Watch Mercedes Torture-Test The Legendary Flawed SLS AMG

Photo Credit: Daimler
Photo Credit: Daimler

The Mercedes SLS AMG was, briefly, heralded as the greatest car in the world. It handled like a mid-engined car, but had all the comfort and normalcy of a front-engine GT. And it had a massive V8. But there was a flaw.


The early SLS’s transmission seemed to always take a shit, and if your SLS transmission takes a shit, you can’t get it fixed. Seriously. Mercedes does not “fix” the seven-speed dual clutch transmissions that the SLS shared (with very different tuning) with the Ferrari 458. Mercedes just sends them back to their supplier, then commission, fabricate, and assemble a new one to be built from scratch, as noted by one American SLS owner. This process would take at least two months. It should be noted that during this time, your car will sit, motionless, in a Mercedes dealership service center until the supplier sends its transmission back. These are not vehicles you want to own.

But they are cars that are a wonder to behold with eye and ear, so watch M-B run these ultra-cool development prototypes up mountains and across frozen lakes, with crash tests and engine torture tests thrown in, too.

I might think perhaps they should have tested their transmission calibration a little better, but I’m not an engineer. What do I know.

God, I love these cars.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.


Wait. Yeah. What was the point of all that testing if the transmission gives up the ghost so easily?