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Mike Stevens | Nov 12, 2012

Mercedes-Benz has pulled the covers and all the stops from its hi-po SLS AMG Black Series this week, after months of speculation and spy photos.

Boasting a host of styling, aerodynamic, mechanical and handling upgrages, the supercoupe enters as the fifth Merc to carry the Black Series badge, topping the small range as a new flagship.

Merc's in-house AMG tuning arm has wrung another 44kW out of the SLS' 6.3 litre V8 engine, giving the big coupe a huge 464kW and 635Nm of torque.

Despite the significant power increase, the Black Series isn't the most powerful version of the SLS AMG: that honour belongs to the Electric Drive model, which offers a bonkers 552kW.

Still, with a claimed 0-100km/h time of 3.6 seconds, and a new 8000 RPM rev limit (up from 7200), the SLS AMG Black Series should keep the purists contented.

Coaxing that extra power out of the big V8 necessitated a remapping of the ECU, along with upgraded camshafts and tappets with a special race-focused coating.

AMG also enhanced the intakes to allow the engine to gulp in more air. There's also a modified crank assembly, new crankshaft bearings, upgraded oil bores and a new oil pump, and a revised water and oil cooling system.

The more powerful engine's place in the bay has also been fortified with an additional gas strut brace.

Weight loss efforts include a new 17kg lighter titanium exhaust system, and a massive spread of carbon fibre reinforced plastic components have replaced original parts.

The breadth of AMG's tweaks continues with the 1cm-lower repositioning of the seven-speed DCT transmission, which has also picked up quicker response times, more aggressive Manual and Sport Plus tunes, and an automatic throttle blip on downshifts.

Suspension remains a double wishbone setup, but a new front stabiliser is featured and the elastokinematic systems of the front and rear axle have been made more rigid.

The front track is wider by 2cm and the rear by 2.3cm, and the front axle gets new wheel mounts.

The mechanical diff lock has been turfed in favour of an electronically controlled AMG system integrated into the transmission case, offering a variable locking effect and increased stability.

The whole thing is hauled up by carbon ceramic brakes, measuring 15.8 inches up front and 14.2 at the rear, reducing weight by around 40 percent compared to steel/aluminium setups.

 

Australia

Mercedes-Benz has confirmed the SLS AMG Black Series will hit Australia sometime in the third quarter of 2013, although specific pricing and availability is still to be confirmed.

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