With the three engineering priorities “Intelligent Drive”, “Efficient Technology” and “Essence of Luxury”, the new S-Class extends the boundaries of technology on many levels. The S-Class is not just a technological spearhead for Mercedes-Benz but for automotive development as a whole.
As with every generation before it, the customers expect the new S-Class to set standards across the board to retain its accolade as “the best automobile
in the world”. Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars:
“Rather than being about safety or aesthetics, power or efficiency, comfort or dynamism, our aspirations were ‘the best or nothing’ in every respect. No other car stands for the Mercedes-Benz brand promise more than the S-Class.”
Perfection to the last detail results in “The Essence of Luxury”. This pursuit of the best is particularly noticeable in the interior: whether it is the seats or the air conditioning, the controls or the design, the infotainment or the comfort and safety in the rear – new ideas, their painstaking realisation, and highest perceived quality underpin the high standards that the engineers have set for the Mercedes-Benz flagship model – and for themselves.
The same applies to safety. What started with PRE-SAFE® ten years ago and continued with DISTRONIC PLUS has now resulted in a new dimension of motoring: comfort and safety are merged into one. Mercedes-Benz refers to this as “Intelligent Drive”. A whole host of new systems makes the new S-Class even more comfortable and even safer.
The S-Class is so efficient that it almost sounds utopian: within ten years Mercedes-Benz, by realising “Efficient Technology”, has almost halved fuel consumption in the 150 kW output category to 4.4 litres per 100 kilometres, for example, while the drag coefficient of the new S-Class (cd=0.24) clearly undercuts the previous model’s figure and sets a new benchmark in this segment. The S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID is set to go even lower still with a cd figure of 0.23 thanks to additional aerodynamic optimisation measures. Furthermore, the new model is the world’s first car to dispense entirely with light bulbs in favour of LEDs, pointing the way ahead once again.
Design: a modern sense of status and sensual shapes
People all over the world can recognise a Mercedes-Benz straight away. The classic Mercedes face runs like a golden thread through the brand’s history. “The sophisticated design of the S-Class has always been an expression of luxury and automotive grandeur of its era. And our new S-Class continues this tradition. With its classic architecture and flowing silhouette, it is a modern embodiment of sensual clarity. The design draws a line from the sophisticated, progressive design idiom to the classic elegance of our 1930s cars – intelligence that speaks to the emotions. Stylish sportiness and sensual forms in synthesis with timeless clarity and effortless superiority make the S-Class a true design icon,” says design chief Gorden Wagener.
To underline the effortless superiority of the new S-Class, and its ambition to lead, the radiator grille is now larger, upright and distinctly three-dimensional in design. With its long bonnet, the flowing, domed roof line and the gently slanting rear end, the new S-Class has classic saloon proportions. The size and space have been fashioned in such a way that the S-Class appears prestigious, and the powerful roof line is also in keeping with the car’s sporty coupé-style intentions.
A character line descending discreetly from front to rear – the brand’s hallmark “Dropping Line” – elegantly structures the side wall and generates additional dynamism even when the car is at a standstill. The subtly created convex-concave effect of the entire flank gives rise to an extremely powerful and elongated car body that demonstrates both excitement and calm. The pronounced shoulder above the rear wheel adds further emphasis to the car’s athletic character.
The positively exaggerated surfaces and lines of the side wall on the new S-Class generate excitement as they flow into the rear end. As well as being elegant, the slightly slanting form has aerodynamic advantages. Horizontal lines running from the boot lid to the bumper emphasise the car’s width when viewed from the rear. The hallmark signature of the Mercedes-Benz designers can also be seen in the rear windscreen, which cuts into the C-pillars. The upper area of the glass is rounded, lending it a coupé-like character. The real highlights are the new-style tail lights which are completely encased by the car body and, thanks to this solitarily integrated styling and meticulously crafted inner workings, complete the design right down to the last detail.
LED technology: the first ever car without a single light bulb
100 years or so after the introduction of electric lighting in motor vehicles, Mercedes-Benz is now making a complete switch to LED technology – the new S-Class is the first vehicle in the world whose interior and exterior do without a single light bulb, and sees Mercedes-Benz building on its pioneering role in the lighting sector. The lighting’s multi-level functionality is another world first: out of consideration for any road users behind, the intensity of the brake lights is reduced at night or while waiting at traffic lights, for example. Almost 500 LEDs illuminate the road, the vehicle, the interior and the boot. Depending on equipment, these include:
- Headlamps: each with up to 56 LEDs
- Tail lights: each with up to 35 LEDs (plus 4 for the rear fog lamp)
- Interior (including ambient lighting): approx. 300 LEDs
Visibility is enhanced by two assistance systems that have undergone some key improvements – Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus and Night View Assist Plus. Thanks to a new stereo camera and multistage radar sensors, the S-Class has 360-degree all-round vision and detects potential dangers on the road better.
Drive system: class-leading efficiency in every output category
In its first year the new S-Class line-up features two hybrid versions, a petrol model and a diesel variant: S 400 HYBRID, S 500, S 350 BlueTEC and S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID. All models boast class-leading efficiency and up to 20 percent lower fuel consumption than the outgoing model series. All the engines already meet the requirements of the Euro-6 emissions standard. In addition to this, the S 400 HYBRID and S 350 BlueTEC meet the strict criteria of efficiency class A, while the S 300 BlueTEC HYBRID even has an A+ rating.
“The new S-Class achieves consumption and emissions figures that only a few years ago seemed utopian, even for executive cars,” says Prof. Thomas Weber, member of the Daimler Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “And this is just the start of our ‘Green Leadership’ initiative: soon to be followed by the S 500 Plug-In HYBRID – the first S-Class with a fuel consumption lower than four litres per 100 kilometres.” The S-Class line-up therefore includes the full range from petrol and diesel models to petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrids for the first time.
Suspension: the world’s first suspension with “eyes”
The new S-Class is the world’s first car to be able to detect bumps on the road ahead. If ROAD SURFACE SCAN detects such unevenness by means of the stereo camera, MAGIC BODY CONTROL instantaneously sets up the suspension to deal with the new situation. This innovative suspension system is available as an option for the eight-cylinder models. Standard equipment for the new S-Class includes the continuously operating Adaptive Damping System ADS PLUS and an enhanced version of the full air suspension system AIRMATIC.
Interior: visual breadth and calm solidity
With its clear architecture, the interior design of the S-Class embodies a classic, superior, cutting-edge saloon. The interior’s expressive character derives from a uniquely fluid, sensuously elegant style. Horizontal elements and lines create a setting characterised by visual breadth and calm solidity. High quality and elegance harmonise with clarity and functionality: the interior design of the S-Class combines ride comfort, spaciousness and user-friendliness to the very highest standard.
The perfectly coordinated use of materials and colours produces an exclusive interior seemingly cast from a single mould. There is generous use of wood trim, especially in the dashboard and centre console. Metallised switch surfaces with pearl-effect paint finishes in three colour shades to suit the interior colour particularly highlight the outstanding quality.
Passengers in the rear are also seated in first-class – the design and exclusivity of the seats, door panels and all controls are to the same, high standard as the front. As an additional individualisation feature, the “First Class Rear” incorporates a Business centre console combining personal comfort with practical convenience (integration of a telephone handset, additional stowage compartments, folding table, etc.).
Concept: the best for both worlds
For the first time in the history of the S-Class, the development focus was on the long-wheelbase Saloon. Unlike before, the short-wheelbase version was derived from this. This is because the S-Class is not only firmly positioned as a prestige saloon in the large overseas markets such as the USA, China or Japan. Whereas in Europe and North America owners of an S-Class are frequently behind the wheel themselves, the flagship model in the Mercedes-Benz passenger-car portfolio is very definitely a chauffeur-driven vehicle in Asia. The logical consequence is the number of new features specifically related to comfort and safety in the rear – in the S-Class, there is no doubt that passengers in the rear are also seated in first class.
The occupants of the new S-Class benefit from the moderate increase in vehicle size  by an improvement in all the interior dimensions: there are 12 millimetres of extra headroom for the driver, as well as 14 millimetres more shoulder room and 10 millimetres more elbow room in the front. Thanks to the 14-millimetre increase in rear kneeroom, travel becomes even more comfortable for passengers in the rear. Shoulder room in the rear has been improved by up to nine millimetres.
Control and display concept: elegant new command centre
Two high-resolution TFT colour displays in 8:3 format with a screen diagonal of 30.7 cm (12.3 inches) form the new information centre in the S-Class. The left-hand display performs the functions of the previous instrument cluster, providing the driver with all relevant information. The right-hand display allows the convenient control of infotainment and comfort functions. For the new S-Class, the constantly increasing need to integrate additional functions into the vehicle led to a further development of the entire operating logic. Here ergonomics, operating convenience and safety along with attractiveness and aesthetics were the main considerations.
The aim in designing the control and display features was to group controls and display functions together in a coherent manner in terms of both design and functionality. Apart from the new displays, the metallised switch surfaces and solid aluminium controls are visual highlights of particularly high quality. Thanks to the fine structuring on the metal surfaces, each individual control has the sound, feel and attention to detail that makes a Mercedes-Benz so special.
The new control features include a touch-sensitive telephone keypad and an extended favourites function with twelve freely selectable memory places. The principal control element is the rotary pushbutton, with the usual direct access keys in the centre console for the most important functions and a toolbar for the driving assistance systems.
Voice entry using LINGUATRONIC via the Speech Dialog System allows complete addresses to be spoken in one go, for example (one-shot input). The telephone and audio systems can also be voice-controlled. The option of having text messages (SMS) or emails read out is a new feature.
Climate control: a wealth of new features for a pleasant atmosphere
During the systematic further development of the entire climate control system, a particular focus was placed on the development goals of performance, air quality, precise regulation, noise level and efficiency. As a new feature, the AIR-BALANCE package comprises perfume atomisation, ionisation and even more efficient filtration compared with the standard model. The THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control in the rear has two additional zones to improve thermal comfort. Electric heating of the armrests is a completely new feature.
As a world first, the new S-Class Saloon has an “active perfuming system” as part of the AIR-BALANCE package. ‘Active’ means that the perfuming system is switched on and off manually, with manual adjustment of the intensity. The perfume atomisation system individualises the smell of the vehicle interior. It neither changes the interior smell permanently, nor are perfume molecules deposited on fabric surfaces or clothing. The fragrance is discreet and mild, and dissipates rapidly.
Seats: mobile office and centre of wellbeing
With numerous world firsts such as the ENERGIZING massage function based on the hot-stone principle or active seat ventilation with reversing fans, Mercedes-Benz has raised seating and climatic comfort in the S-Class to a new level. The seat developers have paid particular attention to the rear seats. There is a choice of five different rear seat variants including an Executive seat with a backrest angle adjustable by up to 43.5 degrees, allowing occupants in the rear to concentrate on work or relax in comfort.
The ENERGIZING massage function on the hot-stone principle is a world first. The seat specialists at Mercedes-Benz have developed a unique massage function with 14 separately actuated air cushions in the backrest, as well as an integrated warming function. There is a choice of six massage programmes, two of them using the warming function. The function is also available for the rear seats.
For the first time, so-called reversing fans are used in the active seat ventilation system. When the ventilation function starts, cooler surrounding air is first drawn onto the seat surface. This enables the surface temperature of a heated-up seat to be reduced much faster than with the previous active cooling systems. After four minutes the fans are automatically switched to blower mode to reduce draughts.
Two rear seat variants (static bench seat or individual seats with 37-degree adjustment) are available for the standard-wheelbase S-Class, and no less than five for the long-wheelbase version. The adjustment kinematics have been changed in the luxury and reclining seat variants. Unlike the conventional trailing backrest design, the backrest is adjusted separately so that the legroom and seat reference point remain unchanged. The cushion can be separately adjusted for angle and horizontal position.
The maximum backrest angle of the Executive seat (reclining seat) behind the front passenger seat is increased from 37 to 43.5 degrees, giving it the largest backrest inclination in the luxury segment. The reclining seat features a calf support which is freely adjustable for length and angle. In combination with the heel rest on the folding chauffeur seat at the front and an additional comfort cushion, this allows a reclined position that sets new standards in the automotive sector with respect to sleeping and resting comfort.
If the “First Class Rear” is specified (with rear centre console), the front console on the transmission tunnel is visually continued to the rear. It is equipped with innovative thermo-cup holders which use Peltier technology to cool or warm drinks over a longer period of time. Like an aircraft seat, the centre console is available with two tables which can be easily folded in or out using one hand.
Multimedia features: mobile concert hall
A completely new multimedia generation with intuitive operation and particularly tangible functions thanks to visualisation and animations celebrates its debut in the S-Class. Other innovations include the multi-user system, which allows independent access to the media sources of the entertainment system from any seat.
The innovative Frontbass system developed by Mercedes-Benz‑and used for the first time in a saloon car is a feature common to all the audio systems: the woofers are housed in the firewall, and use the almost 40-litre space in the cross-member and side member as a resonance chamber. Conventional woofers in the doors are therefore unnecessary. The mid-range speakers in the doors are relocated upwards. This improves the soundscape and allows additional stowage space in the doors.
As alternatives to the standard sound system with ten loudspeakers, two very high-quality audio systems are available which were developed together with the high-end audio specialist Burmester: the Burmester® Surround Sound system and the Burmester® High-End 3D‑Surround Sound system.
The interactive presentation of content is a prominent new feature of the navigation function. The new navitainment functions include an animated compass, the “Driveshow” for passenger information as in an aircraft, and the display of Google Maps on the head unit and in the rear. Information on the traffic situation is shown with hatched lines (rather than with vehicle silhouettes as before). With the new Live Traffic Information service, traffic data is transmitted in real time. As a result, the navigation system is better informed about the situation on the roads.
Body: maximum stability and high-quality lightweight design
A high level of crash safety, outstanding rigidity for excellent handling with extremely low levels of noise and vibration. These were the aims when developing the bodyshell for the new S-Class – a third-generation aluminium hybrid bodyshell. The lightweight index – the torsional stiffness in relation to weight and vehicle size – has been improved by 50 percent compared to the predecessor model.
Since the 220 model series was developed in the 1990s, with an optimally coordinated materials mix the hybrid lightweight construction has been further developed into an aluminium hybrid bodyshell. During this period the share of aluminium has increased to more than 50 percent. It has therefore been possible to maintain practically the same body weight for 20 years and even slightly reduce it, despite far more stringent comfort and safety requirements and additional functions. In addition to this, structural foams are used at specific points in node areas in the new model series. The entire outer skin of the S-Class, including the roof and the front section of the body, consists of aluminium. The high percentage of aluminium is possible thanks to the use of a complete range of semi-finished products (casting, extrusion, sheet metal). The safety passenger cell is made using an extremely high percentage of high-strength steel.
This lightweight design by material and geometrical optimisation coupled with highly complex joining technology allows the new S-Class to further raise the bar in the demanding luxury saloon segment – without adding weight. With a torsional stiffness of 40.5 kN/degree (predecessor: 27.5 kN/degree), the S-Class achieves a new record in its segment.
Extended PRE-SAFE® protection: prevention is better than cure
Ten years ago, Mercedes-Benz unveiled a groundbreaking safety concept in the S-Class in the form of the PRE-SAFE® anticipatory occupant protection system, which has been undergoing continuous refinement ever since. Now, the safety pioneer is increasing protection levels once again.
The new PRE-SAFE® functions can help to prevent collisions with pedestrians and vehicles in front in city traffic, defuse dangerous situations caused by traffic behind and enhance the protection offered by the seat belts.
- The PRE-SAFE® Brake can also detect pedestrians and initiate autonomous braking to avoid a collision at speeds up to 50 km/h.
- PRE-SAFE® PLUS can recognise an imminent rear-end collision and warn the following traffic by activating the rear hazard warning lights at a high frequency. If the danger of a collision persists, the system can also firmly apply the stationary vehicle’s brakes and thus minimise the risk of whiplash injuries by reducing the forward jolt caused by the impact. This additionally can reduce the risk of secondary accidents. Immediately before impact, the PRE-SAFE® anticipatory occupant protection measures, especially the reversible belt tensioners, are deployed.
- With PRE-SAFE® Impulse, the driver and front passenger are pulled away from the direction of impact by their seat belts at an early phase of the crash before the resulting occupant deceleration sets in. This can substantially reduce the risk and severity of injuries in a frontal collision.
Setting the standard for safety in the rear: new features in the S-Class
Mercedes-Benz has extended the safety system for rear seat passengers further with the seat belt buckle extender, the beltbag and the cushionbag. The first two of these developments are included in the “PRE-SAFE® rear package”. With the illuminated seat belt buckle extender, an electric motor extends and retracts the belt buckle automatically. In this way, any belt slack in the area of the pelvis and thorax can be reduced so that passengers are secured more firmly in both the sideways and the lengthways direction.
The beltbag is an inflatable seat-belt strap that is able to reduce the risk of injury to passengers in the rear in a head-on collision by lessening the strain placed on the ribcage. The reclining seat is equipped with a cushionbag under the seat cushion upholstery as standard. When the seat is reclined, it prevents the occupant from sliding beneath the seat belt (so-called submarining) in an accident. This has enabled Mercedes-Benz to design a comfortable reclining seat which provides a higher level of accident safety than a seat with a trailing backrest.
Intelligent Drive: networked with all senses
Avoid accidents and mitigate their consequences – this is the integrated approach adopted by Mercedes-Benz Accident Research under the heading “Real Life Safety”. Mercedes-Benz is systematically pursuing this strategy in the S-Class with numerous new assistance systems and greatly enhanced functions. Comfort and safety are enhanced at the same time. Mercedes-Benz calls this “Intelligent Drive”. The new functions all rely on the same sensor system, comprising a new stereo camera together with multistage radar sensors.
“Intelligent assistance systems analyse complex situations and better recognise potential dangers out on the road with the aid of improved environment sensor systems,” explains Prof. Thomas Weber, Member of the Daimler Board of Management responsible for Group Research and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “Figuratively speaking, the new S-Class doesn’t just have eyes at the front, it has 360-degree all-round vision.” A key factor is the networking of all systems, which safety experts call “sensor fusion”. The aim is to ensure comprehensive protection, not just for the occupants of a Mercedes-Benz, but for all other road users, too.
The support functions range from relieving the burden on the driver and therefore increasing comfort, to issuing visual, acoustic and/or tactile warning signals, to boosting the driver’s reactions. Some systems are even able to take corrective action in an emergency, such as autonomous application of the brakes to prevent an accident or lessen its severity. Here is a summary of the new assistance systems and those with notably enhanced functionality:
- DISTRONIC PLUS with Steering Assist and Stop&Go Pilot takes the burden off the driver when it comes to lane guidance and is also able to follow vehicles in traffic jams automatically.
- For the first time, thanks to the stereo camera the Brake Assist system BAS PLUS with Cross-Traffic Assist is able to detect crossing traffic and pedestrians too, and to boost the braking power applied by the driver accordingly.
- If the lane markings are broken lines, Active Lane Keeping Assist can detect when the adjacent lane is occupied, especially by oncoming traffic, and reduce the risk of the vehicle leaving its lane unintentionally by applying the brakes on one side.
- Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus allows the high-beam headlamps to be kept on permanently without dazzling traffic by masking out other vehicles in the beams’ cone of light.
- Night View Assist Plus was further improved and supplemented by a thermal imaging camera. Night View Assist Plus can alert the driver to the potential danger posed by pedestrians or animals in unlit areas in front of the vehicle by automatically switching from the speedometer to a crystal-sharp night view image and highlighting the sources of danger. A spotlight function is furthermore able to flash any pedestrians detected ahead. This attracts the driver’s attention to the source of the danger at the same time as warning the person on the side of the road.
- ATTENTION ASSIST can warn of inattentiveness and drowsiness in an extended speed range and notify the driver of their current state of fatigue and the driving time since the last break, offers an adjustable sensitivity setting and, if a warning is emitted, indicates nearby service areas in the COMAND navigation system.
 Length/width/height short-wheelbase version: 5116/1899/1483, wheelbase 3035 mm
Length/width/height long-wheelbase version: 5246/1899/1483, wheelbase 3165 mm
Source: Mercedes Benz Press Release
With the completely redeveloped SL, Mercedes-Benz continues a tradition that began 60 years ago. The letters “SL” have ever since been synonymous with a symbiosis of sportiness, style and comfort – and with groundbreaking innovations. The new SL has been produced for the first time almost entirely from aluminium and weighs up to 140 kilograms less than its predecessor. Its highly rigid all-aluminium bodyshell provides the basis for agile, sporty handling that has been taken to an entirely new level, coupled with exemplary roll characteristics and ride comfort. Even better driving dynamics come courtesy of the new BlueDIRECT engines; they are more powerful yet at the same time up to 29 percent more economical than the engines in the outgoing generation. Other new features include the unique Frontbass system, which turns the luxury sports car into a concert hall regardless of whether the top is open or closed, and the highly efficient adaptive windscreen wipe/wash system MAGIC VISION CONTROL; it supplies water from the wiper blade as required and depending on the direction of wipe.
Compared with its successful predecessor, the new Mercedes-Benz SL offers considerably more comfort and sportiness, setting new standards in the luxury roadster class. Added to which is uncompromising day-to-day suitability, which turns the SL into an incomparable all-rounder among sports cars. In short, anyone that talks about the new SL is bound to be talking about the ultimate in passionate, refined motoring.
Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: “There are around 900 million cars in the world and thousands of models. But there are only a handful of automotive icons. Our SL is one of them: it has class, it has style, it is the ultimate in comfort and luxury. But it combines all that with incredible sportiness and dynamism. You would struggle to find a car that embodies Gottlieb Daimler’s aspiration more perfectly than our new SL: the best or nothing.”
Lighter and more rigid: sophisticated all-aluminium bodyshell
The new-generation Mercedes-Benz SL takes the meaning of the famous letters “SL” – sporty, lightweight – literally. Consistent weight reduction is one of the most outstanding design characteristics in the new SL as was the case in its namesake, the original SL of 1952 with its lightweight tubular frame. For the first time Mercedes-Benz has implemented an all-aluminium bodyshell in a series-production model. Only very few components consist of other materials. The designers use the even lighter magnesium for the cover behind the tank. High-strength steel tubing is integrated in the A-pillars for safety reasons.
The new aluminium bodyshell weighs around 110 kilograms less than it would using the steel technology from the predecessor. “The effect is rather as if a heavyweight-class passenger had got out of the car” says Dr Thomas Rudlaff, responsible for the aluminium bodyshell at Mercedes-Benz. “The result is perceptible and measurable. Less weight means more dynamism and less consumption. In other words: the motoring enjoyment increases, the environmental burden sinks.”
The aluminium structure is not only lighter but also proves superior to the predecessor’s steel construction in terms of rigidity, safety and comfort. This is achieved thanks, among other things, to its intelligent lightweight construction with components optimised for their specific task. Thus, diverse processes are used to make different kinds of aluminium depending on the use the component is to be given: the parts are made by chill casting or vacuum die-casting, worked into extruded aluminium sections or into aluminium panels of different thicknesses. The result: high rigidity, high safety levels and better vibration characteristics.
Although the new SL is even more comfortable and has more assistance systems on-board than its predecessor and therefore does actually sacrifice some of the weight saved through the aluminium bodyshell, the scales show some astonishing figures: the new SL 500 (1.785 kg) weighs around 125 kilograms less than its predecessor. On balance, the SL 350 (1.685 kg) is even 140 kilograms lighter – all thanks to a host of other intelligent enhanced details to reduce weight, which Mercedes-Benz has also implemented in the new SL in addition to the aluminium bodyshell.
Driving pleasure: frugal, powerful engines and agile suspension
Powerful while accelerating, effortlessly superior across all speeds, nimble on winding roads – the new SL provides ample driving pleasure. Apart from the powerful engines, the sportily tuned yet comfortable suspension, which also boasts intelligent lightweight construction, proves outstanding. For instance, the steering knuckles and spring links on the front axle are also made out of aluminium to reduce the unsprung masses. The same also applies to virtually all the wheel location components on the rear axle.
The new SL is available with two different suspension systems: the SL features semi-active adjustable damping as standard. The optional active suspension system ABC (Active Body Control) is available as an alternative.
Both suspension variants are combined with a new electromechanical Direct-Steer system featuring speed-sensitive power steering and a ratio that can be varied across the steering wheel angle. This ensures excellent straight-line stability and, therefore, a high degree of assuredness when travelling at motorway speeds and makes the SL very agile. It also reduces the amount of steering required when parking and manoeuvring.
The new V8 in the SL 500 develops 320 kW (435 hp) from its displacement of 4663 cc and thus around 12 percent more than its predecessor despite some 0.8 litres less displacement. The fuel consumption has been reduced by up to 22 percent. At the same time, the torque has increased from 530 Nm to 700 Nm – a gain of 32 percent. Although the displacement remains the same at 3499 cc, the new V6 engine in the new SL 350 develops 225 kW (306 hp) and delivers 370 Nm of torque. It uses just 6.8 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres, making it almost 30 percent more economical than its predecessor. Both engine variants come with a standard-fit ECO start/stop function. The 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission, which has been optimised in relation to fuel consumption and comfort, also contributes to the exemplary, low fuel consumption. The fuel economy of the BlueDIRECT engines takes nothing away from the roadster’s raciness. Quite the contrary: the SL 350 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds, making it three tenths of a second faster than its predecessor. The SL 500 takes just 4.6 seconds – eight tenths less than the previous SL 500.
Interior: aesthetic, stylish, sporty
The new SL combines its aesthetically honed profile, which follows the Mercedes-Benz tradition, with a luxurious feel. Fine materials, perfectly finished with great attention to detail, distinguish the style and character of the interior.
Compared with its predecessor, the new generation of the SL is much longer 4612 mm (+50 mm) and wider 1877 mm (+57 mm), providing more room for more comfort in the interior, too. Shoulder room (+37 mm) and elbow room (+28 mm) have been increased, exceeding the dimensions normally found in this vehicle class. Clear lines create a formally coherent internal space within this comfortable interior. Generously used wood trim extends from the centre console across the dashboard into the doors, creating a pleasant wrap-around effect. Three types of wood along with two different aluminium trim finishes are available. Perfectly in tune with the roadster’s character, it combines the unpretentious atmosphere of a high-performance sports car with a comfortable, stylish ambience one comes to expect in a luxurious touring car.
Design: classic SL proportions
The designers have brought the latest generation of the SL unmistakably to life on the basis of tradition but added new perspectives and visions. The result is a stylishly sporty and elegant luxury sports car with the classic hallmark SL balanced proportions: the long bonnet gives way to a compact passenger compartment that is set well back. A wide, powerful rear end giving the impression of raciness provides the finishing touch. A handful of elaborately styled lines define the powerfully sculpted and yet calm surfaces of the flanks. Finely worked details, a striking rear end as well as ventilation grilles with chromed fins from the dynamic traditional Mercedes-Benz design heritage visually emphasise the SL legend.
An upright classic sports car radiator grille clearly marks out the new SL visually as a prestigious member of the current Mercedes-Benz sports car family. The centrally positioned star is a contemporary reinterpretation of the famous trademark, which now extends into the centre section with its organically flowing contours.
Dynamically slanting headlamps set well to the outside flank the striking front end and give the new roadster its own unmistakable face. The headlamps come as standard with the Intelligent Light System (ILS). With five different lighting functions that are tailored to typical driving and weather conditions, and are activated depending on the driving situation, they offer the driver a much better illuminated field of vision. The striking sidelights and the horizontal strip of the daytime running lamps in the far ends of the bumper feature LED technology.
Vario-roof: MAGIC SKY CONTROL as an option
The sixth generation of the SL also offers a vario-roof that can be retracted into the boot using an electrohydraulic mechanism to save space, which converts the SL in a few seconds into a roadster or a coupé, depending on the driver’s wishes and the weather. Unlike its predecessor, three versions are available for the new SL: painted, with glass roof or with the unique panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL. The transparent roof switches to light or dark at the push of a button. When light it is virtually transparent, offering an open-air experience even in cold weather. In its dark state the roof provides welcome shade and prevents the interior from heating up in bright sunlight. The frame of the three roof versions is made of magnesium, making the roofs around six kilograms lighter than the roof on the predecessor, thus providing a lower centre of gravity for the vehicle and, in turn, better agility.
The engineers have refined the operating mechanism for the roof and boot lid. It now takes less than 20 seconds to open or close the roof completely.
Aerodynamics: new standards
The design of the new SL not only meets high aesthetic demands but it also boasts exemplary aerodynamic qualities.
As such, the roadster merits best marks in its segment in four important disciplines:
• With the lowest drag coefficient (cd = 0.27 in the SL 350);
• With the lowest wind noise that is virtually on a par with a closed saloon;
• With the best comfort for open-top motoring so that you can still have the roof down even at high speed;
• With virtually no accumulation of dirt on the side windows.
Two world premieres: Frontbass and MAGIC VISION CONTROL
With two innovations, the new SL remains true to its tradition as technological trendsetter:
MAGIC VISION CONTROL is a new, intelligent and highly efficient wipe/wash system. The innovative wiper blade concept always applies the washer fluid just in front of the wiper blade lip via the channels integrated into the blade – in both directions of wipe. As a result, no water is splashed onto the windscreen during spraying to disrupt the driver’s visibility, while at the same time cleaning the windscreen perfectly. The water also remains on the windscreen, thus ensuring it is cleaned without troubling the occupants, even with the roof down. For the first time a fully heated wiper blade is available as an option that prevents snow or ice from forming on the blade in winter. This heating function also allows warm water to be applied directly onto the windscreen for the first time, even in cold temperatures.
The likewise unique Frontbass system intelligently uses the free spaces in the aluminium structures in front of the footwell as resonance spaces for the bass loudspeakers. As a result the new SL features clear, crisp bass sounds that make possible a concert hall ambience even with the top down, and frees up space in the doors.
Both innovations are part of the extensive standard equipment of the new SL.
HANDS-FREE ACCESS: ‘kick’ to open
The HANDS-FREE ACCESS system is another Mercedes-Benz innovation which provides hands-free, contactless operation of the boot lid. The driver simply moves their foot in the vicinity of the rear bumper. Mercedes-Benz is the only car maker to offer a system which not only automatically opens the boot lid but closes it as well.
The safest roadster
Thanks to the crash-optimised aluminium structure, standard-fit PRE-SAFE® and assistance systems on the same high level as the S-Class, the SL is the world’s safest roadster. The rigid aluminium bodyshell forms a sturdy passenger compartment along with precisely defined deformation zones in the front and rear ends. In the event of the vehicle overturning, A-pillars made out of a mix of steel and aluminium and two roll-over bars protect the passenger compartment. The restraint systems including the two-stage driver and front passenger airbags have been further developed. A headbag integrally covers the side head-impact area. An additional thorax airbag in the seat backrest can protect the upper body in the event of a side impact. Another new feature is the crash-responsive NECK-PRO head restraints developed by Mercedes-Benz which are fitted as standard in the SL.
An active bonnet and a front end with a large, yielding impact area help ensure pedestrian protection.
A safety highlight is the unrivalled anticipatory occupant protection system PRE-SAFE® developed by Mercedes-Benz which is fitted as standard. If the system detects a serious risk of an accident, it reflexively activates precautionary protective measures for the vehicle occupants, so that the seat belts and airbags are able to fulfil their protective function to the full during an impact.
Additional post-crash measures supplement the integral safety concept and facilitate rapid assistance: regardless of the severity of the impact, the doors can be automatically unlocked after an accident, the interior lighting activated and the side windows lowered by 50 millimetres to ventilate the interior more effectively. The steering wheel can also be moved upwards.
Standard: ATTENTION ASSIST AND ADAPTIVE BRAKE
In the new SL too, a unique combination of driver assistance systems helps prevent accidents. These include the standard-fit drowsiness detection system ATTENTION ASSIST and the ADAPTIVE BRAKE. The latter features ABS, acceleration skid control (ASR) and active yaw control, and offers comfort and convenience functions in addition to safety functions.
The ADAPTIVE BRAKE works in conjunction with the equally adaptive brake lights. In emergency braking situations, it warns vehicles behind with flashing brake lights.
PRE-SAFE® Brake: autonomous partial and emergency braking in response to a serious risk of a rear-end collision
As an option DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control and PRE-SAFE® Brake, which is already well proven in other Mercedes-Benz models, are available. Both work on the basis of the same radar sensors. Once a serious risk of a rear-end collision is detected, the PRE-SAFE® Brake warns the driver initially and can initiate autonomous braking if the driver fails to react, and so either prevent the accident or at least mitigate its severity. PRE-SAFE® can also activate occupant protection measures.
Active Parking Assist: automatically manoeuvred into a parking space
The Active Parking Assist is new in the SL. Using ultrasound sensors it can identify parking spaces and automatically steer the vehicle into the space while parking.
Infotainment: COMAND with internet access
Even in the entry-level variant, the new Mercedes-Benz SL comes with the “Cockpit Management and Data System” COMAND. Functionality includes Bluetooth telephony along with simpler operation of the car phone. COMAND Online with internet access and DVD changer is also available as an option. It provides unlimited web browsing while the vehicle is stationary along with high-speed access to a Mercedes-Benz online service – for instance requesting a weather report or a special destination search. There is also the option of sending individual destinations and routes via Google Maps to the vehicle. For the first time, Mercedes-Benz is also offering new apps for the new SL: in addition to a free news app and a Facebook app, there are optional Mercedes-Benz apps for share prices and a car park finder. A Yelp app to look for restaurants is available for the US market.
Both COMAND versions feature a high-resolution TFT colour display with 17.8 cm diagonal (800 x 480 pixels) at the side next to the instrument cluster. This screen arrangement prevents the driver from being distracted as far as possible.
The new SL can be ordered from 15 December 2011. The prices including 19% VAT are as follows:
SL 350 BlueEFFICIENCY: 93,534.00 euros
SL 500 BlueEFFICIENCY: 117,096.00 euros
To coincide with the launch of the new SL, Mercedes-Benz will also be offering a special-edition model, the “Edition 1″, for a limited period. The “Edition 1″ is superbly equipped and comes as standard with a panoramic vario-roof, AMG bodystyling, sports suspension, AMG 19-inch light-alloy wheels, designo nappa leather with contrasting topstitching, AIRSCARF, heated seats, electric draught-stop, ambient lighting and Harman/Kardon® Logic7® surround sound system and much more. The designo crystal silver magno special paintwork is available exclusively for the “Edition 1″, along with trim in wave or deep white aluminium. Depending on the basic model, the extra charge is between 19,028.10 euros and 22,598.10 euros.
Source: Mercedes-Benz Press Release
The Gullwig returns as the 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG on September 15th at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt, Germany. Combining stylings of Gullwings past and the sleek stylings on today the SLS AMG delivers a rolling work of art with a 0-62 mph time of 3.8 seconds. The SLS AMG will go on sale next spring with a rumored US price tag of around $260,000.
Read the full press release from Daimler below the photo gallery.
The new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, which is about to celebrate its world premiere on 15 September 2009 at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt/Main, embodies a blend of consummate automotive fascination and high tech. The super sports car delivers a compelling mix of purist styling, consistent lightweight design and superior driving dynamics. At the same time, the SLS fully lives up to all the expectations of hallmark Mercedes everyday practicality and optimum safety. In essence, the new ‘Gullwing’ offers the ideal synthesis of the strengths of Mercedes-Benz and AMG.
The new super sports car from Mercedes-Benz and AMG makes for an alluring proposition with its unrivalled technology package: aluminum spaceframe body with gullwing doors, AMG 6.3-litre V8 front-mid engine developing 420 kW/ 571 hp peak output, 650 Nm of torque and dry sump lubrication, seven-speed dual-clutch transmission in a transaxle configuration, sports suspension with aluminium double wishbones and a kerb weight of 1620 kilograms based on the DINstandard – this superlative combination guarantees driving dynamics of the highest order. The ideal front/rear weight distribution of 47 to 53 percent and the vehicle’s low centre of gravity are testimony to the uncompromising sports car concept. The ‘Gullwing’ accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds, before going on to a top speed of 317 km/h (electronically limited). The fuel consumption of 13.2 litres per 100 kilometres (combined) puts it at the front of the competitive field (all figures provisional).
“Mercedes-Benz is presenting an exhilarating super sports car in the guise of the new SLS AMG, which is bound to set the pulses of all car enthusiasts racing that extra bit faster. The brands Mercedes-Benz and AMG have joined forces to create the SLS AMG– which is set to become one of the most alluring sports cars of all time”, says Dr. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars.
“Our customers will experience with the SLS AMG the expertise of Mercedes-AMG, built up over 40 years of motor racing. The unrivalled technology package delivers outstanding driving dynamics coupled with moderate fuel consumption figures – part and parcel of the modern-day AMG,” says Volker Mornhinweg, Chairman of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
“The styling of the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is not only very special because of the exclusive gullwing doors. Our aspiration is to utilise this interpretation to create the classic of tomorrow and roll out the most alluring sports car of the 21st century. Our aim is also to create a new design icon, which shapes the incomparable legend of our brand, alongside Mercedes models like the CLS or the SL. At the same time, the new SLSpaves the way for the design philosophy of forthcoming Mercedes-Benz sports cars”, says Gorden Wagener, Head of Design at Mercedes-Benz Cars.
Design: purist, distinctive and passionate
The distinctive styling of the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG enthrals with its passionate sportiness and reinterprets the breathtaking lines of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL – one of the outstanding design icons of the Mercedes-Benz brand. With its purist design the new SLS AMG reflects the philosophy of contemporary sports car engineering: the bonnet which measures just under two metres, the low greenhouse positioned well to the rear and the short rear-end with an extendable aerofoil are just as powerful a reminder of the superlative dynamism as the long wheelbase, the wide track and the large wheels. The short overhangs feed through into the proportions, just as does the design of the super sports car with its low-slung front-mid engine set well back and dual-clutch transmission in transaxle configuration. An undoubted styling highlight comes courtesy of the gullwing doors which lend the SLS AMG its incomparable charisma – making a unique statement in this vehicle segment.
The gullwing doors are not alone in rekindling memories of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL; the hallmark wide radiator grille with the large Mercedes star and the wing-shaped cross fins are a throwback to the front-end of the sports car legend. The three-dimensional, sculptured front-end with its low-set, swept-back front apron set well into the sides lends the ‘Gullwing’ its powerful stance on the road. Six large cooling air intakes and the vertically arranged headlamps set well to the outside with their alluring inner ambience provide a dominant aura: the central bi-xenon low-beam headlamp with its metallic wing section is framed at the top by two LED indicators and the LED daytime driving lights at the bottom.
Influences from aircraft construction
Allusions to aircraft construction come courtesy of the prominent Mercedes star, whose tubular section is reminiscent of the air intake on a jet engine when viewed from the side, as well as the long bonnet: as the eye is drawn forward, so the observer becomes more aware of the curve. The design of the four fins with their Silver Shadow finish that adorn the two air outlet grilles on the end of the bonnet create the same visual impression. These aircraft-style lines also visually accelerate the air that flows past – and make the SLS AMG appear extremely dynamic even while stationary.
The fins on the bonnet are taken up on the vehicle flanks: the connoisseur also discovers here a hallmark styling feature of the 300 SL. The “6.3” lettering placed between the fins provides a clear reference to the high-displacement naturally aspirated V8 engine. The side air outlet feeds through into a stylistically prominent feature line, which together with the convex flanks and the exhilarating surface treatment, combines aesthetics with power. The compact passenger compartment proves as alluring as it is unmistakable. With its high beltline, low side windows and steeply angled windscreen it comes across as a kind of visor. The forward angled B-pillar with its stylish flowing sweep to the rear window exudes pure dynamism.
Side view dominated by muscle and shoulder
Seen from the side, the eye is drawn to the prominent vehicle shoulder of the SLS, which stretches like a taut muscle from the front to the rear. Distinctive 19-inch (front) and 20-inch (rear) light-alloy wheels fill the wheel arches, which stand out prominently from the sidewall. Three different wheel variants all provide a glimpse of the large high-performance composite brakes. Seen from above, a prominent, uninterrupted line runs from the muscle to the rear. This styling feature is also picked up on the bonnet where the eye follows a distinctive contour which flows over the roof between the gullwing doors, right through to the third brake light.
Rear view that emphasises width
The rear view of the SLS also exudes dynamism and power: the gently sloping boot lid emphasises a sense of width, an impression reinforced by the prominent vehicle shoulder and the sleek tail lights: fitted with LED technology, the horizontally structured lighting units provide a scintillating view. Wing-shaped LED lighting elements ensure a distinctive, enthralling night design. The Formula-1-style LED fog lamp/reversing light is set down low in the centre. Similarly inspired by motor racing are the black diffuser insert and the two chromed tailpipes of the sports exhaust system. The strikingly tapered rear apron provides an unimpeded view of the wide rear wheels, lending the ‘Gullwing’ its self-assured stance on the road. The spoiler integrated in the boot lid is automatically deployed from a speed of 120 km/h to ensure optimum stability at high speeds.
New colours: “AMG ALU-BEAM silver” and two matt finishes
The colour charts for the SLS include nine exclusive paint finishes. The highlight comes in the shape of the unique “AMG ALU-BEAM silver” paintwork: the new, unique process makes the paint shine like liquid metal. The paint covers the body panels like a metallic skin, emphasises the scintillating design lines of the ‘Gullwing’ more strongly than any previous paint job and makes them even livelier by means of targeted light reflections. This effect is made possible thanks to tiny pigments measuring between 30 and 50 nanometres.
The two matt finishes “designo magno allanite grey” and “AMG magno sylvanite grey” are just as eye-catching: with their matt silk surface they reinforce the sporty character of the two-seater through specific contouring of the crease lines.
Interior with allusions to aircraft construction and motor sports practicality
You only need to open the gullwing doors on the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and ease into the sports seats to experience a whole new level of interior. The Mercedes-Benz designers took their inspiration from aircraft construction when styling the interior – immediately bringing an aircraft cockpit to mind. The characteristic styling feature is the dashboard, whose powerful and dramatic wing shape makes for an impression of width. Strikingly integrated into the dashboard are the galvanised air vents with their adjustable, cruciform nozzles and Silver Shadow finish – their shape reminiscent of a jet’s engines. The instrument cluster with its LED upshift indicator and two white backlit dial instruments add another decidedly sporty touch with their metallic Silver Shadow finish. The silver dials have red needles and a 360 km/h speedometer scale. As a central feature of the cockpit, the COMAND APSmultimedia system with its 7-inch screen is integrated between the two centre air vents.
The elongated centre console in matt metal similarly picks up on the design theme of the aircraft cockpit. It is home to the AMGDRIVE UNIT, which is inclined towards the SLSdriver and allows them to choose their very own vehicle setup. The E-SELECT shift lever, whose styling recalls the thrust control of a jet, controls the AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission. All the controls are made out of solid metal, with a high-sheen Silver Shadow surface.
The concave inner panels of the gullwing doors, the high beltline and the powerful side sill panels round off the cockpit-like impression, while imparting a feeling of sports car-like ergonomics. Fine materials such as nappa leather, solid metal and (optional) genuine carbon-fibre facings underline the pronounced “custom-built” nature of the SLS interior, and show enormous attention to detail. Five different designo leather colours are available to meet individual preferences: black, classic red, sand, porcelain and light brown.
Wide-opening gullwing doors for easy entry
Despite the low sitting position of just 369 millimetres in typical sports car fashion, the wide-opening gullwing doors make it easy to get in and out of the vehicle. At the design stage great attention was paid to the widest possible opening angle – it is a full 70 degrees. Equally importantly, the distance between the open doors and the road surface is a generous 1.50 metres, while the entry aperture between the open doors and the upper edge of the door sills measures no less than 1.08 metres. The entrance height, i.e. the distance between the road surface and the upper edge of the door sills is a very low 45 centimetres. As another important criterion for dignified access and egress, two gas-pressure struts positioned next to the door hinges require only very little pressure when opening and closing the doors – even at very low ambient temperatures.
The gullwing doors require less opening space than conventional coupé doors, and can be fully opened in a normal garage. The door is opened from inside by a handle finished in Silver Shadow. The grip section of the armrest moulded into the interior door panel ensures problem-free door closing. The operating buttons for the power windows, central locking system and exterior mirror adjustment are also located in the interior door panels for easy access. The feeling of comfortable spaciousness is in large measure due to the generous shoulder-room of 1483 millimetres and elbow room of no less than 1606 millimetres. In conjunction with the generous maximum headroom of 990 millimetres and effective legroom for the driver of 1058 millimetres, the result is a low but extremely relaxed seating position. At the same time the intentionally steep angle of the windscreen ensures good all-round visibility for the passengers.
Sports seats with magnesium backrests
The sports seat backrests are made from magnesium, a high-tech material that combines light weight with high strength. This leads to significant advantages where weight distribution and a low centre of gravity are concerned. The sports seats feature so-called two-zone seat cushions. Prominent side bolsters with a harder foam filling provide optimal lateral support, while the inner areas of the seat cushion and backrest are softer for a high level of comfort on long journeys. In conjunction with the Memory package (optional), the fore-and-aft position, seat height, backrest angle, squab angle and steering column are electrically adjustable; three individual settings can also be stored.
Four-way lumbar supports reliably protect the lower spine, while adjustable side bolsters in the backrests effectively improve lateral support on fast bends. Three-stage seat heating and seat occupancy/child seat recognition in the passenger seat are also standard equipment.
The sports seats with integrated head restraints and sporty transverse fluting are upholstered in designo leather – and two-tone seats are also available in classic red, sand and porcelain. If light brown is chosen as an interior colour, the sports seats are upholstered in natural leather with particularly high-quality woven leather on the centre seat panels. Depending on the colour combination, fluorescent or black piping provides another sporty touch.
The Performance leather steering wheel in a three-spoke design has a 365-millimetre rim with a flattened lower section, shift paddles and a metal insert, underlining the authentic custom-built look and ensuring the best possible vehicle control.
A host of stowage space for hallmark Mercedes day-to-day suitability
The interior of the SLS AMG also impresses with the practical stowage space that makes for the day-to-day suitability typical of a Mercedes. The 3.7-litre glove compartment with a spectacles section is integrated into the dashboard on the
passenger side. To the right of the E-SELECT shift lever there is a small stowage tray with a 12 V socket, or an ashtray with cigar lighter. The armrest behind the centre console not only serves to operate the COMAND Controller: at the touch of a button, the armrest can be moved in two stages to reveal a stowage compartment underneath. This has two cupholders and the telephone cradle (optional), and a holder for the ignition key in the rear section. Other items can be stowed on the rear wall between the seats and in the parcel net in the passenger footwell. Two fixed clothes hooks are attached to the seat backrests, while those in the roof liner fold down and are silicon-insulated.
The button to unlock the boot lid is located underneath the light switch. Alternatively the boot can be opened using the ignition key. The luggage compartment can hold up to 176 litres. A made-to-measure luggage set is available as an option, which enables the boot space to be used to full advantage.
Overview of the comprehensive standard equipment for the SLS (selection):
— COMAND APS
— Cord floor mats with AMG logo
— Interior appointments in designo leather
— Anti-theft warning system
— Electric parking brake
— Headlamp Assist
— KEYLESS-GO start function
— Rain sensor
— Reversing camera
— Heated sports seats
— Sports pedals in brushed stainless steel with rubber studs
— Cruise control with SPEEDTRONIC
Optional extras include the following:
— 6-disc DVD changer
— Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG surround sound system
— Anti-theft alarm system with tow-away protection and interior monitoring
— Interior appointments in designo single-tone Exclusive leather
— Interior appointments in designo two-tone Exclusive leather
— Interior appointments in designo Exclusive light brown natural leather/woven leather
— Paintwork “AMG ALU-BEAM silver”
— Paintwork “AMG magno sylvanite grey”
— Paintwork “designo magno allanite grey”
— Media interface
— Memory package with electric seat and steering wheel adjustment
— Performance sports steering wheel in Alcantara®/leather
— The AMG Performance Studio also enables even the most discerning individual customer requirements for the SLS AMG to be met:
— Carbon-fibre exterior mirrors
— Carbon-fibre engine compartment cover
— Carbon-fibre trim (front stowage tray and rear stowage compartment incl. lid, AMG DRIVE UNIT surround, surrounds for the centre console, shiftgate and rear, trim strips for centre console and door armrests
— Interior Carbon Package (carbon-fibre trim, trim on seat backrest and side, door sill panels)
— Performance suspension with a stiffer setup for optimised lateral dynamics
— 10-spoke forged wheels
— Sports bucket seats
Aluminium spaceframe for lightweight design and outstanding strength
The SLS is also breaking the mould when it comes to the body concept: for the first time, Mercedes-Benz and AMG are presenting a car with an aluminium chassis and body. Compared with the traditional steel design, this results in a significant weight saving, clearly illustrated in the DIN kerb weight of 1620 kilograms.
The newly developed bodyshell comprises an aluminium spaceframe. This exclusive design combines intelligent lightweight design with outstanding strength – thus delivering superlative driving dynamics. Lightweight aluminium sections connect the force nodes to a sturdy structure. The large, low-set cross-sections of these aluminium sections ensure high resistance torque, thus providing the required direct transfer of drive, braking and suspension forces. The structure prevents unwanted flexibility; the vehicle responds rigidly, almost without twisting and directly.
45 percent of the intelligent, weight-optimised aluminium spaceframe is made out of aluminium sections, 31 percent out of aluminium sheet, 20 percent out of aluminium cast and 4 percent out of steel. Maximum occupant safety requires the use of ultra-high-strength, heat-formed steel in the A-pillars. The bodyshell weighs 241 kilograms – an absolute benchmark in the super sports car segment when compared with the peak output of 420 kW/571 hp.
Low centre of gravity and transverse reinforcing struts for superb dynamism
The entire vehicle concept has been designed to achieve a centre of gravity that is as low as possible. This applies both to the low connection of the powertrain and axles as well as to the arrangement of the stiffness-relevant bodyshell structure, which has been kept as low as possible. Examples include the rigid flexural and torque connections between the front and rear section and the safety passenger cell, which have been realised consistently using force paths that are as low as possible. This results not only in a low centre of gravity but also a harmonious and, thus, efficient force path in the vehicle structure.
Another prominent feature of the lightweight construction design is the transverse reinforcing struts at the front and rear axle that are integrated into the bodyshell structure. The sections connect the side members precisely where the highest forces act upon the bodyshell under dynamic cornering. The advantages of this sophisticated solution include unrivalled transverse rigidity and the
absence of heavy secondary stiffening or supports.
Passive safety of the very highest calibre
Naturally, the aluminium spaceframe meets all the requirements in terms of passive safety and the hallmark Mercedes-Benz body quality that applies to any car sporting the Mercedes star. The best possible passive safety for the occupants is ensured by the standard-fit three-point seat belts, belt tensioners, belt force limiters and eight airbags: two adaptive airbags and a kneebag each are available for the driver and passenger. Two sidebags integrated into the seats and two separate windowbags that deploy from the door waistline are also available.
Fine-tuned AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine developing 420 kW/571 hp
A powerful eight-cylinder engine manufactured by Mercedes-AMG forms the heart of the new SLS. The fine-tuned 6.3-litre V8 engine develops 420 kW/571 hp at 6800 rpm, turning the SLS AMG into one of the most powerful sports cars in its segment. A power-to-weight ratio of 2.84 kg/hp comes courtesy of the low vehicle weight. The naturally aspirated engine delivers maximum torque of 650 Nm at 4750 rpm. The ‘Gullwing’ accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds, before going on to a top speed electronically limited to 317 km/h (all figures are provisional). Bearing the internal designation M 159, the V8 high-revving engine with its displacement of 6208 cubic centimetres has been thoroughly reengineered compared with the M 156 entry-level engine and boasts all the hallmarks of powerful racing engines.
The principal measures in increasing output include the all-new intake system, the reworked valve train and camshafts, the use of flow-optimised tubular steel headers and the de-throttling of the exhaust system. This results in much better cylinder charging, which feeds through into an increase in output of almost nine percent. The eight-cylinder engine responds swiftly to movements of the accelerator pedal, demonstrating much more pronounced high-revving flexibility across the entire rev range. The switch to dry sump lubrication also translates into a much lower position of the engine in the vehicle. And lowering the vehicle’s centre of gravity has also paved the way for high lateral acceleration and exhilarating driving dynamics.
Perfect synthesis of lightweight design and strength
The use of high-strength components compensates for the increased engine load associated with the higher output. Forged pistons, a reinforced crankshaft bearing, optimised crankcase structure, along with improved lubrication thanks to an on‑demand high-performance oil pump ensure optimum durability. Despite these higher loads, the engine weight for the M 159 has been further reduced. The forged pistons as oscillating masses play a particularly valuable role in this respect, resulting in a kerb weight of 205 kilograms and, in turn, a power-to-weight ratio of 0.36 kg/hp – an unrivalled figure compared with the competition. Sophisticated catalytic converter technology enables current and future exhaust emission standards such as EU 5, LEV 2 and ULEV to be met.
A match for demanding fuel consumption targets
Despite its uncompromisingly sporty character, the demanding fuel consumption targets have been met. The SLS AMGconsumes 13.2 litres per 100 kilometres (combined, provisional figure), earning it a place at the top of the competitor rankings. Efficiency-enhancing measures include the familiar AMG-exclusive, friction-optimised twin-wire-arc-sprayed coating on the cylinder walls as well as the on-demand, map-optimised oil supply and intelligent generator management: during the engine’s overrun phases and braking, kinetic energy is used to charge the battery, rather than being wasted by simply generating heat. This recuperation assists the driver not only during braking action but also helps convert the braking energy into electrical energy. Conversely, the generator is switched to no-load operation during acceleration, thus reducing the load on the engine.
Dual-clutch transmission with transaxle configuration and torque tube
The AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine delivers its abundant power via an ultra-light carbon-fibre driveshaft at the rear axle – similar to the set-up used on the DTM C-Class racing touring car. The dual-clutch transmission is mounted at the rear (transaxle principle) and is connected to the engine housing via a torque tube. A carbon-fibre shaft rotates at engine speed in the torque tube. The advantages of this sophisticated solution are associated with the rigid link between the engine and trans-mission and, in turn, the optimum support for the forces and torque generated.
A new AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission takes care of power transfer. The dual-clutch transmission boasts fast gear changes with no loss of tractive force – in as little as 100 milliseconds. The driver has a choice of four different driving modes: “C” (Controlled Efficiency), “S” (Sport), “S+” (Sport plus) or “M” (Manual) along with a RACESTART function. In the Sport, Sport plus and Manual modes the automatic double-declutching function is active; all the modes can be selected conveniently via the rotary control in the AMG DRIVE UNIT. Optimum traction comes courtesy of the mechanical differential lock, which is integrated in the compact transmission casing.
Sophisticated suspension layout with double-wishbone axles
The chosen solution with a front-mid engine plus transaxle configuration ensures an ideal front/rear weight distribution of 47 to 53 percent. Mounting the engine behind the front axle has created the ideal conditions for consummate driving dynamics with precise steering, first-class agility, low inertia with spontaneous directional changes and outstanding traction. The commitment of Mercedes-Benz and AMG to building an alluring super sports car that combines consummate racetrack performance with hallmark Mercedes long-distance comfort has given rise to an ingenious suspension layout. All four wheels are located on double wishbones with a track rod, a technology that has proven itself in motor racing, right through to Formula 1. With a double-wishbone axle, the wheel location and suspension function remain separate; the spring/damper struts are supported on the lower wishbone. The double-wishbone concept with its high camber and track rigidity positively locates the wheel with minimal elastic movements, providing the driver with an optimum sense of road contact when driving at the limits.
Wishbones, steering knuckles and hub carriers at the front and rear are made entirely from forged aluminium – substantially reducing the unsprung masses; this configuration also notably improves the suspension response. The long wheelbase of 2680 millimetres not only results in outstanding straight-line stability but also low wheel load shifts, significantly reducing the vehicle’s tendency to dive and squat. The broad track width – front 1682, rear 1653 millimetres – ensures lower shifts in the wheel loads from the inner to the outer wheel when cornering, enabling the tyres to retain more grip. The large caster angle of 11.5 degrees significantly increases negative wheel camber when cornering and also improves tyre grip – this also ensures outstanding stability when braking heavily while cornering.
Direct steering, differential lock and 3-stage ESP®
The rack-and-pinion steering gear provides a consistently direct steering feel with a constant mechanical ratio of 13.6:1, in tune with the high expectations placed on a super sports car. The power steering provides speed-sensitive assistance and improves the feedback for the driver as the road speed increases: an indispensable factor for high-speed straight-line driving. Mounting the steering gear in front of the engine on the integral subframe enables the engine to be set down very low. The ‘Gullwing’ comes with 3-stage ESP® as standard, providing the driver with access to the three “ESP ON”, “ESP SPORT” and “ESP OFF” modes at the push of a button. The result is even more driving pleasure without compromising active safety at all. In “ESP OFF” mode too, operating the brake pedal restores all the normal ESP® functions.
The system’s traction logic of the acceleration skid control system (ASR) is active in all three ESP®modes. If one of the drive wheels starts to spin, specific brake pressure is applied to improve traction notably – especially in conjunction with the standard-fit mechanical multi-disc limited-slip differential. This means that the engine power is transferred to the road even more effectively when driving in a particularly dynamic style.
Ceramic composite brakes, innovative flow-forming wheels
The AMGhigh-performance braking system with composite brake discs at the front ensures extremely short stopping distances even under enormous loads. The newly developed, optional ceramic composite brakes with larger brake discs guarantee even better brake performance. The ceramic brake discs will perform reliably at even higher operating temperatures thanks to their greater hardness, all combined with an impressive weight reduction of around 40 percent. Reducing the unsprung masses has further optimised the handling of the ‘Gullwing’ – which pays dividends particularly when tackling fast bends on motorways.
Lightweight construction was also key when it came to the wheels: weight-optimised AMG light-alloy wheels – 9.5 x 19 inch (front) and 11.0 x 20 inch (rear) – based on the innovative flow-forming principle reduce the unsprung masses while increasing driving dynamics and suspension comfort. In addition to the standard-fit AMG 7-spoke light-alloy wheels, 5-twin-spoke wheels and 10-spoke forged wheels are available as an option. 265/35 R 19 (front) and 295/30 R 20 (rear) tyres developed exclusively for the SLS AMG ensure optimum performance. A tyre pressure monitoring system is fitted as standard to permanently monitor tyre pressure in all four wheels; individual tyres are shown on the display.
The reinterpretation of the legendary ‘Gullwing’ is scheduled to be launched in spring 2010. The sales price is EUR 177,310 (incl. 19% VAT).