The new racing version of the SLS AMG is a customer sport vehicle built to compete in racing series following FIA GT3 regulations. Translation: it’s a racecar that will rip your face off.
Ever since the original 300 SL conquered Le Mans, Nürburgring, and the Carrera Panamericana, the Gullwing has been one of the most iconic racecars. When the Gullwing was revived with the SLS AMG, it was only fitting for a racing version to be produced.
The SLS AMG GT3 is built around the same 6.3-liter V-8 found in the production version of the SLS AMG in accordance with FIA GT3 regulations. That same AMG V-8 powers the GT3 to 60 mph in a screaming 3.7 seconds. The front-mid mounted V-8 uses a suction and pressure pump, and external oil tank for optimum lubrication during lateral acceleration. This also allows the V-8 to be mounted lower, thus contributing to a lower center of gravity. A six-speed racing transmission with sequential shifting is fitted for quick and precise gear changes. A torque tube, which housing a carbon fiber driveshaft, connects the engine to the rear-mounted transmission. The transmission is operating via two steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, and can allow for a 186 mph top speed depending on the gear ratio.
Carbon fiber modifications dominate the bodywork and offer increased downforce for the SLS AMG GT3. At the front are new air intakes that redirect cool air to the brakes and oil cooler, and a new carbon fiber splitter. The splitter connects to the smooth underbody panel, which ends at the rear diffuser. The hood features a large vent to cool the engine. The fenders have been widened to house the large tires, making the SLS AMG GT3 two inches wider than the production SLS AMG. Large openings behind the front fenders allow air to flow through the wheel arches, while the rear fenders feature sills that provide the brakes with cool air. The rear features a large carbon fiber spoiler and diffuser, both contributing to a massive amount of downforce, keeping the rear planted to the tarmac.
Dynamic and precise handling has been achieved with few modifications to the chassis and suspension. The camber, ride height, springs, dampers, and stabilizers are all adjustable, allowing the SLS AMG GT3 to be optimally tuned for specific racetracks and conditions. Steering on the GT3 has also been modified to be more accurate by fitting a more direct steering ratio.
Like most racecars, the SLS AMG GT3 is fitted with center locking multi-spoke alloy wheels. Measuring 12×18 inches at the front and 13×18 inches at the rear, the wheels are shod in 11.3×26.9 inch front and 12.4×27.9 inch rear tires. Three different tires can be fitted: profile-free slicks, intermediates, or wet weather. The six-piston front and four-piston rear brakes are cooled by the multi-spoke design of the wheels. The carbon ceramic brakes found on the production SLS AMG could not be fitted due to the FIA mandated wheel size of the GT3. The ventilated, slotted, and drilled brakes feature an ABS system designed for the racetrack.
Inside the Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 a stripped down version of the production model with a few racing goodies. A steel roll cage is fitted to the interior for added protection during an accident. The bucket racing seat is fitted with a six-point harness and the HANS (Head And Neck Support) to further reduce driver injury in the event of an accident. A digital center display shows road speed, engine speed, temperatures, lap times, and gear. The steering wheel has an open top for better view of the display, and features switches for radio control, drink, and headlamp flashers. Other controls such as the start/stop function, reverse gear, and traction control are found on the center console, while the brake balance control is placed on the torque tube tunnel. Four air vents in galvanized “Silver Shadow” emphasize the connection to the production SLS AMG.
The wicked SLS AMG GT3 will be available for order in the fall of 2010. Deliveries will be scheduled for the beginning of the 2011-racing season, and homologation will be completed by March of 2011. The SLS AMG GT3 is built in accordance to FIA GT3 racing regulations, and can be raced in any GT3 series, including 24-hour series.
Displacement: 6.3 liters
Number of Cylinders: V-8
Lubrication: Dry sump with suction and pressure pump
Layout: Front-mid mounted
Type: Six-speed racing with sequential shift
Driveshaft: Carbon fiber
Differential: Multi-plate locking integrated into transmission
Suspension: Double wishbone with modified kinematics
Springs and Dampers: Adjustable
Type: Gray cast iron axial and radial floating discs fixed to an aluminum hat via stainless steel composite elements.
Discs: Vented, slotted, and drilled
Front Calipers: Six-piston with anthracite finish and white AMG logo
Rear Calipers: Four-piston with anthracite finish and white AMG logo
Wheels and Tires:
Wheels: AMG center-locking multi-spoke alloy
Front Wheels: 12 x 18 inches
Rear Wheels: 13 x 18 inches
Tires: Profile-free slicks, intermediates or wet weather
Front Tires: 11.3 x 26.9 inches
Rear Tires: 12.4 x 27.9 inches
– Front skirt
– Four front side flics
– Carbon fiber front splitter
– Smooth underbody panel
– Carbon fiber rear diffuser
– Carbon fiber adjustable rear spoiler
– Rear skirt
– Hood vent
– Polycarbonate side, rear, and optional windshield
– Widened fenders
– Side sills with air inlets
– Racing bucket seat
– Six-point harness
– HANS (Head and Neck Support) system
– Steel roll cage
– 13-inch diameter steering wheel with open top and quick release mechanism
– Digital central display
– Fire extinguisher
– Four air vents in galvanized “Silver Shadow”