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Germany 1
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Gottlieb Daimler 1
Gottlieb Daimler 2
Gottlieb Daimler 3
Gottlieb Daimler 4
Gottlieb Daimler 5
Gottlieb Daimler 6
Gottlieb Daimler 7

Daimlers first engine
Wilhelm Maybach
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Karl Benz (1)
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Alfred Neubauer

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Test SLS
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Car data

Super-sports Car Testdrive

You quite often drive a high powered car, or even take part in motor races? Then there's no need for you to read any further. In this case, it's all about a test-drive with a super-sports car, indeed, a test run aimed rather at the run-of-the-mill car driver, who very seldom has the opportunity to drive a vehicle with 300 kWs of power. In this case in fact, one with 420 kW (571 hp).

In 1980, the performance was enough for the Formula-1 world championship

As you may have anticipated, we're talking about the Mercedes SLS, to be more precise, the AMG, because this is where the car is developed, although not built (the engine however, is). No, you don't simply get into the car and drive away. First you have to sign a personal liability of € 1000, in case you are responsible for an accident.

First development stage: Dodge Viper

Afterwards, my thoughts were more on the almost € 200.000 that the car costs new, than on my own liability-risk. However, we haven't got that far yet. First of all, you have to stow your jacket in the luggage compartment, which is limited through the gearbox. Also the camera, which was, thank God, in my pocket, it would probably otherwise have been ruined.

ESP does not hamper a more sporting driving style ...

Why?, because this car is capable of cornering speeds, which lie way above anything that I, and probably you as well, could imagine. Are there in actual fact speed limits for the motorway entry-lanes? Turning off the country road, the acceleration is so brutal that in the curve, before reaching the actual motorway, the rear-end breaks into a slight drift.

There's no passenger-grip in the Gull-wing door ...

Of course the driver has this car under control, but how can I be the judge of that! Moreover, the butterflies in my stomach are getting worse. I had always thought, that cars like this, in view of the traffic jams on our motorways, are senseless. They are, when you consider the fuel consumption. However, when insanity takes over, one can shoot into any gap that is offered.

Without the necessary responsibility it's dangerous ...

The fascination doesn't come from the top speed, but from the acceleration. What seemed far away in the distance, is at the same moment right there. Indeed, this is also valid for the braking. My instructor brakes resolutely hard, and this is necessary. The braking tail-back up ahead is reached in no time at all.

It feels as though the car accelerates better than it brakes, which of course, is nonsense. It's just that the difference in acceleration, compared with normal cars, is much more noticeable than the braking is. This is what, after changing drivers, I had to constantly remind myself of. The huge value of the car is always in the foreground. Just imagine if you have an accident …

Sound-design is probably a must ...

By the way, one has the feeling that the engine is mounted in the rear. This is brought about by the aggressive exhaust sound. There is quite a bit of misfiring as well, which doesn't really fit in with the elegant image of the car. This stimulance is accompanied by short bursts of gas. How a manager is able to wind down after a stressful day at the office with this going on, is anyone's guess.

No, one is not thrown back into the seat. The body-fit is too good for that. What I really liked was the adjustable width of the back-rest. Even taller people have just about enough head-room, indeed, only out towards the sides, not in the middle, probably because of the mountings for the gull-wing doors. It doesn't really matter, because the center-console is there anyway. The starter is pressed, and by no means immediately, the 6,3- or to be exact, 6,2 liter engine comes to life.

Ceramic from SGL, brake-calipers from Brembo: wonderfully sensitive ...

Driving this rocket oneself, only requires a little getting used to because of the relatively low sitting position and the long bonnet. It also has a somewhat larger turning-circle. One should also avoid mistaking the left indicator lever and the cruise control lever mounted above it. Otherwise, getting the feel of it only takes a short time. Nothing is sluggish, everything reacts precisely. No need to raise your voice when chatting with the instructor.

Getrag transmission modified by AMG ...

I was not not able to try out the cornering abilities myself, that would probably take a few weeks. The acceleration is however, quite simple, it makes no difference which gear you chose (of course, also per paddle). Because the converter is missing, the command from the accelerator pedal (various modes are possible) is carried out so quickly, that one doesn't have time to think about a perhaps suitable gear (which can also be selected).

Built-in overtaking prestige ...

In a car like this, the option of a speed-limit scanner in the display, is definitely a must, otherwise your drivers licence is in grave danger. Also in sluggish traffic one stiil profits sometimes from the enormous overtaking prestige. There's no need to threaten anyone by tailgating, it's quite enough to hover majestically in the background. This suggests, “the moment you move to the right, I'll be right next to you“.

Interior roofing in grey velour ...

The overview is OK. However, my teacher forgot to allow the spoiler to retract, which it does when the speed drops to under 120 km/h. Now one can easily keep an eye on the traffic behind through the rear-view mirror. I asked about the parking assistant. The answer was yes, it does have one, but the steering wheel doesn't turn automatically. Who drives this type of car in the city anyhow.

The potential buyers don't show their wealth ...

I asked about the clientele for this car and was given a straight answer: Nowadays, you can't tell simply by looking at someone, whether or not he/she has the money to buy a car like this. Worn out jeans are not a criterion. Every luxury-class car salesman has an anecdote about the inconspicuously dressed young person, who was rejected by the competition, and now successfully buys an expensive car.

Think also about the maintenance costs ...

Don't think that once you've bought the car, your financial lay-out is over. E.g., If the SLS is delivered in winter (after a one year waiting period), and because of ice on the ground, you dent the door when driving into the garage, don't think you can nip along to Mercedes and quickly have a new door fitted. Oh no, The door must be specially adapted. Not even the price can be exactly determined, it would however, lie somwhere between 8.000 and €14.000.

We got back again safely. Another word of warning, when alighting, one can easily bang one's head on the gull-wing doors. Just one more photo of me in the car. Oh yes, in theory one doesn't even have to pull up the hand-brake, because after opening the doors, the parking lock kicks in. Just press the starter button and the magic starts all over again. 10/11