Welcome back, Mercedes SLS, we’ve missed you. This lovely customer racing V8 GT3 racing car is a one-off, built by AMG to celebrate 50 years since the equally lovely 300 SEL claimed victory in the 1971 Spa 24hrs. This SLS – and its younger AMG GT3 siblings – were all revealed over the weekend at the Spa 24hrs.
Unbelievably, the SLS is a brand-new competition car – a 2021 model, no less – using literally the last full SLS bodyshell left in AMG’s Affalterbach warehouse. It comes with one of the finest naturally-aspirated engines ever built by human hands, too, in the form of AMG’s 6.2-litre V8.
Freed of its air restrictors and hooked up to a “performance exhaust system”, the eight-cylinder not only kicks out 650hp, but a sound that can be enjoyed “to the maximum”. If you’ve never been privy to what a 6.2-litre nat-asp V8 sounds like on a race circuit, get thee to a popular video sharing site and do what is necessary.
Because it celebrates a car nicknamed the ‘Red Pig’, it’s been painted… red. The interior instrument panel has been fashioned out of graphite and comes with a plaque bearing the signature of AMG founder Hans Werner Aufrecht. Which is nice.
There are red seat belts, a seat with ’50 Years Legend of Spa’ logo, AMG door logos in red, a ‘one-of-one’ badge and graphite metallic matt chassis paint. The price for this one-off SLS – once again, literally the last SLS available from new – is €650,000 minus VAT. For that, you get a full-bore GT3 car.
Another pair of newer AMGs join the anniversary line-up, all with exactly the same spec as this SLS: red, graphite, 6.2, many horsepowers and much noise and exclusivity. One is a 2016 GT3 racer bearing chassis number 100 (€500k), while the other is a 2020 car and costs €575k.
Mercedes-AMG technical managing director Jochen Hermann said: “The special editions recall one of the most important milestones in AMG’s corporate history. The 24-hour race at Spa in 1971 stands as an example for the spirit of our brand: daring to take on the impossible, overcoming challenges and convincing with performance.”
Let’s say you had the money, which of the three GT3 cars is it? The options run a) SLS, b) SLS or c) really, just take my money and give me the SLS...
STORY Vijay Pattni