At its heart is probably one of the best V8 engines ever made. By anyone. Ever. And AMG has made some brilliant ones. A last hurrah for its epic naturally-aspirated 6.2-litre motor, in the Black Series it got a host of revisions, raising the rev limit to 8,000rpm and unleashing 631ps/622bhp without a turbo in sight. By my reckoning it’s the most powerful naturally-aspirated V8 AMG has ever made and a worthy valedictory salute for this wonderful engine.
The Black Series was built to make the most of it too, with wider track front and back, carbon panels influenced by the customer GT3 race version, Cup tyres, significantly stiffer suspension, shorter gearing and a host of detail tweaks to make it handle properly. I was blown away by the way it went on track. It’s a big car and has suitably butch manners. But with room to stretch its legs around Silverstone the epic reach of that motor, the percussive hammer of V8 noise, the balance and sense it has more to give the faster you go is just addictive. Where most street cars would be wilting on track you sense the Black Series is just getting into its stride.
Then there’s the record of the race car it resembles. In 2013 – the year the Black Series was unveiled – it was especially successful, the GT3 version including wins at the 12 Hours of Bathurst, Nurburgring 24-Hour, 24 Hours of Spa and Nurburgring 1000km among many race and title wins around the world. Seemingly you can now actually buy a GT3 race car and spares package to run it for less than a road going Black Series too!
So by any measure, the SLS is an outrageous machine. That it’s now selling for outrageous amounts of money seems only appropriate. All well and good. But as a driving machine, my experience at Silverstone suggests it could be worth every penny.