A NEW APPROACH IN AN AGE OLD BUSINESS+44 (0) 1926 691 141
Estimate: £160,000 - £180,000
+buyer's premium of 15% including VAT @ 20%
Jaguar E-Type fans will undoubtedly disagree but perhaps the most recognisable sports car of the 1950's was the classic Mercedes 300SL 'Gullwing'. With its dramatic doors, this was the ultimate supercar of its time whose very mention evokes memories of Grace Kelly and grainy black and white racing footage. It was the embodiment of half a century of Mercedes Motorsport pedigree and pleasingly, became the inspiration for a modern interpretation - the brand's equally desirable SLS AMG model, launched in 2010.
It's not just the gullwing doors that awaken reminiscences of the legendary 300 SL. The characteristic wide radiator grille with the large Mercedes-Benz star and the wing-like fin are also reminiscent of the face of that historic sports car. The three-dimensional, sculptured front with the low, v-shaped, front skirt with lateral indentations gives this new gullwing a powerful, almost aggressive stance on the road, a sort of 'don't mess with me' look. The car’s dominance is underscored by six large air intakes and the wide set, Bi-xenon vertical headlamps.
There's something utterly beguiling about a large capacity V8 and the one you'll find under the bonnet of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is an absolute peach. It's a 6.2-litre unit and was the first V8 from the AMG stable to be designed from the ground up, with its initial application being in the E63 super-saloon. The engine was further developed for the SLS with a dry sump set-up and 120 unique parts and, in this guise, could muster a very healthy 563bhp. It's a simply superb engine and even when running on part throttle it rumbles and crackles like distant thunder and lightning. It's mated to a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission complete with a 'Race Start' launch-control system enabling a claimed 0-62mph time of 3.8secs and a top speed of 197mph.
The SLS is one of those machines that had modern-classic written all over it from the moment it first saw the light of day and, whilst it was the first car to be fully designed by AMG in-house, it was sadly the last to be fitted with a naturally aspirated V8. However, it wasn't just a case of prodigious power and retro-inspired styling that made the SLS a modern icon as, when EVO magazine pitched it up against some pretty serious rivals, it won the motoring press over with its blend of all-round ability and everyday usability. Pitched head-to-head with Aston's V12 Vantage, Ferrari's 599 HGTE and the evergreen Porsche 911 Turbo 'S', the AMG's depth of talent won the day.
The car presented here is a UK-supplied, right-hand drive 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG in virtually 'as-new' condition, having covered just 690 miles. In striking AMG Le Mans Red paintwork, a colour that suits the car perfectly and was used by Mercedes for many of the press images of their new supercar, this formidable car is simply as good as you could hope for. It has patently been cossetted, regularly Mercedes-Benz main dealer serviced despite its minuscule mileage (most recently in November 2018 at 546 miles) and stored impeccably. Over the last nine years, it has been enjoyed by two fortunate owners, both successful older businessmen but real automotive enthusiasts too, where it has formed part of their respective collections. A change in circumstances means our vendor must now part with it and admits it will be sorely missed. This is a real opportunity to acquire a best-of-breed example of the type of supercar we may not see the likes of again from a major manufacturer.
Here it is then, the last-of-the-line, expensive to engineer as a design with a configuration and large capacity engine that, although mighty and supremely effective, are not deemed viable in today's automotive world, plus it has those doors! Those doors - they are hard not to fall for given the lineage and endow the SLS with a real sense of Mercedes magic.