That’s all, folks: The SLS says goodbye.
It’s over: The SLS AMG, one of the most captivating supercars on the face of the earth, is bidding farewell. To mark the end of the production run, Mercedes-Benz is building just 350 units of a Final Edition next year. Both gullwing-door coupes and roadster versions will be offered. In mid-2014, the SLS will give way to the GT AMG, a slightly smaller sports car offered at about half the price of the SLS.
The SLS, after all, riffed on an icon: The W198 “gullwing” 300SL. The visceral character of the SLS’s naturally aspirated 6.2-liter M159 V-8 isn’t likely to be matched by the more muted, turbocharged engines that will henceforth power every future AMG model. Under the long hood of the SLS AMG GT Final Edition, the V-8 makes 583 horsepower at 6800 rpm and produces 479 lb-ft of torque at 4750. That thunderous output is transmitted to the rear wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The power level is entirely on par with the SLS GT; speculation that the Final Edition would get a dollop of extra horsepower was unfounded. In our testing, the SLS GT roadster stormed from rest to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds (the coupe did it in 3.8). We estimate top speed at 197 mph.
The Final Edition of the SLS is set apart by a front splitter, a rear spoiler that evokes the bad-ass SLS Black Series, and a hood with a central engine-compartment vent—all fabricated from carbon-fiber. Uncompromising, specially developed Dunlop Sport Maxx Race Cup tires are available as a no-cost option. The forged 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels are exclusive to the Final Edition.
Inside is diamond-pattern leather with silver stitching and plenty of carbon-fiber trim. Every Final Edition model comes with a plaque that says “1 of 350,” but doesn’t disclose its actual place in the production run. That’s kind of a bummer, but customers have given Mercedes-Benz salespeople grief in the past when they were told that their desired number of a given limited-run series was already spoken for.
Driving the SLS is a scintillating experience; the expansive hood and the bellow of the barely tamed V-8 give new meaning to the term “grand touring.” While we’re a bit sad to see it shuffle off this automotive coil so soon, the Final Edition seems to be a fitting tribute. U.S. pricing remains undisclosed, but figure on paying roughly a 10 percent premium over the $202,105 coupe and $208,605 roadster.
Mercedes-Benz (Automobile Company),Grand Tourer (Automotive Class),Supercar (Automotive Class),Dodge Viper SRT,Coupé (Automotive Class),Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG (Automobile Model),Luxury Vehicle (Automotive Class)