Mercedes Adding Another Black Series Car Sure to Rip Your Face Off


Ever since the 500E debuted in 1990, it’s clear that Mercedes loves to shove monster V-8s into its normally luxurious, sedate sedans and coupes to create something truly special. In 2007, high performance division AMG went batshit crazy with the small SLK roadster; the roof was constructed of a fixed carbon fiber unit rather than a hardtop convertible and the horsepower was bumped up by 55, to a nice, round 400. The interior was injected with hardcore bucket seats and was swathed in carbon fiber trim. The body was treated with a ridiculous number of vents on the hood, behind the front wheels, and all over the bumper, and new wheels shaved off more than 60 lbs. Add six-piston brakes and a new adjustable suspension system, and AMG had its first street-legal race car, the SLK 55 AMG Black Series.

Mercedes continued to create insane Black versions of its coupes, culminating in the SLS AMG Black Series you see pictured here. The SLS AMG is already a serious player in the high-end sports car segment, competing with the Audi R8, Porsche 911 Turbo, and Lamborghini Gallardo. The extreme cab back design and unique gullwing doors immediately differentiate it from its rivals, and it is driven by a powerful 6.2L V-8 producing 571 (the sportier SLS AMG GT produces up to 591).

According to a press release sent out by Mercedes, the SLS AMG Black Series is “inspired by the SLS AMG GT3 race car.” The engine remains the same size but has been massaged to provide 622 horsepower to propel the Black Series to 60mph in 3.5 seconds. The 7-speed dual-clutch will remain the only transmission available, which is no surprise as a manual transmission on any Mercedes (at least in America) is a rare beast indeed. It wouldn’t be a Black Series without going on a healthy diet first, so by extensively using carbon-fiber reinforced plastic components and using a lithium-ion battery instead of a normal one, the car shaves 150 lbs off the standard SLS. Also new is an adaptive suspension that will hopefully be an improvement over the one found in the SL 65 Black, a car Jeremy Clarkson once called “the most uncomfortable car in all of human history,” and who found a pile of rocks more pleasing than that car’s one-piece carbon fiber buckets.

In keeping with Black Series tradition, a massive wing, front splitter, and a stupid number of vents adorn the exterior of the car, along with new lightweight wheels and upgraded brakes. Thankfully, Mercedes decided to retain the upward-opening doors that make the SLS so cool.

The SLS AMG Black Series will go on sale next summer at a price that has yet to be set. If pricing is similar to the C63 Black and SL65 Black, figure on spending at least $50,000 more than the SLS AMG GT. The car will officially debuted this year at the Los Angeles Auto Show.


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About Cameron Rogers

Cameron Rogers is the founder and lead writer at Downshift Autos, the only automotive blog on the Internet*. Born in the back of an AMC Gremlin, Cameron vowed to never let this extraordinarily embarrassing detail define him, so help him God. He drives a GTI but absolutely will not shut up about it if somebody asks. He will not hesitate to let people know that no, they shouldn't get a Porsche 911 when a Morgan 3 Wheeler is so obviously the superior choice. He is obsessed with the seats of a Carrera GT and the steering wheel of a Fisker Karma. He once sat in the driver's seat of a Tesla Model S, his greatest accomplishment to date. He is just now realizing that writing an autobiography, however miniscule, in the third person is odd and unnerving. *As of this writing, Cameron has been informed that there are, in fact, many websites and blogs centered around cars and car culture. He regrets his grievous error.

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