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Super Lightweight Star

The classic car scene has always been perceived as something of an enigma by most if not all tuning car enthusiasts. They’re looked upon as a ‘past time’ for err ‘senior citizens’ to dabble in – old timers, old cars, shit load of money and all the connotations of both man and machine being way past their prime.

Then again, should you know of some senior folks with a classic car fetish, spend some good quality time and chat them up, before long you’d see the same sparkle in their eyes, the gestures of excitement and that pride of ownership, pretty much all the familiar hints and telltale signs of a bonafide car enthusiast. And if you would be so kind while you’re at it, ask them about their all time favorite car. Of course there’ll be more than one answer (one of the many spins from the multi faceted nature of life as we know it) but then again there’s also a high likelihood that quite a few of them would say the Gullwing, with facial expressions reminiscing of a young schoolgirl going all gooey on that Bieber fella.

Yup it is the car that possessed all the zing and the bling and all the sex appeal that eventually led to the swingin 60s, the ‘make love not war’ hippie culture, inasmuch as it was one of the catalysts that brought us the pinnacle of automobile personification – both performance and style. Of course with more than half a century down the road, the AMG SLS embodied all that we have come to love of the 300SL Gullwing albeit retreated with a huge serving of speed, dynamism, technology, panache, luxury, style and the three pointed star trademark engineering excellence. Remarkable isn’t it when you realize how much design basis the two Mercedes supercars share despite some sixty years time split between them.

Check out this excerpt from an excellent 300SL online article: Supercars following the rubric of either line of reasoning should sit at the top of the manufacture’s product lineup, acting as the halo car or physical embodiment of the brand. A supercar is always bespoke, custom fitted to the owner, exuding a sense of craft and passion. So, how can both sides of the debate get along? A car that can manifest the qualities outlined in both schools of thought is certainly worthy of the supercar classification. Otherwise you are left with just a racecar, or just an exotic. Enter the Mercedes-Benz Gullwing.

We ought to allow our reasoning and thoughts to process the former narrative with regards to this fantastic gem of a cover car – the Mercedes AMG SLS. A gem of a car, ahem make that a gem of a supercar that is without a shadow of a doubt derived its Mojo straight off the Gullwing. It is the Gullwing of the new millennia, the mother of all gullwings. It seems the well paid designer of the SLS a Brit Mark Fetherston had brilliantly put pen to paper what the original 300SL Gullwing ought to look like this age of the internet, social media, Marvel studios, suspicious celebrity deaths, Fast & Furious 9 and all.

It exudes a sense of style and luxury the embodiment of which could well have been pioneered by both the German marquee and its halo car the one and the same 1954 300SL. The sleek lines, the handsome front end affording the famous three pointed star, the short and sexy tail and of course, that glorious gull wing doors, simply put the hardest core car porn full stop.

Providing the requisite forward motion is the 6.2-liter V-8 yielding 563 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. The M156 is the first V8 automobile engine designed autonomously by Mercedes-Benz subsidiary Mercedes-AMG, as previous AMG engines have always been based on original Mercedes engines. Upon its introduction the SLS AMG’s M159 engine was according to AMG “the world’s most powerful naturally aspirated production series engine” ever produced. In fact, the M156 derived 6.2 liter engine was reworked to such an extent that AMG gave it a separate engine code—M159—to signify the more than 120 different parts used in the SLS engine.

For this sleek and sumptuous SLS that already powerful V8 gets a couple of top notched performance upgrades from Weistec – a major league player in Mercedes tuning these days. Although the Weistec program for this particular SLS consists of ‘only’ an exhaust manifold and the SLS powertrain and drivetrain (ECU & TCU) tuning packages, the net result coupled to the 560-plus ponies already at play takes on an altogether new level of performance. Also the stock air filter gets replaced with a BMC unit.

For one thing Weistec’s ECU tuning extracts almost thirty galloping ponies along with an extra 36Nm of torque, not to mention sharper throttle response, smoother and creamier power delivery and all the handy and very welcomed side perks. On the transmission bits, Weistec’s TCU wizardry improves shifting as per both speed and action elevating the AMG SLS’ shifting capability to that of the fearsome SLS Black Series.

Add to this already potent combination Weistec cutting edge design exhaust manifold – stainless steel construction and include 3 inch stainless steel connector pipes that bolt up to the headers using high quality V-Band clamps while the other end of the connector pipes bolt up to the exhaust using the factory ball and slip fit joints; and this in turn gets hooked up all neat and tidy onto an ultra exotic, ultra advanced Capristo exhaust system. Then again the SLS itself redefines the purest deepest meaning of exotic, as such it’d be only fair that every ‘extra crispy’ aftermarket upgrades are, at the very least up to the aforementioned standards.

The valve-controlled exhaust system developed by Capristo (registered trademark mind), exudes top notched artisan craftsmanship with its highest grade polished stainless steel (T309), and it combines all advantages in both the lower and higher range of revolutions (rpm), since the back pressure can be exactly dosed to enable the engine to gain the maximum performance. Of course the Capristo SLS AMG system delivers that signature sonic orchestra that accompanies every split second whiff of the throttle – simply superb, and a match made in heaven for the modern day Gullwing.

As per the AMG SLS award winning, enchanting, ultra svelte and handsomely tailored with that classy sporty personification, it was left well enough alone save for yet another piece of premium aftermarket kit – the HRE wheels, staggered set up sized 19 inch up front and 20 at the back, wrapped in Pirelli P Zeros, an ultra mega superlative combination to coin a super complimentary phrase as it were.

A stunning example of German automobile perfection further refined with upper tier premium aftermarket components.

A real classy act.

Car: Mercedes AMG SLS

Engine: M159 6.2 liter DOHC 32 valve V8

Engine modifications: Weistec ECU & TCU tuned, Weistec exhaust manifolds, BMC filters, Capristo exhaust system
Transmission: AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission; Selectable driving modes: Controlled Efficiency [C], Sport [S], Sport plus [S+], Manual [M]

Brakes: 6-pot calipers 402mm carbon-ceramic discs front, 4-pot caliper 360mm carbon-ceramic discs rear

Wheels & Tires: HRE 19″ & 20″ staggered wheels, Pirelli P-Zeros

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