AMG shows off new SLS Black Series in a flashy video, forgets to include engine noise
The new Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series sounds magnificent. Probably. At the moment we can only guess because, in its wisdom, AMG has released a video of the new car to whip up excitement ... and not included any engine noise. Instead we get lots of pretentious operatic nonsense, lots of sweeping camera work that probably cost a bomb to film. And that's it. To think, they could've saved themselves a bomb by sending Hans into the car park with his iPhone, revved it a bit, given a thumbs up and we'd have been happy.
Black Series mods more about this
More's the pity too because the 60hp upgrade over the standard SLS (631hp over 571hp, maths fans) has been achieved through proper tuning, this being a proper engine that requires more than another 0.1 Bar of turbo boost to tickle a worthwhile power gain out of it.
This goes back to AMG's roots as a race engine builder, the firm's early road tuning efforts even going as far as building bespoke four-valve heads for otherwise lazy Mercedes V8s of course.
The Black Series upgrades are old-school race tuning stuff too, including a raised rev limit (now 8,000rpm), modified camshafts and cam timing, 'optimised' bucket tappets and improved breathing. All backed up with stronger con-rod assemblies, beefier crankshaft bearings and improved lubrication driven by a new oil pump.
Aero bits optional, which is probably best
The two by-products of this we're interested in - the extra power and noise - drive respectively through a new electronic locking diff and titanium exhaust system. The former replaces the standard mechanical LSD and the latter saves 13kg and, hopefully, turns a cool shade of blue after being driven hard. We'd expect a dose more noise too but, as discussed above, we'll have to imagine that for the time being.
It's a proper job this Black Series too and as close to the GT3 racer as we'll be getting for now. Sure, the (wide)bodykit and optional aero addenda smack slightly of aftermarket bling but the engineering and weight savings - 70kg over the standard SLS to a commendable 1,550kg thanks to stuff like a lithium ion battery saving 8kg on its own - are all the real deal. The weight loss and extra power mean a couple of tenths off the 0-62mph time - now 3.6 seconds - but the shorter final drive and extra aero mean top speed is actually down a smidge to 196mph from 197mph.
Not exactly stripped out inside then
Credit to AMG for focusing more on handling and weight reduction than cartoon looks and Top Trumps stats like the previous SL65 Black Series too. The influence of the GT3 race car is explicit here, the vid for the 45th Anniversary version of that teasing with a hint of engine noise through the side exhausts (sadly not carried over to the Black Series). Before the inevitable overblown musical soundtrack kicks in. Guys, play to your strengths, please. Let the German engineering do the talking, not the German taste in music...
GT3 45th Anniversary edition vid:
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