2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
The term “black label” is often used by fashion houses and distilleries to denote exceptional limited-edition products meant for connoisseurs. The same applies to Mercedes-Benz tuner AMG and their high-performance Black Series – a name so exclusive that the SLS was only the fifth model to receive the designation. The SLS Black Series was derived from AMG’s SLS GT3 racing car. Largely hand built at the AMG Performance Studio in Affalterbach, Germany, the coupe produced 39 hp more than the previous SLS GT and was 154 pounds lighter, making for 0–60 times of 3.5 seconds.
Much of that performance was a direct result of the AMG racing program, which lent the competition car’s carbon fiber front splitter, side skirts, rear spoiler, and electronically controlled limited-slip differential. A lightweight titanium exhaust system was fitted, and the internals of the venerable M159 V-8 engine were carefully tuned for increased output. New camshafts, specially coated tappets, and improved crankshaft bearings allowed the engine to rev to nearly 8,000 rpm. The improvements put the performance of the SLS Black Series on par with the world’s finest supercars. As tested by Car and Driver magazine, the Mercedes’ quarter-mile times were 11.2 seconds at 128 mph, matching that of the Lamborghini Gallardo. The car’s lap times on the Top Gear test track were identical to the Lamborghini Murciélago and the Ferrari Enzo, despite its electronically limited top speed of 196 mph. Unlike the spartan GT3 competition car, the interior of the SLS Black Series made liberal use of leather and Alcantara, with bolstered AMG seats that afforded a passenger comfort on long journeys.
A total of 132 cars were destined for the US market for the 2014 model year. The cars were available in nine colors, including the striking new shade of Solarbeam Yellow, of which only 30 were imported.
The car presented here, chassis 147, is one such example. Showing less than 600 miles at the time of cataloguing, it’s undoubtedly one of the lowest original-mile SLS Black Series cars in existence. This SLS AMG was generously equipped with the optional 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround-sound system and forged AMG Black Series wheels. It is accompanied by its original books and important accessories and remains in impeccable condition throughout, a credit to its limited use in the hands of meticulous owners.
Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear unabashedly once said of the SLS AMG that it was “the greatest car in the world.” In its single year of production and its greatest state of tune, the 2014 SLS AMG Black Series was a pinnacle for naturally aspirated Mercedes-Benz sports cars, and the example offered here represents a thrilling opportunity to acquire one of the great supercars in recent years.