Mercedes Benz SLS AMG GT3
When the road-going Mercedes SLS AMG was introduced in early 2010, the automotive public was very pleased since it was a proper sports car with top notch specifications and appeal. Its gullwing doors and a link with glorious Mercedes’ past was a big plus in the eyes of potential clientele. However, immediately after the presentation the question on everyone’s lips was “will there be a racing version?“. In late 2010, Mercedes answered that question with fantastic racing machine named Mercedes SLS AMG GT3.
The SLS GT3 was built by GT3 specifications and it is still compatible with many of the world’s racing series. Although there is replacement on the way in likes of the new Mercedes AMG GT3, the SLS GT3 is still competitive with the best in GT3 class. Basic specifications include the great AMG 6,2 liter V8 engine with close to 600 bhp which is a small step up from stock 563 bhp. However, the weight of the car ranges from 1300 to 1350 kg and the standard automatic dual clutch transmission is replaced with racing six speed gearbox. Of course, the car now features a safety package, improved racing brakes and fully customizable aerodynamic enhancements.
Since its racing debut in late 2010, the SLS AMG GT3 proved to be very successful. On its first race, in October 2010, SLS GT3 won and remained victorious ever since. During 2011, AMG produced a small number of cars mainly for testing but from 2012 until 2014, AMG started producing around 30 examples per year, since the car was for sale to private customers and teams. The price of 334.000 euros was, of course, not cheap but the customers bought one of the finest racing machines on the market and a sure winner in numerous racing series. During the last few years of SLS AMG GT3’s racing career, the car participated in FIA GT3 European Championship, Blancpain Endurance Series, Blancpain Sprint Series, VLN, 24 Hours of Nurburgring, British GT Championship, Super GT, Australian GT Championship, Bathurst 12 Hour, Dubai 24 Hour, Macau GT Cup and Pirelli World Challenge, which is quite an impressive list. The memorable moments are winning in the 2012 and 2013 Dubai 24 Hour, 2013 24 Hours of Spa and 2013 Bathurst 12 Hours. Since the homologation for the SLS GT3 is still active, they will continue to race at selected series and races and we can be sure to see them in years to come. Since the launch of the SLS GT3 it has achieved some 182 overall victories, 98 pole positions and 930 top ten positions.
After the problems which Mercedes had in late nineties with its racing programme, it is good to see that SLS AMG GT3 is a successful and famous race car. With its heritage, looks and fantastic mechanics, the SLS is truly a modern classic and one of best racing cars of the era. Let’s just hope that the AMG GT3 as its replacement will be as equally successful.