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Mike Stevens | Jul 3, 2009

SET TO REPLACE the Mercedes-Benz SLR - co-developed with F1 partner McLaren - the SLS 'gullwing' will be the first fully 'in-house developed' model for AMG.

Unlike the F1-inspired SLR, AMG has decided to incorporate influences from Mercedes’ iconic 300 SL gullwing coupe, including (naturally) the roof-hinged gullwing doors.

These new spy photos, while revealing little new in the way of specific design details, give us a fresh look at what the German powerhaus has in store for the SLS, which is due to be unveiled later this year.

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In the get-up-and-go department the SLS AMG will be powered by a version of AMG’s 6.2 litre (although AMG refers to it as a 6.3) V8 which puts out 420kW (563hp) at 6800rpm and 649 Nm (479lb-ft) of torque at 4750rpm.

The sprint from zero to 96km/h (60mph) is expected in the region of 3.8 seconds, powering onto a top speed of 315km/h (196mph).

A rear-mounted seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox will offer manual and automatic shift modes, with a four-stage shift program to allow drivers to select from comfortable shifts to something a lot more aggressive.

The rear-placement of the transmission will help even out weight-distribution across axles with a 48:52 balance front to rear.

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As for the stopping side of the equation, six-piston calipers clamping down on 15.8-inch front and 14.2-inch rear discs will be included as standard equipment with the option of carbon-ceramic rotors available.

The SLS will be Mercedes Benz and AMG’s first car with an all-aluminium chassis and body.

The lightweight material means the SLS tips the scales at 1620 kilograms (3571 pounds) or about 15 kilos less than the SLR.

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A lightly disguised ‘vision SLS’ version of the car is expected to debut as a concept sometime in 2009 with the production car set to be shown in time for the 2010 Geneva Motor Show.

AMG hasn’t yet released details of a production schedule. At this stage the car should see a two-year production run with output capped to 6000 units per year; a convertible SLC version is expected to arrive later in the car's life.

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