Just yesterday, Mercedes-Benzreleased a teaser on its Facebook page showing what we could only guess was the SLS AMG Black Series, and this morning our suspicions proved true as the automaker removed the tight-fitting cover. Preparing for the car's official debut at the 2012 LA Auto Show, the latest addition to the Mercedes-Benz Black Series is by far the most impressive with extensive measures taken to improve performance and reduce weight.
Underneath the SLS' long hood, AMG has reworked the engine squeezing an extra 39 horsepower from the 6.2-litre V8 raising the output to 622 hp. And even though overall torque has dropped by 11 pound-feet, acceleration from 0-96 kilometre per hour (zero to 60 miles per hour) is quicker at 3.5 seconds. Top speed is 315 km/h (196 mph). The handling of the car has also been improved on all levels, including upgraded ceramic brakes with two-piece rotors (measuring 15.8-inches in the front and 14.2-inches at the rear wheels), adjustable coil over suspension, electronically controlled rear differential and a track that has been widened by almost an inch. For added rigidity, many of the body braces in the aluminum space frame have been replaced with carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) helping to shed precious pounds.
At 1,550 kilograms (3,417 pounds), the SLS AMG Black Series has dropped a total of 70 kg (154 pounds) compared to the SLS AMG GT. Some of the numbers are actually pretty significant, such as the 16 kg (35.3 pounds) saved with the ceramic brakes, 13.2 kg (29.3 pounds) cut thanks to using a CFRP engine-to-transmission torque tube rather than aluminum and 13.8 kg (28.7 pounds) from the titanium exhaust system. Showing AMG's determination to shed pounds, even the car's conventional battery has been replaced with a lithium-ion battery which is good for another 8 kg (17.6 pounds) of curb weight savings – possibly the first such application of a lithium-ion battery outside of a hybrid or electric vehicle.
Mercedes-Benz says that the styling of the SLS AMG Black Series was inspired by its GT3 racecar, and elements like the front chin spoiler, forged alloy wheels, rear diffuser and the vented side skirts and rear fascia help the car look the part. Many of the body panels are made of CFRP, including the flared front and rear fenders. This racecar styling is also applied to the interior of the Black Series with a sport steering wheel that features a red 12 o'clock marking and plenty of exposed carbon fibre. The car shown in the images above not only sports the Solar Beam paint exclusive to this car, it also features the optional AMG Aerodynamics package that gets an adjustable CFRP rear wing with aluminum uprights and front fascia flics (the little swooshy fins below the air intakes), but all of the cars get a vented hood that increases front axle downforce.
The 2014 SLS AMG Gullwing Black Series goes on sale next summer, but Mercedes has yet to announce pricing or production numbers. Scroll down for more information than you probably need to know about the car in its lengthy official press release.