Yeah yeah, we live in a new era of environmental responsibility where all of us must embrace a future of slightly slower yet vastly more efficient vehicles sipping liquid fuels when they're not using electrons instead. And yet in some precincts the world's horsepower wars rage without ceasing, as this latest rocket launch demonstrates: the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series, the fastest car to wear the AMG badge outside a track.
For the Black Series upgrade, Mercedes has revved the 6.3-liter V-8 to ever-higher speeds, pushing total power to 631 hp, a 68-hp bump over the plain SLS AMG. Combined with revised 7-speed automatic transmission, lighter wheels, revised suspension and other tricks allows the Black Series SLS to hit 60 mph in 3.8 seconds.
How trick? Instead of traditional engine mounts, the SLS AMG Black uses a gas-mounted strut to keep the engine from shifting under massive g-forces. Instead of traditional steel exhaust pipes, AMG engineers crafted the Black Series' tubes from titanium. Even the rear differential switches from a traditional mechanical limited-slip to electric -- in the name of saving weight and better performance.
They even deleted the info-disco dash system to save 13 lbs. -- although buyers who can't do without their Nicki Minaj tunes can add it back as an option.
When it rolls off the line in June 2013, the SLS AMG Black Series will draw immediate comparisons with the McLaren MP4-12C and the Ferrari F12berlinetta. Prices weren't announced, but with the current SLS AMG setting at $180,000, a sticker comfortably north of $200,000 seems like a reasonable guess. Whatever its price, the SLS AMG Black Series will only push the battle for horsepower supremacy forward.