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Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: Buying guide and review (2010-2015)

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: Buying guide and review (2010-2015) Classic and Performance Car
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
We’ve always been suckers for a classically configured big-capacity V8, and the SLS’s is one of the best. Even on a light-throttle overrun, it rumbles and crackles like distant thunder and lightning. The mighty 6.2 was, of course, the first designed-from-scratch AMG engine – the original made its debut in the E63 supersaloon in 507bhp tune. Thoroughly re-engineered for the SLS, with 120 unique parts and a dry-sump oil system, the net result was a mighty 563bhp.
Prodigious power and an evocative soundscape aren’t the only things that give the SLS its unique sense of drama. The gullwing doors, harking back to the legendary 300SL of the 1950s, endow it with genuine supercar presence. The SLS was also the first car to be designed and built from the ground-up by AMG, and the last with a naturally aspirated engine. For these reasons, it has always had future classic written all over it.
All that power feeds through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox with several driving modes to sharpen its responses. However, even using the ‘Race Start’ launch control, evo magazine couldn’t match Mercedes’ claim of 0-62mph in 3.8sec, though 0-60 in 4.1 is hardly to be sniffed at. The SLS backed up its immense performance with terrific all-round ability – and usability. When it was tested against a range of rivals, including Aston’s V12 Vantage, Ferrari’s 599 HGTE and Porsche’s 911 Turbo S, the Merc’s broad range of talents won the day.

Which SLS to buy?

Sales started in mid-2010, and a Roadster with a powered fabric top followed roughly a year later. The drop-top SLS lost the gullwing doors and thus a little of its appeal, but none of its all-round brilliance. The immensely rigid aluminium structure was key here – both outer body and main structure are aluminium, another first for a Mercedes. 
An up-specced GT version arrived towards the end of 2012, available in coupe or Roadster body styles. A 20bhp power hike to 583bhp knocked a tenth off the claimed 0-62mph time and was accompanied by tweaks to the transmission and suspension, new trim options and some extra toys. 
In 2013 came the even rarer, stripped-out, carbon-slathered and ferociously expensive Black Series with a near race-spec 622bhp engine. For the last few months of production in 2014 there was a GT Final Edition, featuring some of the Black’s carbonfibre battledress. Again, rare and expensive. 
But the regular SLS coupe has bags of appeal, tons of character and a winning combination of supercar performance and GT levels of refinement.

Performance and specs

Engine V8, 6208cc
Power 563bhp @ 6800rpm  
Torque 479lb ft @ 4750rpm  
Transmission Seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox
0-62mph 3.8sec (claimed)  
Top speed 197mph (limited)
Insurance group 50

Dimensions and weight

Wheelbase 2680mm
Length 4638mm
Width 1939mm
Height 1262mm
Weight 1620kg

Common problems

• Most SLSs will be out of the original three-year manufacturer’s warranty, so you might want to consider a Mercedes-Benz extended warranty or a third-party alternative (budget £1000-1500 annually, depending on the level of cover). 
• That said, the powertrain is well-proven and is so far proving immune to major maladies. Nigel Seopardie at independent Mercedes specialist NJS Solutions describes them as ‘bulletproof’. Simon Gregg at Bramley Motor Cars knows a car with 100,000 miles with no apparent issues.
• The M159 engine is a close relation of the M156, which appears in a number of AMG models and over the years has proved generally trouble-free, provided it has regular (usually annual or 10,000-mile) oil-changes with the recommended Mobil 1. 
• The valve-gear problems that afflict some M156s don’t appear to be an issue here. Servicing costs are reasonable for a car with this level of performance, and servicing can be carried out by any official Mercedes dealership as well as by specialists with the latest Star diagnostics.
• The Speedshift DCT transmission is a recalibrated version of the Getrag twin-clutch transaxle used in the Ferrari California and 458, joined to the engine by a carbonfibre propshaft. As with the engine, it’s proving robust and largely issue-free.
• On the test drive, auto shifting should be virtually seamless. Check all the paddle-actuated changes, both up and down the ’box, and the modes that sharpen the response. 
• The changes were never the slickest when the SLS was new, and if the car has had the AMG factory software upgrade, that’s a definite plus. Any clutch glitches can usually been cured by resetting the clutch-positioning sensors and updating the software.
• Clutch life can be checked via diagnostics, and with replacements costing several thousand pounds, this would be wise. A specialist like NJS Solutions will carry out a full inspection for around £300.
• Most SLSs feature iron discs, but carbon-ceramics were an option – and add considerable value today. As ever, they’re fiercely expensive to replace, so it’s essential to get them inspected, particularly if the car has been used on track.
• The standard wheels were a seven-spoke design, while five-twin-spoke and ten-spoke forged rims were options – all should be checked for damage on both the outside and inside edges. 
• No corrosion issues as yet, so you’re looking for signs of accident repairs and also for stone-chipping on the nose and sills. Inspect the gullwing door alignment and all the surrounding panel gaps: adjustment is tricky, even for a specialist.
• Ensure all the electronics work and there are no warning lights, as rectification can be extremely costly. And if you’re not particularly tall, check that you can reach the door to close it from the driver’s seat!

The rivals

Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano – Closest in concept to the SLS. Its front-mounted naturally aspirated 6-litre V12 produces 611bhp, giving 0-60mph in 3.5sec and a top speed of 205mph. Currently from around £100k.
Porsche 911 Turbo S (991.1) – With its 552bhp twin-turbo flat-six, PDK ’box and 4WD, the Turbo S is phenomenally quick (0-62mph in 3.1sec, 197mph) and still the most useable supercar of all. From around £100k.
McLaren 12C – One of the fastest and most sophisticated sports cars ever built, the 592bhp (later 612bhp), 200mph+ 12C is currently priced from £100k and makes for a fantastic first McLaren.

Owners clubs, forums and websites

• mbclub.co.uk
• mbworld.org
• mercedes-amg.com
• mercedes-benz.co.uk
• njs-solutions.com
• ddrsurrey.co.uk

Summary and prices

Having dropped to as low as £90k, values rose sharply last year and have generally stayed strong. Dealer prices currently start at around £140k, rising to £170k for the very best low-mileage examples with desirable options such as ceramic brakes and the B&O hi-fi. Coupes tend to fetch more than equivalent convertibles. Also be aware that Japanese imports are starting to creep into the UK market and should be priced lower. GTs are a lot more (£225,000-plus), Ultimate Editions more still, and as for the Black Series, if you have to ask…

Words: Peter Tomalin
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
Last updated: 23rd Feb 2017
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Mercedes-Benz SLS cars for sale

14 Search results
Mercedes-Benz SLS
139950 215000 GBP
  • Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupe |

    £199,850 £199,850

    Specification MAKE Mercedes-Benz MODEL SLS AMG Coupe COLOUR AMG Alubeam Silver YEAR 2010/60 MILEAGE 6200 DESCRIPTION We are delighted to be able to offer for sale this exceptional Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Finished in AMG Alubeam Silver with Single Tone Designo Exclusive Black leather. STANDARD EQUIPMENT Anti Locking Brakes, Driver and Passenger Airbags, Daytime Running Lights, Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror, Electrically Adjustable Front Seating with Memory Function, Luxury Climate Control, COMAND APS Navigation System, Tyre Pressure Monitoring, Electrically Folding Exterior Door Mirrors, Anti-Theft Alarm, Media Interface, Headlamp Wash, Bi-Xenon Headlamps, Head Lining in Alcantara, AMG Aluminium Trim, Adaptive Brake Lights, Remote Central Locking with Alarm/Immobiliser, Heated Seats, Cruise Control, Electric Windows, Keyless Go, 6 Disc CD Changer, Rain Sensing Wipers, Bluetooth Connectivity. OPTIONAL EXTRAS Ceramic Brake System, Reversing Camera, 19"/20" AMG 5-Twin Spoke Alloy Wheels, AMG Performance Steering Wheel, Telephone Pre Wiring. TRANSMISSION AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-Speed Sports Transmission ENGINE CAPACITY 6208 STANDARD POWER (BHP) 571 EMISSIONS (CO 2 ) 308 AKRAPOVIC Akrapovič

    • Mileage: 199850 mi
    For sale
    01483 898159 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER

    £149,950 £149,950

    Satellite Navigation AMG Carbon Fibre Trim Package AMG Ride Control With Sports Suspension And Adjustable Damper System Reverse Camera Blind Spot Assist Automatically Dimming Interior And Exterior Mirrors Airscarf AMG Forged Alloys In Matte Black Red Brake Calipers AMG Performance Sterring Wheel In Leather & Alcantara Garage Door Opener Bluetooth Connectivity UK Supplied Stunning Dealer/Manufacturer Warranty Delivery Available Financing Available Full Service History

    • Year: 2011
    • Mileage: 10000 mi
    For sale
  • Mercedes-Benz SLS Roadster

    £215,000 £215,000

    The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is a front engine, 2-seater limited production luxury supercar developed by the AMG branch of Mercedes Benz. The SLS which stands for “Sport Leicht Super” (Sport Light Super) was the first car built from scratch by AMG and would be Mercedes-Benz last naturally aspirated engine. Following on from the success of the Coupe Mercedes-Benz unveiled the AMG Roadster in 2011 at the Frankfurt International Motorshow. The 6.3 V8, which produces a staggering 571hp, is connected to AMG’s brilliant DCT 7 Speedshift transmission via a lightweight carbon fibre driveshaft in a transaxle arrangement with 4 driving modes including comfort through to Sports Plus making this car a joy to drive at 30mph or 130mph. Mercedes-Benz UK first sold the SLS offered at Hofmanns to a private collector in South Africa in 2011 where it joined other special cars of the same marque covering zero miles. In 2016 this rare example came back to the UK and was serviced by Mercedes-Benz Brooklands and has now covered a minimul 650 miles from new! The very low mileage example has Rear View Camera, Auto-Dimming Mirrors, Memory Package, AMG Performance Steering Wheel, Tyre Pressure Monitor, Bi-Xenon

    For sale

    £145,995 £145,995

    This is One Owner Car From New, Mercedes SLS 2011/61 Plate, Finshed in Metalliac Obsidian Black With Two Red Black Designo Leather Interior also AMG Carbon Fibre Interior, Upgrades 20" AMG 10 Spoke Forged Alloy Wheels, Graphite Brake Calipers, Blind Spot Assist, Telephone Pre-Wiring with Hands-Free Facility, AMG Carbon Fibre Mirrors, Trim, Tracker Anti-Theft System, Full dealership history, Standard Features, COMAND Online System with 7-Inch Colour Display, Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Map Navigation System, Heated Front Seats, Linguatronic Voice Control, Luxury Automatic Climate Control Two Zone, with Digital Display, Parktronic , Audible and Visual Parking Aid, Front and Rear, Alarm System, Drivers and Front Passenger Seats - Electrically Adjustable with Memory, Electric Windows (2), Keyless Go, Radio/CD/DVD Changer (6 - Disc)/MP3 Compatibility/SD Memory Card Slot/AUX IN/USB and iPod Connectivity, Display, Rain - Sensing Wipers, Tyre Pressure Loss Warning System, Just had A Full Serviced at AMG Mercedes Guildford at 21000. ;;145995.00 P/X Welcome ONE OWNER CAR FROM NEW

    • Mileage: 21000 mi
    • Engine size: 6.208
    For sale

    £144,995 £144,995

    Prior to offering for sale, all cars are subject to the AMARI Inspection, a stringent 170 point investigation of the car cosmetically, electrically and mechanically. Our resident master technicians attend to all issues prior to offering the car for sale, using the very latest and best diagnostic equipment, state of the art tools and methods. Our highly qualified master technicians can carry out servicing on all road cars, from the standard family hatch back to the latest Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin... We are the only independent dealer with full Ferrari SDX Diagnostics and the Lamborghini LARAS Diagnostics systems. Our fully equipped workshop enables us to attend to any electrical, and mechanical issues, from intricate electrical repairs and renewals, to brake disc Skimming and air conditioning recharging. Before collection all cars go through our exhaustive detailing process (can take up to three days) using only the worlds finest Swissvax products, carried out by our professional certified Swissvax trained technicians, covering every aspect of the car inside and out. Collection and delivery throughout the UK can be offered through the most reputable manufacturer championed company who use only the very latest covered car transporters with extensive experience of transporting cars across the world. Vehicles are supplied with a three month warranty *Exclusions Apply. We offer part exchange and finance facility on most cars. AMARI Lifestyle Limited T/As AMARI SuperCars is authorised & Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (663066)

    • Mileage: 14186 mi
    • Engine size: 6.2
    For sale
  • Mercedes-Benz SLS

    £174,950 £174,950

    Reversing camera Romans are proud to offer this stunning 2011/61 used Mercedes SLS AMG for sale presented in 'Obsidian Black' with Red Leather. This trulybeautiful low mileageexample comes with a fantastic specification including the carbon fibre interiortrim on the centre console, seat backs and sills along with the carbon fibre exterior mirrors. Colour: Obsidian Black with Red Leather, Price: £174,950 Engine: 6.2L V8, Mileage: 6,500 Transmission: Automatic, Body Style: Coupe Fuel: Petrol, Extras, 19/20'' Forged 10-Spoke Alloys, Carbon Fibre Interior Trim (includes centre console, seat backs and sills), Carbon Fibre Mirrors, Reversing Camera, AMG Performance Steering Wheel in Leather/Alcantara, Single Tone Exclusive Leather, Telephone Pre-Wiring. Features, Daytime LED Running Lights, Auto Dimming Rear-View and Driver's Exterior Mirror, Electrically Adjustable Left and Right Seat Memory, AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-Speed Sports Transmission, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, Electrically Folding Exterior Mirrors, COMAND APS including Navigation Update, Media Interface, Digital DAB Radio, Anti-Theft Warning System and Immobiliser, Luxury Automatic Climate Control, Adaptive Brake Lights, Headlamp Wash, Bi-Xenon Headlamps.

    • Mileage: 6500 mi
    • Engine size: 6200
    For sale
  • Mercedes Benz SLS AMG Roadster


    2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster 6.3 This front-engine, 2-seater luxury, limited production supercar developed by Mercedes-AMG and was the first Mercedes-Benz automobile designed in-house by AMG. This beautiful SLS AMG Roadster, was the successor to the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren and was described by Mercedes-Benz as a spiritual successor to the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing. SLS stands for “Sport Leicht Super” (Sport Light Super). Assembled largely by hand, with its chassis and aluminium body shell produced by Magna Steyr in Graz, Austria and then transferred to Sindelfingen, Germany for assembly. The engine being hand built by AMG in Affalterbach, Germany This stunning car has only travelled 5,670 miles and it is available for viewing at our showroom in Kew, London. Optional extras fitted to this car: Designo Mystic White II (048M) 19″ AMG Twin Spoke (764) AMG Black High-Gloss Trim (H80)

    • Mileage: 5670 mi
    • Engine size: 6200
    For sale
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