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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

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On: Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 10:32AM | By: Peter C Sessler

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

Face it, you’ve been secretly saving for this car ever since the first SLS AMG Gullwing was introduced two years ago. Sure, the Gullwing was fun to get in and out of, but the allure of overhead doors soon diminished—you couldn’t wait for the Roadster version. Ah, now here’s a car, with regular doors and a hardtop that retracts in only 11 seconds! With a hardtop that does up and down, the SLS resembles the SL, and it costs only $210,000—such a deal!

Still, the SLS AMG does have interesting options that weren’t available on the Gullwing model two years ago. The AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with electronically controlled damping enables the damping features to be modified at the touch of a button. Using the AMG DRIVE UNIT, the driver of the SLS AMG Roadster can choose one of three suspension modes that are available: "Comfort", "Sport", and "Sport plus".

Engine and transmission choice is limited to one, as before: the 6.3 liter (6,208 cc) V-8 which pumps out 571hp (European mode) and is mated to the 7-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission. The driver has a choice of four different driving modes: "C" (Controlled Efficiency), "S" (Sport), "S+" (Sport plus) or "M" (Manual). 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. The RACE START function provides optimum traction—as does the mechanical differential lock, which is integrated into the compact transmission housing.

As usual, Mercedes-Benz stuffs the SLS with every conceivable standard feature, and there are several others which are optional. There is the AMG RIDE CONTROL as mentioned before, and there is also the ceramic composite brakes with larger discs, too. Another feature is the new AMG Performance Media with high-speed mobile internet access, so when the car is stationary, the driver and passenger are able to surf the web, download and install apps, and send or receive emails.

The SLS AMG Roadster deliberately resembles the 1957 300SL Roadster, but without the Gullwing doors. Modern aerodynamics says that supercars should be wedge shaped. Not the SLS AMG Roadster. The SLS has that immensely long front hood with the open Mercedes-Benz grille and its sloping tail—that too resembles the original 300SL. The result is a poor aerodynamic drag of 0.36—paying homage to history is bound to have some detractions. The SLS may not be as quick as a Ferrari 458/599, but to put it mildly, who cares. It does, according to the factory, hit 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and the 0-120 mph in 11.3 seconds.

What it all adds up to is the Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS Roadster as the continuation of the best sports car Mercedes has ever built - and only costs only $210,000!

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