The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is very fast, so fast it would be a waste if it didn’t horn its abilities racing to the checkered flag. The AMG 6.2-liter V-8 engine, however, is virtually unchanged from the road-going version in accordance with FIA rules. The dual-clutch transmission is swapped for a more racing-friendly paddle-shifted six-speed sequential manual.
Mercedes says the GT3 should hit 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, which curiously matches its claim for the standard vehicle, and goes up to a top speed of 186 mph. Apparently Mercedes has developed a go-faster version of its already iconic gullwing supercar that is ready for homologation for the FIA’s GT3 class.
The SLS AMG GT3 made its auto-show debut in New York, wearing a stunning matte-white paint job with what appeared to be a 10-foot-wide carbon-fiber rear wing—plus some orange stripes, just for kicks. A smooth underbody tray leads to a carbon-fiber diffuser in the rear, and the car also gets a full skirt of carbon-fiber lower aero add-ons. The GT3 features a two-inch-wider body (still rendered in aluminum) that does not resort to tacked-on fender extensions to cover the wider racing rubber. The wheels are 18-inch, center-locking units per homologation regulations, and thus don’t allow room for the standard car’s optional carbon-ceramic discs; in their place are composite brakes with cast-iron discs and aluminum hats.
Mercedes will start taking orders beginning this fall.