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Mercedes SLS to R8 Quote

Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG speedometer

Here’s a piece of automotive history: Back in 1988, much of the German auto industry agreed, voluntarily,  to govern their top-of-the-line cars to 155 mph. carmakers were wise enough to suppress what they feared would be perceived as a pissing contest in top speed, which could well have ended with a rude awakening in the form of a general autobahn speed limit.

As angry turbo-diesels got faster and faster, the voluntary agreement was cautiously softened; BMW’s M GmbH and Mercedes’ AMG cars, as well as some Audis, can now go beyond 155 mph. But the industry wisely preferred not to be noisy about it. The option to ungovern some of the premier luxury and sports cars was typically buried deep in price lists, or only verbally communicated to prospective buyers.

Daimler, it seems, can’t hold off anymore. The goal: Humiliate Audi’s mid-engined R8 supercar, which - we now deduce - served as AMG’s benchmark in defining the SLS.

Evidence? The R8 V10, powered by a 525-hp engine, goes from 0 to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds; top speed is 196 mph. The 563-hp SLS, by contrast (and according to figures released at the Frankfurt show), passes the 62-mph mark in 3.8 seconds; top speed - lo and behold - is governed at 197 mph.

A Daimler source tells me that this top speed was deliberately chosen to outmatch the R8 V10 - and the governor would fool customers into thinking the retro-styled SLS could go much, much faster (”of course, you guys know it wouldn’t”).

Sounds clever? Audi is smiling. “This game is as old as the industry, but we are not going to respond,” I am told.

Related posts:

  1. Mercedes to Produce All-Electric SLS AMG Supercar
  2. Mercedes Confirms All-Electric SLS eDrive Supercar
  3. 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG – Second Drive
  4. 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster – Spied
  5. 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG – First Drive Review

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Mercedes SLS to R8 Quote
Mercedes SLS to R8 Quote

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