Today we will be looking at the iconic sports car from the performance branch of Mercedes-Benz, the SLS AMG. Over the two years that I have been working at Mercedes-Benz Winnipeg, I've had plenty of opportunities to take the 200,000$-300,000$ vehicles in my town for a ride, evaluate they're overall dependability and well, who buys a sports car if they aren't going to do a little spirited driving!
First we'll look at the exterior, before anything else you will notice the length of the hood. The SLS AMG features its elongated hood to make room for its 6.3-liter power plant, allowing for better weight distribution in the vehicle, allowing for hightened cornering speeds and better balance in the vehicle dynamics.
Popping out of the many wheel options, are flashy red 6-piston calipers in the front and 4-piston calipers in the rear insuring optimal stopping time and distance. For just over 12,000$, you can upgrade your brakes to Carbon Ceramics which both increase stopping power and decrease the amount of unsprung weight on the vehicle.
While Mercedes-Benz is never a fan of any colored cars, lately I've been seeing more flashy colors such as Red and Yellow (only offered on the black series) and a few rare matte color options such as AMG Imola Grey only offered on the Final Edition.
On the 'regular' SLS, the wing or spoiler is built into the trunk, but on the Final Edition, it was designed to reflect SLS' racing heritage.
As anyone knows by now, the SLS AMG is one of the few cars in the world with gullwing doors. It's an unreal experience to see it in person. Many car reviews state they would hate to see the doors open with someone parked so close, or with an underground parking lot although I had no troubles at all with this. A mechanic may know, the rest of you not so much, but the room between a hoist post and the vehicle is slim, often leaving you with no room to squeeze out. The SLS AMG doors have no problem opening with about 2-3 inches of space on either side.
The interior is like any other Mercedes-Benz, lots of tool, lots of gadgets. Standard comes a 7-inch display screen for the COMAND system that features fully functional Navigation. Often I find it a problem that Navi doesn't work properly in other vehicles in Canada due to the lack of software development although this isn't the case with any Mercedes-Benz vehicle. There are always updates to ensure that all locations and roads are present on your navigation map.
The vehicle also features many options such as Parktronics to help you move that long nose around a tight spot. Multiple engine configuration settings (Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Manual). AMG leather shift knob.
The interior leather, available in red, brown, black or white, presents an elegant inside view while you cruise around in the bolstered seats. Like you would expect from a 200,000$+ vehicle, the seats keep you properly centered in the vehicle as you maneuver.
Having driven the AMG Fleet before ranging from CLA45 AMG's all the way to S63 AMG's I had a lot to compare to. Although the ride quality was harsh compared to the S-Class, especially in the pot-hole filled city named Winnipeg, it held a pretty good ride on comfort mode. Stiff enough to let you know you're driving a sports car but not to the point where you can't have a half-filled mug sitting in the cupholder without it spilling everywhere.
The first thing I had to do was step on the gas and boy was that ever a roar I will remember. 622 HP went straight through the 7-speed transmission to the tires and had them screeching, the SLS AMG sprung to life from zero well past the 80km/h speed that was posted for that road. I had barely stepped on it before I quickly realized how fast I was going and had to slow down. Bang! With my downshift came an engineered backfire noise that was music to my ears. I was addicted and I had to have it. Sadly, my short time with the SLS was over and I had to return it to the owner.
You should know by now, you aren't buying this monster for fuel efficiency. Unfortunately due to its large engine size, it is subject to an Environmental Tax or a Gas-Guzzler Tax at purchase. Estimated numbers at 18L/100km city and 13L/100km highway are decent figures considering the power under the hood. Although personally I'd never be able to reach such low figures, I'm sure a lot of you, given the right circumstances, very well could.
Mercedes-Benz services range from approximately 400$ to 800$ for full services,which includes the cost of oil and fluid top ups as well as an extensive inspection of the vehicle. Warranty is always a must when purchasing a vehicle of this price and at MB Winnipeg, we always take care of your every need.
There haven't been many problems that I've seen come through our dealership with the SLS AMG, save a roof opening incorrectly, causing a trim piece to break, which was in turn covered by warranty.
The vehicle I currently see on the market with a quick search, tend to hold value like any other supercar. They hover around the 120-180,000$ range depending on the options and condition. They do tend to hold their value a little better than most cars due to the rare gullwing doors.
Overall, I'd rate this vehicle to be a 4.5 out of 5. It's mix of comfort, speed, sound and dependability. Although its affordability being a large determining factor of purchase, anyone in the supercar market would know, this vehicle is definitely worth every penny you spend on it, compared to its rivals such as the Audi R8 and Porsche 911. Maybe it's that I'm big fan of AMG and their creations, or the fact that I work for Mercedes-Benz, but given the chance to own one of these cars, I'd take it in a heartbeat.