Sometimes being a member of the automotive press has its own set of unique privileges or “perks”, if you will. Some of these include, but are not limited to: access to pre-production automobiles, insider information and access to some of the coolest autos to ever roll on pavement. Take today for example – I got to test drive a new Audi A3 TDI and BMW 335d, two new clean diesels from two of the biggest German automakers out there… make sure you keep an eye out for a full review and road test on both.
I also got a chance to get up close and personal with the new Mercedes Benz SLS AMG… OH MY GOD IS THIS THING SEXY!! Seriously, this new Merc. is a sight to behold. The SLS AMG pays homage to its Great Grandfather, the 1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing (a car located on my top ten list). Visually the car is just stunning. Its free flowing lines come together in a very organic form with no hard lines or rough edges. The front grill looks as though it was taken directly from the original 300SL and transplanted onto the SLS – this was a good move on Mercedes part.
Follow its lines around to the side and rear and you’ll be provided with further influence of ole’ Great Grandpa. Recessed side louvers behind the front wheels are also reminiscent of the 300SL, as are the beautifully sculpted gullwing doors. Ladies and gentlemen… this is one elegant automobile. The rear deck lid is smooth and sculpted hiding only the outline of a retractable rear spoiler with dual stainless exhaust ports completing the SLS’s rear fascia.
From a performance standpoint, the SLS AMG is a hammer producing 571 bhp & 479 lb-ft from its 6.3 liter V8. All this power is laid down by a 7-speed Getrag dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission with 3 different sport settings. Oh and by the way, the entire engine compartment is covered in carbon fiber… nice touch Mercedes.
One thing that simply can’t be ignored on this machine – the MASSIVE 15.8 inch ceramic rotors up front and 14.2 inch rotors out back. Stop short in this sucker and the paramedics will be pulling your eyeballs off the windshield. This is serious stuff.
After speaking with the Mercedes rep for a while he kindly asked if I would like to take a seat in the new SLS… “Well, yes thank you, I certainly would”, I replied. Now, as mentioned in a previous blog, I’m a big Dude and at 6’4″, 245 lbs. small two seat coupes are generally not my friends. It seemed that today however I was able to make a new friend as Mr. SLS AMG welcomed me into his cabin with open arms. The seats were nicely bolstered, but not overly so with the right amount of padding in all the right places. Now, not only did I fit but I also had more than enough leg, shoulder and head room – man I was really diggin’ this thing.
After I was comfortably settled in I began to admire the dash and the carbon fiber center console. All the controls are very straight forward so that you won’t need a degree in astrophysics to figure out how to start the damn thing.
Even the red and black leather combo interior felt right. The steering wheel had a nice firm feel to it with the beautiful gauge cluster clearly visible behind it. Mercedes clearly put their time in on this one.
Viewing the SLS AMG in person was a real treat. Getting up close and personal with it was simply a privilege that very few people will get to experience. Remember those “perks” I spoke about earlier… well ladies and gentleman, welcome to the world of the automotive press.