Advertisement
Go
2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Photo
8.6
/ 10
TCC Rating
How does the
TCC Rating work?
The TCC Rating is a clear numeric rating value based on a 10-point scale that reflects the overall opinion of our automotive experts on any vehicle and rolls up ratings we give each vehicle across sub-categories you care about like performance, safety, styling and more.

Our rating also has simple color-coded “Stop” (red), “Caution” (orange),
or “Go” (green) messages along with the numerical score so you can easily understand where we stand at a glance.

Our automotive experts then also collect and show you what other websites say about these different aspects of any vehicle. We do this leg work for you to simplify your research process.

Learn more about how we rate and review cars here.

?
Reviewed by Marty Padgett
Editorial Director, The Car Connection
BASE INVOICE
$176,328
BASE MSRP
$189,600
Quick Take
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG has those stunning gullwing doors, but but we'd take the Roadster any day--all the better to savor the sounds from that epic AMG V-8. Read more »
Decision Guide
Opinions from around the Web
Styling
Performance
Quality
Safety
Features
Mileage

isn't purely a retro pastiche

Autoblog »

striking

Road & Track »

rear end 'inspired by the Buick Reatta and the Acura CL coupe'

Automobile »

is supposed to remind you of jets and fighter pilots

Motor Trend »

has a bit of bullet-nose T-Bird and lots of Silver Arrow in its profile

Motor Authority »
Pricing and Specifications by Style
$189,600 $196,100
MSRP $189,600
INVOICE $176,328 Browse used listings in your area
2-Door Coupe SLS AMG
Gas Mileage 14 mpg City/20 mpg Hwy
Engine Gas V8, 6.3L
EPA Class Two Seater
Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity 2
Passenger Doors 2
Body Style 2dr Car
See Detailed Specs »
8.6 out of 10
Browse Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG inventory in your area.

SEE LOCAL CLASSIFIEDS

The Basics:

Mercedes-Benz may be riding a nostalgic wave with its heritage-tinged SLS AMG, but the gullwing and new roadster don't feel like anything from the Fifties--unless we're talking about interstellar flight.

These successors to the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing are true supercars, even better ambassadors for the AMG sub-brand than the old SLR supercar. The SLS is AMG's first complete car, each drivetrain built by a single engineer by hand, each copy capable of the kind of heroic acceleration and grip that vaults the SLS into the same rarified air as the Nissan GT-R, Porsche 911 Turbo, Chevy Corvette ZR1 and Lexus LFA.

By any design yardstick, the SLS is the stunner of that select group. The gullwing rocks, visually, when the doors are open, but it's a bit thin on appeal when it's closed up and seen in profile. The roadster? It's lithe and focuses all its optical energy on everything in front of the windshield, with Silver Arrow hints in its profile and even a little of the best bullet-nosed T-Birds. The interior's lined with buttery leather, carbon-fiber trim if you must--and we recommend the Sepang brown trim, so mouthwatering they should have called it Valrhona.

The SLS AMG's admirably smooth ride and accurate, heavy steering are no match for the shock-and-awe histrionics of the AMG engine--but then again, what could be? It's 571 horsepower, thrumming and throbbing, hunting for a way out of the car through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox that's improved a lot since we first drove the gullwing two years ago. Massive 20-inch rear wheels and tires grab as much traction as they can under the circumstances, and absolutely flat cornering comes when the adjustable shocks are dialed down to their firmest setting, and when the adjustable steering, throttle and transmission shifts are dialed up to their most responsive settings. The SLS lunges from sweeper to hairpin, barking tires and raspy exhaust all the way. it's a little too long and wide to be nimble, but it's never short of thrilling--especially if you turn off the electronic helpers and skate on the wicked edge of oversteer, which it's wont to do, with its almost even weight distribution.

With most of the SLS' silhouette occupied by engine and transaxle, there's not much space left behind for passengers. The cabin's short on leg and head room, and the gullwing always reminds us of why gullwings aren't more common. Cost aside, they require taller sills, which means it's tougher to get in and out of the car--and even with hinged pieces, the SLS still has a thing for smacking its doors against the back of our heads. The trunk's tiny, and we're kind of aghast there's no custom-fitted luggage option, dyed to match the SLS's fab interior. This is how poor people live, isn't it?

With some of the big-ticket features from the true luxury Benz two-doors--COMAND infotainment controls, carbon-fiber trim and blind-spot monitors--the SLS AMG also has its own Performance Media channel. Tucked into the screens behind the navigation system, Performance Media keeps tabs on your performance driving and lays it out there graphically in real time, translating your cornering and acceleration and lap times into a PowerPoint-worthy presentation. It's one of the hooks that gives this supercar its light layer of modernity.

There's nothing dated about its performance, or its appeal. For $200,000, the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG connects the dots in time between the original gullwing and today's hyperperformers--and it does it with more than the customary panache.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Likes:

  • Iconic, as a gullwing or roadster
  • Rippling, muscular V-8
  • Amazing traction
  • Ride and steering feel are on point
  • The right luxury features for an all-out supercar

Dislikes:

  • Quick to oversteer
  • Long, and not exactly nimble as a result
  • A snug, short-sheeted cockpit
  • Gullwing entry and exit require planning
Next: Interior / Exterior »
Advertisement
Other Choices Read More
9.2
/ 10
TCC Rating
8.6
/ 10
TCC Rating
9.0
/ 10
TCC Rating
Advertisement
Try My Showroom
Save cars, write notes, and comparison shop with hi-res photos.
Add your first car
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
Advertisement

 
© 2014 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Send us feedback.