History has a habit of repeating itself. In the motor industry this happens quite often with manufacturers recycling their historic nameplates and styling in a bid to invoke memories of the past. Mercedes-Benz has a particular icon that is recognised the world over, but the Germans were unwilling to revive its heritage until they had something truly worthy of doing so. In fact it wasn’t until 2010, some 58 years after the 300SL, that the world received a gullwing for the iPod generation. As the sun sets on the SLS, now its 5 year production run comes to an end, the final revisions to the car have been made in this 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT.
Looking just as bold as it did at the beginning of its life, the SLS AMG GT is quite the sculpture to behold. An illustriously long bonnet stretches ahead of the cockpit as a short rear overhang completes the silhouette. Strong lines run down the bonnet and profile of the SLS creating a toned muscular aesthetic. In this deep grey with black details, this SLS AMG GT looks subtly sinister. Its party piece is, of course, the gullwing doors. Stretching skywards with a certain majesty, they are part of the recipe that makes the theatre of this car unique.
As you climb over the doorsill and into the body hugging bucket seats you shall be cocooned in German grand touring luxury. The cockpit is sung, with consoles seemingly wrapping around you, but its not too claustrophobic thanks to its width. A chunky red stitched steering wheel sits at your chest accompanied by two aluminium paddle shifters. The combination of piano black surfaces and aluminium detailing makes the 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT interior a nice place to occupy for those long intercontinental blasts. Boot space for such trips needn’t be a worry in this three pointed star as you can squeeze a in small bag or two.
Push the starter button and a deep roar fills the air as the car awakens. The 6.2 litre V8 engine under the bonnet has a new inlet manifold which gives the GT an extra 20BHP bringing the total output to 583BHP and 479lb ft of torque. 0-62MPH is completed in a brisk 3.7 seconds, however, at low speeds these monstrous figures are meaningless. As you potter about the SLS presents itself as a well mannered and extremely comfortable car you could use every day. The burble from the exhausts is not intrusive and the ride quality in the cars most docile setting is exactly what you would expect from any Mercedes-Benz. But what happens when you go from being a gentleman to a six year old with a very expensive toy? Turning the SLS up to maximum attack and putting the hammer down results in a torque powered catapult-like effect as you are fired off towards the horizon. A beautiful symphony of horsepower explodes into the surrounding area only being interrupted by snorts and pops upon gear changes. The cars 7 speed gearbox has received new software making its changes up to 60% faster over the standard car. It is a noticeable difference and one that is most welcome on a track. Suspension tweaks also allows turn-in to be sharper and the whole package feels more taught, leaner and planted. Our test car was equipped with the standard brakes which provided plenty of stopping power when required, but if you intend to be a hooligan in your SLS more often than not, we would recommend the carbon discs. The cars surge of acceleration is nothing short of intoxicating, the whole sensation highlights what a special machine this is. Control weighting is good allowing for precise inputs and feedback through the wheel communicates fluently with the driver.
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT takes an already much loved package and enhances it. Little tweaks here and there help sharpen the cars sporting edge whilst retaining the luxurious grand touring nature of the base car. It is a delicate balance but this GT model hits the sweet spot. With a starting price of just over £160,000 the SLS is no small investment, but then you are buying a car that will become a future icon.