In 2011, Mercedes-Benz paid tribute to its iconic 300SL with the SLS AMG. Outfitted—like its 1950s ancestor—with gullwing doors, the new sports car took all the performance Mercedes-Benz had to offer and pushed it to the extreme.
The German automaker dialed up the car's capabilities for 2013 with the SLS AMG GT. Its hand-built 6.3-liter V8 cranks out 583 horsepower—20 more than the 2012 model—and 479 pound-feet of torque. This beastly engine links up with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission that delivers power to the rear wheels via a carbon-reinforced polymer driveshaft. This driveline nets the 2013 SLS AMG GT a 3.6-second run to 60 mph—0.2 seconds faster than 2012 model—and a 197 mph top speed.
Mercedes-Benz made mild cosmetic adjustments that distinguish the 2013 SLS. These include lightly tinted headlights and taillights, red seatbelts and red stitching inside the cabin. The SLS AMG GT comes in a pair of body styles: the easily recognizable gullwing coupe or—for an extra $6,500—a roadster.
Like most competitors in its supercar class, the SLS AMG GT is not all things to all people. The suspension rides stiffly, and the dual-clutch transmission performs a bit softly. Finally, while the gullwing doors are a fun touch, they aren't easy to handle.
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG comes in a single trim level—GT—that comes standard with: an AMG sport exhaust; launch control; a carbon-reinforced polymer driveshaft; AMG Adaptive Performance Suspension; AMG Compound Braking System; 10-spoke forged-alloy wheels—19-inch up front and 20-inch at the rear; a retractable rear wing; LED daytime running lights; bi-xenon headlights; ultrasonic parking sensors on the front and rear; blind-spot monitoring; a rearview camera; AMG sport seats wrapped in design leather with red stitching; dual-zone climate control; a hard-drive-based navigation system with Zagat surveys; and an in-dash six-disc CD changer with an SD card reader, auxiliary input jack, USB port and SiriusXM capabilities.
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Sleek body, 0.2 seconds faster to 60 mph and excellent gearbox, but more expensive and lower mpg
Significantly cheaper, awesome styling and luxurious, but less power and slower to 60 mph
592-horsepower V8, lightning-fast to 60 mph and built like a racecar, but expensive
Slightly cheaper, as fast to 60 mph and feature-packed, but less horsepower and an aging body style