Mercedes have it that the inspiration for the Mercedes-Benz SLS Coupe lies with the 300SL from 1954, but there is little doubt that many will see the Mercedes-McLaren SLR as this car’s immediate family. Developed entirely in-house (AMG), the new Mercedes-Benz SLS Coupe is certainly causing a stir among enthusiasts, largely thanks to claims that this is as close to an out and out super car that the brand have been for years. Let’s take a closer look at what the Mercedes SLS AMG Coupe offers.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS Coupe actually uses the same engine (6208cc V8) as you’ll find in the C63 – but costs three times as much. It’s easy to get cynical at this point, but once you get this car into third gear and ask it to give you its life, you’ll instantly become a believer that this is a very different kettle of fish. Indeed, the Mercedes-Benz SLS Coupe manages to extract an extra 112bhp from its V8, and is moreover some 110kg lighter than its aforementioned stablemate. It leads to it being able to get to 60mph from rest in 3.9 seconds, but the numbers really worth talking about arrive in the shape of 8 seconds to get to 100mph from rest.
And whilst there are further similarities between this car’s interior and other Mercedes’ innards, there is little doubting that the Mercedes-Benz SLS Coupe is in a league of its own when it comes to drivability. It’s exceptional. The steering is as quick as you can get – some buyers might even find it a little too quick! – whilst torsional rigidity is first class. Once you’ve got the steering nailed, you’ll feel super confident committing to a corner, because this car has your back. Even better, getting these aspects of the Mercedes-Benz SLS Coupe just right didn’t even require many compromises. The one real surprise is the passive suspension set-up.
The good thing about the way the Mercedes-Benz SLS Coupe looks is that, although it might be slightly unorthodox and a little uneasy on the eye to some, it’s clearly a new car. The proportions help to create a visual idiom that is striking and capable of having a lasting impact. Broader than the S-class, it comes with a huge bonnet and distinctive width that sets it apart, not just from its stablemates, but also anything that’s come and gone before. Indeed, if it looks like anything, you could argue that it has more in common with an F1 car. At the front, it comes with 19” alloys, whilst 20” alloys sit at the back. Sizes are the same across the range, though buyers get to choose from three designs: seven-spoke, five-spoke and 10-spoke.
There has been a lot of talk about the new Mercedes-Benz SLS Coupe’s doors, but one of the bonuses is that – despite their size – they’re actually really light. Entry is easy and accommodating – if a little awkward and potentially embarrassing – though we have to recommend that you be careful not to bump your head on the way in! The gulling doors aren’t electrically assisted, with the downside, but on the plus side, this ensures that weight is kept down. However, this does represent an issue with closing the doors once you’re inside – because you’ll need long arms. The cabin is nice and compact, with legroom decent. Headroom is not great with the standard seats.
Facts and Figures
Mercedes SLS AMG Coupe offers start out from around £166,000. Standard equipment includes Bi-xenon headlamps, metallic paint, a reversing camera, silver seat belts, floor mats, as well as AMG Performance Media, an Infotainment system that provides vehicle data. Any extra you choose should be thought through carefully, as they can easily bump the overall price up to astronomical levels. Running costs – for any enthusiasts who really care about this kind of stuff – are ‘not bad’, with returns of around 19.1mpg.
The only real thing that lets the Mercedes-Benz SLS Coupe down is the cabin, which lacks a bit of pizzazz. Apart from that, this is a super car that does pretty much what you want from a super car. It looks absolutely awesome and imposing when waiting for a light to turn to green, and is pure theatre when it comes alive. And how the Mercedes engineers have managed to get 110bhp more out of their V8 engine is nothing short of genius. Masterful.
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