It wasn’t exactly a well-kept secret, Mercedes-Benz’s plan to come up with an über bad-ass version of the SLS to maintain the momentum and give the competition something to chew on. We spied the prototypes and we received hints from AMG chief Ola Källenius himself. Despite all the foreshadowing, though, the aggressiveness of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series leaves us stunned. The gaping intakes, the spoilers, and the carbon-fiber trim of Affalterbach’s latest pride and joy makes the SLS AMG GT look pretty vanilla—only by comparison, of course.
The Black Series models are rarer, quicker, much louder, and beastlier than the standard models on which they’re based. To top the regular-grade SLS, Källenius's troops laid their hands on almost every facet of the car. The 6.2-liter V-8 engine now makes 622 hp, a healthy dose of burly over the standard SLS GT’s 583. This bump in power is achieved through a derestricted air intake, a revised valvetrain, an increased compression ratio, and a redline elevated from 7200 rpm to 8000.
Interestingly, peak torque has dropped from 479 lb-ft to 468. And while the 0-to-60-mph sprint is quicker at 3.5 seconds versus the GT’s 3.8-second time—we think those are awfully conservative estimates considering the last standard-spec SLS we tested did the deed in 3.5 seconds when Benz predicted 3.6—top speed actually drops from a governed 197 mph to 196. Go figure. It would appear as though the extra power can’t conquer the aerodynamics.
To keep the engine reliable under extreme loads, the crankshaft and its bearings are modified, a new oil pump is installed, and the connecting-rod connections are altered. The structure housing the higher-power engine is supported by a gas-filled strut brace to keep unwanted movement to a minimum. For the three people who believed the regular SLS sounds too wimpy: A much louder titanium exhaust system has been fitted to the Black—it also happens to be nearly 29 pounds lighter than the standard car’s exhaust. The seven-speed dual-clutch automatic has been mounted a touch lower than in the SLS GT, and it features quicker shift programs as well. And your grandmother will appreciate the fact that the throttle blips on downshifts are “more pronounced and striking than ever.”
Grip is improved by a new, electronically controlled locking rear differential, and the control-arm suspension has been significantly altered. The coil-overs can be individually adjusted, and the SLS AMG Black Series sits on 275/35-19 tires up front and 325/30-20 tires in the rear. The same carbon-ceramic brakes available on the SLS GT come standard on the Black.
Thanks to: Car and Driver