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More details: SLS super-Merc takes shape

Super-coupe: All-new Mercedes-AMG supercar will go on sale in the European Spring of 2010.

Mercedes reveals sketches, interior and equipment for the 2010 SLS AMG Gullwing

13 Apr 2009

LAST month Mercedes-Benz released 51 official ‘spy shots’ and extensive mechanical details of its forthcoming ‘Gullwing’ supercar, which it has confirmed will be called the SLS, and now its undisguised shape, race-bred interior and vital specifications have also been revealed.

The heavily stylised front and rear design sketches reveal the SLS super-coupe, which Mercedes has announced will be launched in Europe as early as March next year, will indeed be the first model built by the lauded German maker since the 1950s 300SL to feature roof-hinged ‘gullwing’ doors.

Meantime, full interior images of the effective replacement for the McLaren-built SLR and the first supercar to be designed and built in-house by Mercedes show the SLS will have a bespoke aircraft-inspired two-seater interior that abounds with unique features.

Claimed to combine “lightweight construction with dynamism and high emotional appeal”, the SLS cabin comprises a wing-shaped dashboard, cockpit-style centre console and four prominent air-vents that aim to resemble jet aircraft engines.

Premium materials include full Nappa leather seat trim and a solid-metal ‘Silver Shadow’ centre console that incorporates a central COMAND control dial and a number of driver aid controls alongside the seven-speed AMG Speedshift DCT transmission’s dominant T-shaped ‘E-Select’ gearshifter, which resembles a jet aircraft’s thrust controller. Benz says the centre console will be available with genuine carbon-fibre surfacing.

4 center imageThe car’s twin heated sports bucket seats feature magnesium seatback construction and integrated head restraints, the dashboard is trimmed in hand-stitched ‘Designo’ leather and its contrasting seams match those on the seats, door panels and armrests. There’s also a 356mm three-spoke AMG Performance leather steering wheel with Audi RS-style flat lower section, metal insert and shift paddles.

“The interior of the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is not only very special because of the exclusive swing-wing doors,” said head of Mercedes-Benz design Gordon Wagener.

“The visible influence of aviation engineering, the high-grade materials and the practicality typical of a sports car will make the hearts of sports car enthusiasts beat faster. At the same time the new interior styling indicates the design philosophy for coming generations of Mercedes sports cars.” While the SLS was previously confirmed to be powered by a 420kW/650Nm dry-sump version of AMG’s 6.2-litre V8, Mercedes has now also announced it will come standard with Thermotronic climate-control, cruise control with Speedtronic speed-limiter, rain-sensing wipers, Headlight Assist, Keyless-Go starting and a Parktronic electronic handbrake.

Other standard SLS items will include body-coloured AMG entry sills, AMG-badged cord floor mats and brushed stainless steel pedals with rubber studs.

SLS options will include a new Bang&Olufsen sound system, Designo ‘Exclusive’ leather trim, the Media Interface, five interior leather colour choices (black, classic red, sand, porcelain and light brown) and, surprisingly for a car that is expected to carry a pricetag of around $450,000, a DVD stacker and power seat adjustment.

The SLS instrument cluster features two white-backlit sliver analogue dials, including a 360km/h speedo, while a seven-inch colour monitor is sited between the two central upper air-vents and anthracite Alcantara trim covers the headlining, parcel tray and A-pillars.

Key SLS interior dimensions include a seat height of just 369mm, “generous” shoulder room of 1483mm, 1606mm of elbow room, 990mm of headroom and 1058mm of legroom. There is even a 3.7-litre glovebox.

Mercedes says the car’s exclusive new swing-wing doors were designed to be as user-friendly as possible, including when used inside a garage. They open to a maximum angle of 70 degrees and are a full 1500mm from the ground when opened, while the door aperture is 450mm from the ground. Assisted by two gas struts, Benz says the doors require very little pressure to open or close.

A total of eight airbags will be fitted to the SLS, including twin front adaptive airbags, twin knee airbags, twin side airbags and twin side window airbags that deploy from the waistlines of the gullwing doors. Of course, the standard safety equipment list will also include three-point seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force-limiters.

Read more:

First details: Mercedes confirms new Gullwing

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