Following its official unveiling in Mexico back in March, Mercedes-Benz has announced European availability of its SLS AMG GT3 race car.
Built to FIA GT3 specifications, the SLS AMG GT3 is powered by the same 6.3 litre V8 as its road-going counterpart. Unlike the 'regular' SLS AMG, which offers 420kW and a 3.8 second 0-100km/h sprint, the GT3 version will have its maximum output determined by FIA regulations.
"The Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 marks the beginning of a new era in Mercedes-Benz customer motorsport," Mercedes-Benz Motorsport boss, Norbert Haug said. "This is an exciting and spectacular sports car for dedicated private teams and talented private drivers."
"AMG will work together with our tried-and-trusted sports and touring car partner HWA to put in place a motorsport customer department which will guarantee its motorsport customers hallmark Mercedes service."
Making the SLS AMG GT3 race-ready are numerous aerodynamic additions and weight-saving changes. A large carbon-fibre front splitter and the huge adjustable racing wing at the rear are among the GT3's more prominent features, along with a vented hood and brake-cooling intakes in the front quarter panels and side skirts.
Other race-only features include an enclosed underbody, rear diffuser, central-locking AMG light-alloy wheels and C-pillar-mounted fuel filler pipes.
Inside, the cabin is dominated by a steel rollover cage and a racing bucket seat with a six-point seat belt and Head and Neck Support (HANS) system.
The SLS AMG GT3's kerb weight has not been offered, although Mercedes says this is due to the same FIA regulations that will eventually determine not only the car's output, but also its final weight.
Like the BMW Z4 GT3, the 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 will be available to private teams later this year, in time for teams to prepare their cars for the 2011 season.
In Europe, the SLS AMG GT3 will be offered for €334,000 (AU$481,140).