The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG isn’t a car that’s desperate for improvements. It’s pretty ruddy brilliant all round but, like the McLaren MP4-12C, it’s been around for some time now and nobody could begrudge it a makeover.
Mercedes knows this all too well and is planning a series of updates for the 2013 model. The first tweak is the name — it shall henceforth be known as the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT with either ‘coupe’ or ‘roadster’ affixed to the end depending on whether it has a roof.
Aesthetically, the new car is pretty similar to the old one. It features darkened headlamps and tail lamps, red brake callipers as well as a glossy finish on the grille, wing mirrors and bonnet fins, centre console and doors. It also features red seat belts and red-trimmed floor mats with a new steering wheel.
More significant upgrades can be found under the bonnet. The car uses the same 6.2-litre V8 as the outgoing model, but it now produces 583bhp — 20bhp more than than before. Torque stays unchanged at 479 lb-ft, but the new car also has improved software governing its transmission, which is said to improve gear changes. Word is, it now shifts down faster and more aggressively, which is good news as the previous car was a little limp-wristed in this department in comparison to some of its esteemed rivals.
The extra power, and better shifting prowess mean the SLS AMG GT hits 0-60mph in 3.6 seconds — 0.1 seconds quicker than the original car. Flat out, it’ll hit 197mph before the onboard computers decide enough is enough and limit your speed. Why 197mph is deemed safe and 198mph is considered a bridge too far is beyond us.
The new SLS AMG GT will go on sale this October. The coupe will cost €204,680 (£164,601) while the roadster will set you back €213,010 (£171,300).