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AMG readies SLS GT3 racer

2010-03-24 09:56
Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Mercedes-Benz
Engine 6.2l V8
Transmission Seven-speed DCT
Back in 1952 Mercedes-Benz won the legendary Carrera Panamericana road race hosted in Mexico.

The car which brought Merc this victory was a modified version of the 300SL – which germinated into the legendary Gullwing road car two years later.

To celebrate this famous victory (don’t ask why) the company is readying a radical, stripped-out version of its latest supercar – the SLS AMG – for public debut at the New York auto show next week.

The SLS AMG GT3 is the result of a joint venture between AMG and HWA, the latter headed by one of the original AMG founders, Hans Werner Aufrecht. HWA manages Merc’s DTM racing cars and was the perfect partner to reconfigure the SLS AMG to FIA GT3 regulation specification.

The original 300SL was a winner in Mexico. The forthcoming SLS AMG GT3 could herald a new era of Mercedes-Benz sportcar racing success.

Track certified styling package

As befits its racing purpose the SLS AMG GT3 features a raft of track biased styling changes.

Up front a deep apron, housing a full-width cooling duct and splitter, is framed by additional vanes at each corner to ensure optimal downforce is applied to the front-axle.

Heat dissipation commensurate to racing speeds and friction build-up is achieved via a large central aperture in the bonnet and front-wheel arch vents.

Dramatic side sills with integrated cooling ducts have been cut-in below the SLS AMG GT3’s signature gullwing doors to channel airflow to the rear brakes and transaxle transmission.

The SLS AMG GT's front splitter would surely not clear Golf estate specification speed bumps.

Around the rear the SLS AMG GT3 features a massive adjustable wing and air-flow stabilising diffuser housing rather large (oversized) trapezoidal exhausts.
To accommodate the larger tyres rolling on those 19-inch (front) and 20-inch (rear) wheels the SLS AMG GT3 features more substantial fenders which add 50mm of width over the stock SLS AMG road car.

Thunderous V8

Mechanically, details concerning the SLS AMG GT3 are still largely uncertain.

The car will be powered by a modified version of the AMG 6.2l dry-sump V8. All GT3 racing cars are set to be constrained by the new FIA “Balance of Performance’ principle which aims to provide equal levels of performance (power to weight ratios) for all cars racing in the GT3 class.

With the details of this “Balance of Performance” principle still unspecified, we can only guess how much power the GT3 racer will add to the road car’s 420kW output – expect around 440kW in metric terms, which rounds off to a neat 600 horsepower.

Cabin changes quite extensive, top half of the steering wheel rim chopped off. We would not bother searching for an iPod aux input either...

Chasing Audi?

Weight will be trimmed down significantly too – primarily by deleting most of the cabin trim, employing carbon-fibre construction of the SLS AMG GT3’s surfacing and binning the glass windows for polycarbonate screens.

Considering the standard SLS AMG weighs 1 620kg the GT3 racer could easily trim around 200kg of mass.

Merc’s says the availability and pricing of the SLS AMG GT3 is a matter between discerning customers and the AMG division. The car is expected to be slick-shod and ready to race next year.

The potential battle between Audi’s R8 GT3 rear-wheel drive race car and the SLS AMG is sure to invigorate the sportscar racing scene…


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