SLS AMG CoupŽ Black Series, AMG Solarbeam, (C 197), 2012

Mercedes-Benz Unveils the 2014 SLS AMG Black Series Ahead of L.A. Debut

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series front 3/4 view

There’s no debating that the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is a serious sports car. But is it a true supercar? Well, stacked up against the likes of the Ferrari 458 Italia, McLaren MP4-12C or SRT Viper, it comes up a little bit short in the areas of power, acceleration and overall pace. It’s definitely fast enough to get you in a heap of trouble, yes, but it’s not the wildest child attending exotic car day care, either.

And despite there being numerous tuners that have worked their magic on the neo-Gullwing (and its Roadster sibling) over the years, Mercedes-Benz and its AMG subsidiary have been reluctant to send their performance flagship to boot camp. That trend changes in a very big way with the un-mellow yellow machine you see before you. Say Guten Tag to the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series.

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series side view

Like previous Black Series Benzes, the SLS AMG Black Series adds a bolder face, flared fenders and a big rear wing to the already mean looking exterior. Other additions include a carbon fiber front splitter and dive planes, carbon fiber fender vent inserts, vented hood, rocker panel scoops, and a very aggressive rear diffuser with cutouts for the four parallelogram exhaust tips. Those wider fenders hang over wider, matte black forged alloy wheels (measuring 19”x10” in front, 20”x12” in back), which are encircled with extra-gummy Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires.

Of course, those extreme wheels and tires aren’t the only handling enhancements. Check it: The AMG Adaptive Performance Suspension system has had all three of its damping modes (Normal, Sport and Sport+) reprogrammed. The standard car’s mechanical limited slip differential has been benched in favor of a new electronically-controlled unit. There are now adjustable coilovers at all four corners. The front anti-roll bar has been replaced. The bushings are 50% and 42% stiffer at the front and rear, respectively. And the power steering system has been recalibrated for improved feedback and accuracy. Finally, when you need to slow down, you’ll be calling on two-piece ceramic rotors measuring an elephantine 15.8” across in front and 14.2” in back. Yeah, short of welding a metal peg to the front crossmember and cutting a groove down the middle of your favorite canyon road, there’s not much else you can do to enhance the handling.

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series rear 3/4 view

As for the stuff that’s controlled by the pedal on the right, it has received considerable attention as well. The 6.2L normally-aspirated V8 is fundamentally the same as the one in the base SLS AMG GT, but thanks to a higher rev limiter (8,000 rpm vs. 7,200), revised camshafts and valvetrain components, reprofiled intake tract, low restriction titanium exhaust system and remapped ECU, it makes an extra 39hp for a total of 622hp. Torque, on the other hand, actually drops by 11 to 468 lb.-ft. The rear-mounted 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, meanwhile, is mounted in the chassis 0.4” lower on gas struts to minimize stress on the case. Two of the four shift modes (Sport+ and Manual) have been reprogrammed to improve response and shift times, and there’s a new temporary manual function that lets you select gears manually in one of the three automatic modes.

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series engine view

What do all these upgrades (plus a 154 lb. lighter curb weight) do to the SLS Black’s on-track numbers? Enhance them, of course. Mercedes-Benz claims 0-60 mph will take 3.5 seconds, which is a tenth of a second faster than the SLS AMG GT, while top speed clocks in at 196 mph, or 1 mph slower than the base car (likely due to the added drag of the rear wing and extra frontal area). Not big jumps, but it’s clear the main objective was to improve cornering ability.

No word on how big a premium the Black Series will command, but we can tell you that it will go on sale in the U.S. next summer as a 2014 model. And if you want to see it in the metal, it will be making its public world debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this month. Just be sure to keep the salivating under control, okay?

Source: Mercedes-Benz