Automotive

Mercedes-Benz dazzles in L.A. with SLS Black Series and Ener-G-Force concept

Mercedes calls the Black Series the most extreme SLS
Mercedes calls the Black Series the most extreme SLS
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AMG CEO Ola Kallenius introduces the SLS AMG Black Series
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AMG CEO Ola Kallenius introduces the SLS AMG Black Series
On stage at the LA Auto Show
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On stage at the LA Auto Show
The interior combines premium materials like leather and Alcantara
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The interior combines premium materials like leather and Alcantara
Matte black 10-spoke wheels
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Matte black 10-spoke wheels
A look at the vents
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A look at the vents
Buyers can choose from black leather/black Alcantara or black leather/black and red Alcantara
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Buyers can choose from black leather/black Alcantara or black leather/black and red Alcantara
The AMG steering wheel is wrapped in Alcantara
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The AMG steering wheel is wrapped in Alcantara
The Black Series uses a titanium exhaust system
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The Black Series uses a titanium exhaust system
The adjustable carbon rear wing is part of an optional aerodynamics package
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The adjustable carbon rear wing is part of an optional aerodynamics package
A look at the diffuser and exhaust
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A look at the diffuser and exhaust
Gullwing doors are open for business
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Gullwing doors are open for business
The rear fascia
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The rear fascia
Gas cap
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Gas cap
The Black Series comes with a modified AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission
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The Black Series comes with a modified AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission
Red seat belts and contrast stitching highlight the sport seats
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Red seat belts and contrast stitching highlight the sport seats
The "ultimate expression of the AMG brand"
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The "ultimate expression of the AMG brand"
Mercedes calls the Black Series the most extreme SLS
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Mercedes calls the Black Series the most extreme SLS
The Black Series has 622 hp on tap
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The Black Series has 622 hp on tap
0 to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 3.5 seconds
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0 to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 3.5 seconds
Top speed: 196 mph (315 km/h)
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Top speed: 196 mph (315 km/h)
The SLS AMG Black Series in LA
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The SLS AMG Black Series in LA
The Black Series offers a variety of optional carbon fiber components, including exterior mirror and engine cover
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The Black Series offers a variety of optional carbon fiber components, including exterior mirror and engine cover
Mercedes cut more than 150 pounds (68 kg) of weight
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Mercedes cut more than 150 pounds (68 kg) of weight
Up in its face
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Up in its face
A close-up of the rear wing
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A close-up of the rear wing
The Black Series' profile
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The Black Series' profile
6.3-liter V8 engine tuned to 622-hp
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6.3-liter V8 engine tuned to 622-hp
The Black Series design takes cues from the SLS AMG GT3 race car
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The Black Series design takes cues from the SLS AMG GT3 race car
Alcantara-wrapped steering
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Alcantara-wrapped steering
Options include a COMAND multimedia system and Bang & Olufsen AMG surround sound system
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Options include a COMAND multimedia system and Bang & Olufsen AMG surround sound system
Options include a COMAND multimedia system and Bang & Olufsen AMG surround sound system
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Options include a COMAND multimedia system and Bang & Olufsen AMG surround sound system
The Ener-G-Force is prepared for all kinds of missions
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The Ener-G-Force is prepared for all kinds of missions
The Ener-G-Force rides on big wheels
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The Ener-G-Force rides on big wheels
Mercedes designed the Ener-G-Force for the 2012 Design Challenge
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Mercedes designed the Ener-G-Force for the 2012 Design Challenge
Water tanks on the roof store fuel
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Water tanks on the roof store fuel
The Ener-G-Force mirror
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The Ener-G-Force mirror
The Ener-G-Force is a futuristic take on the Mercedes G-Class
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The Ener-G-Force is a futuristic take on the Mercedes G-Class
The headlamps spell out "G" in LEDs
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The headlamps spell out "G" in LEDs
Make that a reverse G on the driver side
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Make that a reverse G on the driver side
The powerful grille is one of the defining elements of the design study
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The powerful grille is one of the defining elements of the design study
Ready to tackle law enforcement or recreational missions on any stretch of road, dirt or rock
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Ready to tackle law enforcement or recreational missions on any stretch of road, dirt or rock
Mercedes designed the Ener-G-Force to be both capable and eco-friendly
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Mercedes designed the Ener-G-Force to be both capable and eco-friendly
The side skirts hold the batteries
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The side skirts hold the batteries
Mercedes may not have won the Design Challenge, but the Ener-G-Force is an interesting look at a possible future for its SUV line
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Mercedes may not have won the Design Challenge, but the Ener-G-Force is an interesting look at a possible future for its SUV line
The Ener-G-Force is the G Class of 2025
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The Ener-G-Force is the G Class of 2025
The Ener-G-Force gets acquainted with its natural environment
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The Ener-G-Force gets acquainted with its natural environment
Mercedes was encouraged by its law enforcement design, so it created a civilian version
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Mercedes was encouraged by its law enforcement design, so it created a civilian version
A 360-degree terrain scanner auto-adjusts suspension settings for the ground ahead
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A 360-degree terrain scanner auto-adjusts suspension settings for the ground ahead
The Ener-G-Force has a pull-out toolbox at the rear
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The Ener-G-Force has a pull-out toolbox at the rear
Unfortunately for those that like it, the Ener-G-Force is just a design study
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Unfortunately for those that like it, the Ener-G-Force is just a design study
The color of the side skirts indicates operating and charge status
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The color of the side skirts indicates operating and charge status
A product of the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Carlsbad, California
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A product of the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Carlsbad, California
Mercedes envisioned a new type of patrol for the future
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Mercedes envisioned a new type of patrol for the future
The Ener-G-Force's 500 miles of range and water fueling can get you out there
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The Ener-G-Force's 500 miles of range and water fueling can get you out there
The Ener-G-Force in full patrol tune
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The Ener-G-Force in full patrol tune

Mercedes may have already previewed the SLS AMG Black Series and Ener-G-Force, but that definitely didn't stop the two vehicles from dropping jaws at the L.A. Auto Show. The 622-hp supercar and world-roving public safety SUV from the future may have little in common, but either one is enough to stop you dead in your tracks.

Ener-G-Force

"In the world's largest SUV market, it's important that we continue to push the boundaries of what an SUV should be," Mercedes-Benz USA president and CEO Stephen Cannon said in introducing the Ener-G-Force. "But we need to do it in a responsible way." The Ener-G-Force design study, which served as Mercedes entry in the Los Angeles Design Challenge 2012, exemplifies Cannon's vision by combining a completely re-imagined G-Class design with a fuel cell powertrain that runs on water.

The Ener-G-Force is the G Class of 2025
The Ener-G-Force is the G Class of 2025

The task of the Design Challenge was to create a highway patrol vehicle for the year 2025. Mercedes used some imagination in envisioning a changing dynamic in patrol duties over the next 13 years.

"Law enforcement will have to prepare for even more crowded roads with electronically monitored and guided traffic, a much larger population and changes in human behavior," the automaker said in its press release. "The new times will also call for new police vehicles. They must be able to reach any place conceivable quickly and reliably – even far away from any pavement. And they must do so in an exceptionally environmentally friendly way using alternative energy sources."

The Ener-G-Force in full patrol tune
The Ener-G-Force in full patrol tune

The Ener-G-Force is a futuristic extension of the current G-Class. The utility vehicle is capable of riding over any type of surface necessary thanks to its large wheels and gnarled tires. The small glasshouse is designed to protect the officers inside, while a set of roof-mounted flashers conveys authority.

Mercedes had so much fun in conceptualizing the Ener-G-Force patrol vehicle, it decided to build a 1:1-scale model of a civilian version, which is what you see in the photos. Defining exterior features of the Ener-G-Force include its bold grille and G-shaped LED headlamps. The off-roader keeps the G-Class signature of fender-mounted front turn signals and running lights. In back, the area typically reserved for the spare tire houses a pull-out toolbox for quick access to the tools of the driver's trade. A "Terra-Scan" unit on the roof monitors 360 degrees of surrounding terrain and adjusts drive settings accordingly.

Mercedes was encouraged by its law enforcement design, so it created a civilian version
Mercedes was encouraged by its law enforcement design, so it created a civilian version

The Ener-G-Force takes a bite out of police department and personal budgets by utilizing a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain. Roof tanks store "recycled water," which is converted into hydrogen by a "hydro-tech converter." Fuel cells turn that hydrogen into electricity to power four hub motors, which Mercedes envisions powering the vehicle over 500 miles (805 km) per tank.

The Ener-G-Force didn't take home first place in the Design Challenge, but it's sure to get off-road enthusiasts thinking about the future of their vehicles.

SLS AMG Black Series

AMG CEO Ola Kallenius introduces the SLS AMG Black Series
AMG CEO Ola Kallenius introduces the SLS AMG Black Series

"We're introducing the SLS GT to the US in December of this year, when it will become the base offering in the United States," AMG CEO Ola Kallenius said of the SLS AMG model line. "It features more dynamic handling, 20 more horsepower, which puts it at 583 horse, and 479 pound-feet of torque."

"But, we knew, our work wasn't done with the SLS. Supercar customers expect the best from AMG."

The manifestation of that "best" is the 2014 SLS AMG Black Series, which Cannon refers to as the "highest expression of the AMG brand." The bright-yellow lightning bolt made its world debut at the L.A. Auto Show as the most extreme version of the SLS AMG yet.

AMG's 6.3-liter V8 engine gets an extra 39 ponies in Black Series tune, for a total of 622 hp. Meanwhile, AMG drops more than 150 pounds (68 kg) off the curb weight of the car thanks to a variety of carbon fiber reinforced plastic parts. All that extra wrenching inspires a 3.5-second 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) run, a tenth of a second quicker than on the SLS AMG GT.

The 2014 Black Series will hit the North American market next summer. It will be sold in limited volumes at select dealerships.

You can take a more in-depth look at the other Black Series upgrades in our original piece on the supercar. Or just enjoy live photos from the floor of the L.A. Auto Show in the gallery and a heart-skipping trot through twisting, sandstone-walled pavement in the video below.

Source: Mercedes-Benz

SLS AMG Coupé Black Series Trailer

1 comment
Pikeman
Mercedes is showing off a design concept that has to rewrite the laws of thermodynamics to work (I am perfectly willing to believe that breaking water into hydrogen and oxygen is more efficient than storing electricity in batteries and that they might have other energy recovery systems as well but I can not believe that you can fill up with water and get more energy out of the system than you put in.) But it probably does a good job of greenwashing their latest fuel guzzling lack of manhood compensating device.