Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Hamann Hawk Roadster Takes Flight
Psssst, hey! Can you keep a secret? Come a little closer. A bit closer…there! Woof, have you ever considered investing in a box of Tic Tacs? Anyway, here it is: We like the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster more than we do the Coupe. We know, we know, the enclosed version’s gullwing doors are boss, and it’s stiffer, meaning it’s a little better in the turns. But the stubby roofline with no quarter windows (the opposite of the timeless original 300SL Gullwing of the mid-1950s) sullies what is an otherwise sexy design, and reaching up to close those doors might take its toll on your left shoulder after a while. The SLS AMG Roadster resolves both of those issues, as well as making fresh air and sunshine a flip of the fabric top away.
And since Mercedes-Benz’s baddest convertible is based on its baddest coupe, tuners only have to tool up a few – if any – new parts. This is good news for companies like Hamann, meaning it can bring its reimagining of the SLS ragtop – the Hawk Roadster – to market that much sooner. (You might remember the Hawk Roadster from last week's Geneva Motor Show top 25, but we're so smitten with it we decided it deserves its own article.) So what does it take to turn a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster into a Hamann Hawk Roadster?
For starters, there’s that snazzy body kit. The new front and rear bumpers, front fenders, side skirts and rear fender flares, as well as the unpainted carbon fiber hood and pop-up rear spoiler, not only look meaner and allow the fitment of fatter 21” wheels and tires at both ends, but they also add downforce and improve cooling. An adjustable coilover kit has also been fitted, allowing owners to drop the ride height by as much as 1.2 inches. And to top it off, the stock grille insert is replaced by one featuring Hamann’s stylized Pegasus emblem.
Climb inside, and you’re greeted with leather and ultra-suede upholstery joined together with red stitching. Hamann also fits red-tinted carbon fiber trim to the steering wheel spokes, center console, climate control vents, gauge surround, shift paddles and shift lever. It really pops, but we don’t really consider it to be over-the-top.
The performance, however, could probably be described as over-the-top. The 6.2L V8 is treated to a high-flow exhaust system and air filter, plus a remapped ECU. The result is 636hp and 502 lb.-ft of torque, both significant improvements over the factory specs. Routed through the stock 7-speed dual-clutch trans, that extra Kraft propels the Hawk Roadster to 62 mph in 3.6 seconds. The claimed top speed is 199 mph, presumably with the convertible top raised.
No word what the Hawk Roadster package will cost, but considering what an SLS AMG Roadster costs, money probably isn’t a concern for most buyers. Besides, how can you put a price on standing out from (and going faster than) the herd?