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Web Review; Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

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On: Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 1:09PM | By: John Welch

Web Review; Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Being extremely enamored with the new Mc-Merc replacement (SLR), the SLS AMG, we decided to take a look at the purpose-built website Mercedes is using to hock the SLS. A big German luxury-car maker should be able to put together a fairly impressive e-brochure, right? Yes, and no. But mostly yes . . .

First of all, before Mercedes has the chance to 'wow' me, the page is already getting on my nerves. It takes forever to load. FOREVER. I'm aware that my AutoShopper-provided Dell isn't the ultimate in computing muscle, but geez, it isn't a damn Commodore either. You stare at a stylized AMG logo for the better part of three minutes while the page loads. This egregious dial-upesque wait time would suggest some pretty snazzy Flash programming to come, which it does.

The Flash is pretty, but also choppy. I've opened this page on computers far superior to my humble workhorse Dell, and the SLS 'driving' to the foreground is still spotty in its movement. Audio comes in the form of the big AMG 6.3 liter V8 firing up and giving the obligatory 'blip of the throttle'. If you mouse over the SLS itself, half of its sheet metal fades away, revealing a detailed 'cutaway' view of the car. This really is a magnificent looking beast. The best 'retro' design any auto company has come up with. To the right of the car are the words "From the Ground Up; Start The Experience". Don't mind if I do . . .

Clicking on the prompt sets into motion a presentation that outlines all of the snazziness Mercedes would like to make sure you are aware of. Snazziness like the alloy frame, torque-tube equipped drive shaft, and aeronautically-inspired cockpit. You can randomly stop the video and investigate each part individually by clicking anywhere on the screen. Caution: if your computer came from a flea market, this section is NOT going to work for you. The Flash needs some serious oomph both from the computer being used to view it, and the Internet connection. I don't think I'd bother with a 2 or 3 mbps connection;, you'll get motion sickness from the choppyastheNorthAtlantic animations. MB would like to think that they needn't worry about making their page viewable for subhumans and their subhuman non-European speed Internet connections. These curs will not be cross shopping the SLS with Dodge Calibers and Pontiac G6s anyway.

After you have digested all of the lovely technical bits you're interested in, you get to go ahead and option a fictional SLS AMG to the moon. Again, load times are glacial. It took 45 seconds to render the exterior 'white' instead of 'red'. There are some nice features here; Mercedes allows you to get an idea of what the car will look like in any situation. You can open the doors, activate the head and tail lamps, and raise or lower the spoiler. This sucker is a knock-out in any color, but I think I'd like mine in "AMG Monza Gray Magno" which is a fancy way of saying 'flat-black'. Now for the interior, that double-gorgeous bastion of leather-wrapped bliss. I really dig the SLS interior. The problem with specifying the interior, however, is that all four color schemes are astounding. There is a choice of black/carbon, red, cream or 'Martian-Baseball Glove' (re: Orangeishbeige) leather treatments, and they're all stunning. I'm going with the surreal Orangy/tan-deal because I think it will wear better than the other colors, and who the hell pays 150 large for a car with a straight-black interior? Not this fantasy millionaire!

Wheels are a difficult choice, with three basic options. I go for the double-spoke, five star variety. If I were really buying this car they would be replaced with three-piece Fikses as soon as possible anyway. Or maybe some carbon/carbon Dymags . . . who knows.

After creating an audacious, gullwinged beauty of your own, you have the option of registering with your local dealer, applying for financing, blah, blah blah. Most of the issues with this site can be blamed on this ancient computer I'm using, but it is Flash intensive. The detailed features seem adequate until you've fiddled with all of them and realize you crave more SLS info-tainment. Don't blame the website, it's the car's fault. The stupid thing is just that seductive.

Source: Mercedes-Benz AMG SLS Feature

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