(NY Auto Show) Mercedes SLS GT3: Eco, No – Beautiful, Definitely

Mercedes-Benz reminds us there is still fun to be had tearing around a racetrack in a beautiful and insanely expensive race car.

The point of being saturated by hybrid/eco-speak happened pretty early at this years NY Auto Show. But it only took looking back to the first reveal of the show to have a reminder that the spirit of cars can be simplified down to going fast and looking good. There are also still those occasions at auto shows where dreaming is ok.

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There’s an old adage in motorsports that race cars should be designed for go and not show. Contrary to this thinking Mercedes-Benz unveiled a new beautifully designed customer race car called the SLS AMG GT3.

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Based on the 2011 SLS AMG road car, the GT3 version is a no compromise, track bred beast. The car needed to fit within the rules of the GT3 class and Mercedes looked for ways to transform the road car into a competitive racer. New body panels are made of carbon fiber. There is a huge rear wing and lower diffuser to improve handling at high speed. And production car interior was gutted and fitted with a roll cage and safety seating system for the driver. Powered by a V8 engine, Mercedes says the car can go from 0-60 in about the time it took to read this sentence.

Owning the car opens opportunities to participate in 24-hour endurance races on famed tracks like Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium and the Nürburgring in Germany. As for the price to buy one, that’s going to take some dreaming too.

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