We cannot think of a better way to mark the Mercedes-Benz SL’s 45th year than with an SLS AMG GT3 45th Anniversary Edition. Currently, Mercedes has plans to only build five of these cars, each one handcrafted in Affalterbach. The 45th Anniversary SLS AMG GT3 will each offer carbon bodywork covered with a special magno graphite matte paint. The customer race car also is covered by a composite hood, trunk lid, aero work and doors.
The interior of the Anniversary Edition is surrounded by a full steel roll-over cage painted to match the vehicle’s exterior as well as carbon-shell seats for both the driver and co-driver. The racing car’s dashboard and center console sport a matte carbon-fibre finish, all contrasted by six-point seat belts and a steering wheel spider in silver.
Powering the limited run SLS is an AMG 6.2-liter V8 hand-fitted with help by Bernd Schneider himself. For those of you that don’t remember, Bernd Schneider was integral in carrying out most of the development testing of the SLS AMG GT3 and has won the DTM championship three times.
The five lucky buyers will take delivery of their vehicles at a handover ceremony in Affalterbach, that will include a full factory tour by Schneider himself. So what will it cost to own this incredibly rare creature? Chances are, if you have to ask, you can’t afford it. The Mercedes SLS AMG GT3 45th Anniversary Edition will cost you €446,250, including the 19 percent Value Added Tax. That comes out to roughly $578,000 at today’s conversion rates.
I recommend skipping straight to the gallery to check out this beautiful example of customer race car, but if you’re interested in more technical information, continue reading below.
With the new SLS AMG GT3 “45th ANNIVERSARY”, Mercedes-AMG is presenting an exclusively appointed special series which is aimed at car collectors with a particular penchant for motor racing. The customer sport racing car is being built by hand in a limited edition of no more than five vehicles in Affalterbach. Record DTM champion and AMG brand ambassador Bernd Schneider is involved hands-on in the production process, installing the AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine in the SLS AMG GT3
“45th ANNIVERSARY” together with an AMG engine fitter.
The exclusive collector’s item is also a synonym for the successful AMG Customer Sports Programme: With currently 32 victories in the 2012 Motor Sports Season and the winning of three driver and team titles in the FIA GT3 European Championship, the ADAC GT Masters and the FIA GT1 World Championship, the race edition of the gullwing car of Mercedes-AMG is an impressive success story as well.
A number of exterior and interior modifications have been carried out for the special SLS AMG GT3 “45th ANNIVERSARY” model. The body of the SLS AMG GT3 “45th ANNIVERSARY” gleams auspiciously in the new designo magno graphite matt paint finish, for example. To date, this matt paintwork has been exclusive to the SL 65 AMG “45th ANNIVERSARY”, which was unveiled to mark the 45th birthday of Mercedes-AMG at the New York International Auto Show in April 2012. The AMG light-alloy wheels in designo magno graphite complement the body’s matt paintwork to perfection.
Another eye-catching feature is the striking “45 Years of Driving Performance” logo framed in silver on the GT3 racing car’s gullwing doors. The special edition’s logo embodies consummate design right down to the finer points of detail: closer inspection reveals the exposed carbon-fibre structure of the gullwing doors under the matt paintwork. The doors, along with the bonnet, mudguards, boot lid, rear wings, front and rear apron, front splitter and rear diffusor, are produced in the particularly lightweight motorsport material CFRP (CFRP = carbon fibre reinforced plastic).
The interior of the SLS AMG GT3 “45th ANNIVERSARY” evokes a functional racing car atmosphere, refined by high-quality, exclusive details: the steel roll-over cage is finished in matt “designo magno graphite” to match the exterior. The racing car’s dashboard and centre console sport a matt carbon-fibre finish. Effective contrasts are produced by six-point seat belts and a steering wheel spider in silver.
The collector’s item also boasts a seat shell in a high-strength carbon-fibre safety cell on the co-driver’s side. A special badge with a “1 of 5” logo on the seats and the centre console alludes to the limited production run for this racing car. The standard appointments for the SLS AMG GT3 “45th ANNIVERSARY” are rounded off by a high-quality AMG indoor car cover with “45 Years of Driving Performance” logo.
Bernd Schneider as a VIP engine fitter
In keeping with the exclusive exterior and interior equipment and appointments, the engineering under the bonnet is of a similarly exclusive standard. 48 year-old racing driver Bernd Schneider is assisting the responsible AMG engine fitter in installing the naturally aspirated AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine. The special AMG engine badge bearing the signatures of Bernd Schneider and the responsible engine fitter attest to this high-calibre duo’s handiwork. Customers who acquire one of the rare SLS AMG GT3 “45th ANNIVERSARY” models also receive an exclusive vehicle certificate signed by Bernd Schneider.
The five-times DTM champion, overall ITC winner from 1995 and FIA GT world champion from 1997 works for Mercedes-AMG as a brand ambassador and an instructor at the AMG Driving Academy.
As an established expert in the field of SLS AMG GT3 customer sport Bernd Schneider has carried out the majority of the test drives for the racing version of the gullwing model. He also participates in selected races as part of the AMG driver support set-up. Bernd Schneider competed for various AMG customer teams in 2012, including the 24-hour Dubai race, at the Nürburgring and in Spa-Francorchamps. In the ninth race of the VLN Endurance Championship Nürburgring, Bernd Schneider took a start position together with Jeroen Bleekemolen (NED) for the AMG Customer Team Black Falcon and won the 4-hour race. After numerous podium positions in the past two years, this was his first victory with the SLS AMG GT3.
Vehicle handover directly at AMG headquarters
Handover of the SLS AMG GT3 “45th ANNIVERSARY” takes place directly at Mercedes-AMG in Affalterbach, where customers are also granted exclusive insights into the AMG world and have an opportunity to sample AMG’s hallmark excellent service and support quality. An in-depth introduction to operation of the new vehicle and its engineering and technology is provided in the new 360 square-metre handover hall. In the case of this special GT3 racing car, this instruction is provided personally by AMG brand ambassador Bernd Schneider.
The programme also includes a tour of the factory, taking in the AMG Performance Studio, where exclusive series of individual AMG cars and one-off vehicles are developed and hand-made. This is followed by a visit to the AMG engine “Manufaktur” (hand-finishing section), where Bernd Schneider and the AMG engine fitter assembled this special AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine by hand. On request, the SLS AMG GT3 “45th ANNIVERSARY” customer can enjoy a race track coaching session as part of an initiation event with the vehicle.
Price for Germany (incl. 19% VAT):
- SLS AMG GT3 “45th ANNIVERSARY” € 446,250
Success on four continents, exemplary safety standard
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 is the racing version of the SLS AMG which has been designed for customer sport. 49 such vehicles for short- and long-distance races have been delivered worldwide to date. In its first season in 2011, the gullwing model quickly established itself as the most successful newcomer of the motorsport year. International customer teams competing on four continents notched up a total of 26 wins. The vehicle’s successful run was crowned when HEICO Motorsport won the team rankings at the FIA GT3 European Championship with its two Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3s – the first title for the gullwing model in its first full racing season.
In the 2012 motorsport season the SLS AMG GT3 is competing in more than 15 racing series on four continents, including the FIA GT1 World Championship, the FIA GT3 European Championship, the ADAC GT Masters, the VLN Endurance Championship at the Nürburgring and the Blancpain Endurance Series. The triple victory in the 24-hour Dubai race in January 2012, three driver and team titles in the FIA GT3 European Championship, the ADAC GT Masters, the FIA GT1 World Championship and numerous places on the podium at various short-distance, 4- and 6-hour races demonstrate the SLS AMG GT3’s sporty performance in impressive style. For the time being, the 2012 season comprises 32 victories (1st October 2012).
The SLS AMG GT3 additionally offers an exemplary standard of safety which currently sets standards in GT3 racing. Mercedes-AMG develops and produces the customer sport racing car in close cooperation with HWA AG. HWA is responsible for development and deployment of the Mercedes AMG C-Class Coupés in the DTM on behalf of and in on-going consultation with Mercedes-Benz Motorsport.