This is the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3, the racing version of the RM2 million gullwing car. Designed to comply with FIA’s GT3 specifications, the SLS AMG GT3 is designed as a race car for “customers competing in sprints and long-distance races”. It is developed and produced by AMG in cooperation with HWA AG (HWA is the entity responsible for DTM racing on behalf of Mercedes-Benz Motorsports). Sales are expected to commence later this year, and homologation will be completed in time for the 2011 racing season.
The wide and flat SLS AMG GT3 gets a new front apron with a splitter, central cooling air vent on the bonnet and wider front and rear wings. From road car to race car, the SLS AMG also gains a big air vents behind the front wheel arches, sideskirts with cooling ducts for the rear brakes, a smooth underbody with rear diffuser and an adjustable rear aerofoil. All these measures work together for a low drag coefficient and maximum downforce while cooling heat stressed components. The car’s C-pillars accommodate standardised filler pipes for the fast-refuel system.
The FIA will determine the maximum output of the AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine with dry sump lubrication on the “Balance of Performance” principle. The classification process, during which the kerb weight is also determined, will be completed in 2010. Doing transmission duties is a sequential six-speed racing gearbox with steering wheel paddles and an integrated multi-disc locking differential. Located at the rear axle, the gearbox is connected to the engine by a torque tube within which a carbon-fibre shaft rotates at the engine speed, as per the road car.
The wheels are located by a double-wishbone suspension of forged aluminium at the front and rear. Springs and shock absorbers, suspension height, stabilisers, track width and camber are all adjustable for a precise race setup. Rack-and-pinion steering with a more direct ratio and speed-sensitive servo assistance make for agile handling and a composite steel braking system with racing ABS takes its place behind the central-locking AMG light-alloys.
The interior of the SLS AMG GT3 has a stripped, functional race car atmosphere: there’s a steel rollover cage, racing bucket seat with six-point seat belt and HANS system and of course, a fire extinguisher. The steering wheel is open topped so as not to block the view of the multi-info central display, which replaces the road car’s dials.
Full high-res gallery after the jump.
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