optimised transmission control, it has been possible to shorten reaction time significantly during shifts.

When changing gears manually via the alloy shift paddles on the AMG Performance steering wheel, gear change are executed crisply and markedly quicker than previously – all of which is ideal when striving to achieve ambitious lap times on a closed race circuit.

These changes in shift reaction time and feel provide an even more emotional experience for the driver. The automatic double-declutching function when downshifting is also more pronounced in the SLS AMG GT. Due to a modified engine mapping profile that changes the engine torque delivered in manual mode, the shift procedure is even quicker than previously – and is accompanied by some passionate acoustic feedback for the driver. Overall, the optimization of the dual clutch transmission complements the sportier focus of the SLS AMG GT perfectly.

New AMG Adaptive Performance Suspension

It is not just the enhancements to AMG's M159 6.3-liter V8 and the optimized dual clutch transmission which are responsible for increasing the driving dynamics of the SLS AMG GT. The newly developed AMG Adaptive Performance Suspension also enhances the vehicle's sportiness. In the case of the SLS AMG GT, Mercedes-AMG has combined the sophisticated suspension layout of twin aluminium wishbones all round with specially tuned variable, electronically controlled dampers. Compared with the AMG Adaptive Suspension from the 2012 Model Year SLS AMG, the new AMG Adapative Performance Suspension for the SLS AMG GT features stiffer and more aggressive spring/damper tuning for a more dynamic feel.

"Sport" mode is tuned as the optimum setting for undulating road surfaces and routes requiring increased suspension travel – such as found on rural roads or the legendary North Loop of the Nürburgring, for example.

The control algorithm of the AMG Adaptive Performance Suspension reacts best to fluctuations in the road surface with a tendency towards lower/softer damper force levels. The resulting effect is the best possible performance by effectively preventing body roll for enhanced contact with the road when adopting a sporty driving style. The enhanced driving dynamics and even better race track performance are measureable: as part of an internal comparison with the SLS AMG, the SLS AMG GT is able to achieve faster lap times on a race track.

"Sport plus" provides higher/firmer damping forces and features specific control algorithms which have been adjusted for a decidedly sporty driving style on routes with a level road surface - such as when trying to achieve ambitious lap times on a race circuit such as Hockenheim.

Selection of suspension modes via the AMG DRIVE UNIT

Depending on the driving conditions, speed and vehicle load, the AMG Adaptive Performance Suspension adjusts the damping characteristics at lightning speed and automatically reduces the roll angle of the body. The two modes can be selected via a button on the AMG DRIVE UNIT. The activated suspension mode is indicated by means of indicator lamps on the button and the display in the AMG main menu.

As standard, the vehicle comes with 265/35 R 19 tires on the front and 295/30 R 20 tires on the rear, fitted to weight-optimized AMG forged light-alloy wheels featuring a 10-spoke design and that are inlayed in a matte black finish and with machine polished high-sheen finish on the face of the wheel. Three additional optional AMG light-alloy wheel styles/colors are also available.

Interior with consistently sporty highlights

The interior of the SLS AMG GT features a distinctivly sporty design: combining the high-quality, exclusive ambience of a true AMG model with the emotional atmosphere of a racing car. The sports seats covered in designo leather, feature center sections finished in Alcantara® and are accented with an embossed AMG crest on the head restraint. Complimenting the styling design of the seats, Alcantara® is also found as an accent on the door panels. These premium materials are combined with red seat belts, red trimmed floormats and red contrast stitching thoughout the interior on the sports seats, center console, dashboard, and door panels.

The high-gloss black trim on the center console and door panels perfectly match the new high-gloss black finish found on the trim rings of the air vents and the real metal insert on the AMG Performance steering wheel. The steering wheel has been enhanced as well with side grips finished in Alcantara®, a flat bottom section and now features a new red 12 o'clock marking for easier orientation while driving. The instrument cluster of the SLS GT has also been visually enhanced with new black dials and a black accent surrounding the LED shift lights.

AMG designo STYLE interior package for all SLS AMG GT

Also now available with the introduction of the SLS AMG GT, is a new, highly exclusive option in the form of the AMG designo STYLE package. This expressive option is available in three different color combinations in both single and two-tone finishes. It comprises a distinctive upholstery design featuring full designo leather with a contrast stitching and a diamond quilt design on the seats and door panel inserts.

Other highlights include designo leather for the entire dashboard, the beltlines, door armrests and the handrest on the centre console. AMG floor mats are in black with porcelain leather edging and the roof lining and parcel shelf (Coupé) or roll-over bar (Roadster) are finished in porcelain Alcantara.® Seat piping is also finished in contrasting colors which offer an exciting highlight and underscores the exclusive, hand-finished nature of this new styling package. Available color combinations include mocha brown/porcelain, titanium grey/porcelain and mystic red/porcelain.

Other attractive optional extras for the SLS AMG GT include (extract):
• AMG carbon-fiber exterior mirrors
• AMG carbon-fiber engine compartment covers
• AMG Interior Carbon-Fiber package (carbon-fiber trim, trim on seat backrest and side, door sill panels)
• AMG carbon ceramic high-performance composite braking system
• AMG Performance Media
• AMG 10-spoke forged wheels in additional colors
• AMG carbon-fiber interior trim
• Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG surround sound system

The specific assembly area for the SLS AMG is located in the largest Mercedes-Benz production plant in Sindelfingen. The AMG 6.3-liter V8 engine comes directly from the AMG engine workshop in Affalterbach, where it is hand-assembled according to the traditional "one man, one engine" philosophy.

40 significant awards for the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

The SLS AMG has succeeded in winning numerous comparison tests against a host of international competitors conducted by the international specialist media – both as the gullwing model and the Roadster. Since its world premiere at the IAA International Motor Show in Frankfurt in 2009 and the presentation of the SLS AMG Roadster in May 2011, the super sports car from Mercedes- AMG has picked up a total of 40 awards – including such major prizes as the "German Design Award", the "Red Dot Design Award", the "Golden Steering Wheel 2009", "Classic of the Future", "Sports Car of the Year", "Best Performance Car" and "Legends on Wheels".

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Information

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

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