Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series 2014

Black Series just sounds menacing. It resonates through a pack of enthusiasts nearly as well as the wallow of those cars’ thunderous V-8s. It felt as though Mercedes was springing them on us, until we realized this is just the fifth one. But this isn’t your normal Black Series, unless we forget that the SLS was AMG‘s first attempt at designing a car from the ground up. With performance at its roots, the SLS takes the crown for best power-to-weight ratio of any Black Series car. It’s down to 5.5 pounds per unit of horsepower and stands out as much for the loss of weight as the increase in power.

It starts with the “AMG Lightweight Performance” strategy. It includes replac­ing the hood, drive-train components and other mechanical bits with carbon-fiber units. A fully revised valve train adds 39 horsepower to the already increased out­put of the SLS GT, for a total of 622. It betters the SL65 by one, and we doubt that was an accident. There’s more: The track has been increased by 0.8 of an inch in the front and 0.9 of an inch in the back, the transmission is installed 0.4 of an inch lower in the chassis, a new electronically controlled AMG rear differential replaces the mechanical variant and the entire suspension has been revamped for hooligan­ism. Wrapping it all up are flared fenders and carbon-fiber aerodynamic bits, but the large adjustable rear wing is an option. You don’t even have to fire up the engine to get people talking. Just whisper into the crowd, “Yep, it’s a Black Series.”

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series 2014 photoMercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series 2014 photo1Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series 2014 interiorMercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series 2014 interior photo

Price: $275,000
Engine: 6.2-liter V-8
Horsepower: 622
0-60: 3.5 seconds
Top Speed: 196 mph
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch
Torque: 468 foot-pounds