Update 2/12: We’ve now captured the SLS Black wearing more production-ready bodywork. Check out the new photos in the gallery.
The Black Series idea seems to be catching on at Mercedes-Benz. Between 2006 and 2011, the company rolled out just three rabid Black Series cars, but now, mere months after M-B announced the 2012 C63 Black Series, we have proof that that work on AMG’s next super-ultra-high-performance product is well underway. Spotted on the Nürburgring wearing matte-black paint, purposeful fender extensions, and a wider front fascia, this SLS is AMG's response to the likes of the Audi R8 GT and the Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Super Trofeo Stradale.
The wide fenders cover tires that are even fatter than what you’ll find under a regular SLS. While the production SLS Black Series will sport similar flares, they will most certainly be integrated a bit more gracefully than those seen here. When the Black Series comes to market, expect it to bear a strong resemblance to the SLS AMG GT3 race car. In addition to the stretched fenders, that means bigger air intakes and more of them. The Black Series will weigh less than the regular SLS, but the difference won’t be nearly as significant as the 500 or so pounds AMG managed to cull from the SL65 in creating its Black edition. Figure on a reduction of about 100 pounds for the SLS. In keeping with its purist approach, the SLS Black Series likely will be available with a closed roof and gullwing doors only.
With bedplate construction and dry-sump lubrication, the SLS’s M159 naturally aspirated 6.2-liter V-8 is a technological marvel. It’s rated at 563 hp and 479 lb-ft in standard trim, but will make well over 600 hp—perhaps as much as 650—in the Black Series. Mercedes will achieve this not with forced induction, but with internal tweaks. Power will be channeled to the rear wheels through a strengthened version of the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission serving in the regular car.
Two Bills for Three Bills
The added power means that this car will easily crack the 200-mph barrier—the current model is governed at 197 mph, but couldn't go much faster anyway. The Black Series should hit its terminal velocity between 205 and 210 mph, with 0-to-60-mph times in the low-three-second range. We’ve powered through 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds in the regular car.