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Mercedes lines up potent SLS for Oz

Not for Oz: The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT won't be coming to Australia, but other limited edition models may be in the pipeline.

SLS AMG GT misses cut as Mercedes Australia eyes even more powerful gullwing

6 Jun 2012

THIS is the car that Mercedes-Benz Australia threw back, because it has bigger fish to fry.

The Mercedes SLS AMG GT is an enhanced version of the Stuttgart company’s SLS sports flagship, armed with more power and an all-round harder edge.

But it will not join other Benz vehicles on the boat to Australia, as MBA has another, even more muscular version of the SLS in the pipeline.

The car in question remains a secret, but it is likely to be a Black Series version of the SLS, joining other limited-edition Black Series variants of models such as the C63 AMG Coupe and SL65 AMG on Australian roads.

MBA corporate communications manager Jerry Stamoulis told GoAuto that Mercedes-Benz had a variety of special SLS variants under development for release over the next few years.

“Because the GT and another version were coming out around the same time, it was a choice of one or the other for us,” he said.

The SLS AMG GT, which will be available in Europe in both gullwing coupe and folding-roof roadster varieties, is due there later in the year.

If the alternative model indicated by MBA arrives about the same time, then a 2013 launch date is likely for the car in Australia.

4 center imageA Black Series SLS could be expected to get more power than the GT, which at 435kW from the 6.2-litre V8 has 15kW more power than the standard SLS.

The GT has the same 650Nm of torque as the standard SLS, but gets an “optimised” AMG dual-clutch seven-speed transmission that is said to deliver faster gear changes in the manual mode, as well as a revised suspension.

In keeping with the sporting intent of the GT, the multi-mode electronically controlled ride-control suspension does away with comfort mode – Sport becomes the default – and gains stiffer springs and dampers. The suspension can be bolstered further by selecting Sport Plus.

Acceleration has been sharpened by a tenth of a second to just 3.7 seconds for the 0-100km/h dash, and on to 200km/h in 11.2 seconds.

Darkened headlamps and tail-lights as well as red-painted brake callipers are included in the new look.

Instead of the matt metallic grille treatment, the GT gets a silver and gloss black “wing” across the grille opening, with a central chrome three-star badge.

The red-on-black interior features Alcantara seat trim and door linings, while the console, air vents and other items are finished in gloss black.

Mercedes-Benz has already sold 12 of the standard SLS coupes and roadsters in Australia this year, on top of 19 last year.

The SLS gullwing coupe will set you back $468,820, while the roadster has a premium of almost $19,000, at $487,500.

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