MERCEDES is showing off this stunning gull-wing GT3 version of the SLS AMG model.
This racing version of the gullwing model stands out with its spectacular design and thoroughbred motor sports technology and has been developed to comply with the GT3 specifications of the FIA.
The SLS AMG GT3 is designed as a racing sports car for customers competing in sprints and long-distance races. These race series are noted for their very varied participants and great excitement, not least because of their comparatively favourable cost structure, they are enjoying increasing worldwide popularity.
AMG, the performance brand within Mercedes-Benz, is entering a new business sector with the SLS AMG GT3 – the development, production and marketing of sports racing cars intended for customer use. Sales of these customer cars are expected to begin in autumn 2010, and the GT3 variant will be ready in time for the 2011 racing season.
“Thanks to uncompromising lightweight construction and superior handling dynamics, the SLS AMG provides an outstanding basis for a highly competitive racing car. This exciting GT3 version is our response to strong customer demand for a car designed for these attractive motor sports series. Once again, it demonstrates AMG’s huge experience gained in more than 40 years of motor sports, and its great expertise in the development of unique high-performance cars,” says Volker Mornhinweg, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
The new SLS AMG GT3 is an emphatic continuation of AMG’s commitment to motor sports. AMG has been a pioneer in the motor sports world ever since its foundation in 1967. The new racing version of the SLS AMG is developed and produced by AMG in close cooperation with HWA AG, which is responsible for the DTM racing team on behalf of Mercedes-Benz Motorsports. The team is one of the most successful in international motor sports, having won nine driver championships in the DTM and ITC, as well as two championship titles in the FIA GT Championships.
The SLS AMG GT3 is set to write another chapter in this success story, and harks back to the 300 SL racing sports car of 1952 which first established the “gullwing” legend. Its historic victory in the “Carrera Panamericana” long-distance race also made Mercedes-Benz a household name in North and Central America, and demonstrated the know-how and expertise of the Stuttgart-based car company.
The new SLS AMG GT3 is wide, flat and has spectacular racing car looks. The main focus when modifying the body of this gullwing model was on aerodynamic performance – as is seen not only in the new front apron with a splitter, the bonnet with its central cooling air vent and the wider front and rear wings, but also in the side wheel arch air vents, the sideskirts with cooling ducts for the rear brakes, the smooth underbody with a rear diffuser and the adjustable rear aerofoil. All these features ensure a low drag coefficient and maximum downforce . The C-pillars accommodate the standardised filler pipes for the fast-refuel system.
The FIA will determine the maximum output of the AMG 6.3-litre V8 front-mid engine with dry sump lubrication on the “Balance of Performance” principle. This is intended to ensure that all the racing cars taking part have an equal chance. The classification process, during which the kerb weight is also determined, will be completed this year. Power transmission in the GT3 variant is by a sequential six-speed racing transmission with steering wheel shift paddles.
The interior of the SLS AMG GT3 is dominated by a functional racing car atmosphere: the steel rollover cage not only ensures the driver’s safety, but also adds additional reinforcement to the aluminium spaceframe. Another eye-catching feature is the racing bucket seat with a six-point seat belt and HANS system (Head and Neck Support). The central display is perfectly positioned in the driver’s field of vision, and shows all the relevant information such as speed, engine rpm, operating temperatures, lap times and the selected gear. The open-top racing steering wheel with gearshift paddles makes perfect vehicle control possible.
Additional controls are located on the centre console. This is where the driver can not only start the AMG V8 engine or adjust the traction control, but also select reverse gear or – if the worst comes to the worst – activate the integrated fire extinguisher system. The adjustment control for the brake balance is located on the torque tube tunnel.