2010 Mercedes SLS AMG: Driven!

Editors at Edmunds Inside Line put a random mercenary auto writer behind the wheel of a pre-production 2010 Mercedes SLS AMG for a chance to write the first driving impression of the gullwinged 571 HP super car. What's the verdict?

You've seen the spy photos. You've seen the red headers of fire. You've seen the engine exploded. You've seen the interior. You've heard the engine. You've even seen the exterior leak all over the internet... twice! Now the slow strip tease on the 2010 Mercedes SLS AMG continues with the first drive... of a pre-production gullwing. We've pulled quotes from the review in four key areas to give you an idea what Edmunds thought. Check that out below, and head over to Edmunds Inside Line for the full review here. You'll have to wait for our verdict on the super car until we've had a chance to drive it, but for the moment this is a decent way to whet your appetite.

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Illustration for article titled 2010 Mercedes SLS AMG: Driven!


Power:

"The modified AMG V8 has a whole new level of throttle response. You can sense the eagerness building from down low in the rpm range, which isn't much of a surprise given the sturdy 402 lb-ft of torque available at just 2,500 rpm.

On a flowing track like this, you're rarely using less than half the engine's available revs. And sure enough, it is through the midrange where the full extent of the changes made to the 6.2-liter V8 become evident. When your foot is heavy on the throttle pedal, the engine hauls with great enthusiasm, racing around to the 5,000-rpm sweet spot. But with the redline set at 7,200 rpm, there's a lot more to come."

[Edmunds Inside Line]

Photo Credit: Konstantin Tschovikov

Illustration for article titled 2010 Mercedes SLS AMG: Driven!
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Handling:

"Draw the left-hand shift paddle forward a couple of times to select a lower gear and the SLS peels into corners positively but without any unsettling weight transfer. The body remains resolutely flat, and even slight movements are well controlled. Once the car is committed, the chassis' reactions prove progressive and forgiving."

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[Edmunds Inside Line]

Photo Credit: Konstantin Tschovikov

Illustration for article titled 2010 Mercedes SLS AMG: Driven!
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Interior:

"The driver plays a part, too. "We've attempted to set the driver's seat as far back within the wheelbase as possible," says Moers. "It is quite extreme for a road car." He draws parallels with Mercedes-Benz's front-engine DTM racing cars."

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[Edmunds Inside Line]

Photo Credit: Konstantin Tschovikov

Illustration for article titled 2010 Mercedes SLS AMG: Driven!
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The Verdict:

"The 2010 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG might look like the SL Gullwing of the 1950s, but it's clearly meant to challenge the best of today's exotic sports cars, like the Audi R8, the Nissan GT-R and the Porsche 911 Turbo."

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[Edmunds Inside Line]

Photo Credit: Konstantin Tschovikov

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DISCUSSION

averyrm
Averyrm - GTI YUP

I really wonder about the flappy-paddle gearbox. Do most supercar buyers really prefer not having a true manual? I mean, sure it's in F1 and all, but at least for me - and I'd expect most jalops - if I'm getting a sports car, I'd still want to row my own.

I'd wager people who buy supercars are really not car people at all. This explains a lot of the crashes, the flappy-paddles, the limited editions, partnering with clothing makers (seriously, who cares what the fabric looks like as long as it keeps you planted in the seat), etc.