When the new Formula-1 season gets underway in Manama/Bahrain (12-14 March 2010), it will mark the debut of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG F1 Safety Car - the most spectacular and powerful Official F1 Safety Car of all time. The job of the new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, which will be launched on 27 March 2010, is to ensure maximum safety in Formula 1. The "gullwing" model replaces the SL63 AMG, which was used as the Official F1 Safety Car in 2008 and 2009. As in the last two years, the C63 AMG Estate will be used as the Official F1 Medical Car for the coming season.
"Together with the entire AMG Team, I am very proud that the new SLS AMG is the official F1 safety car. I'm sure all Mercedes and AMG fans will be excited to see the gullwing model together with the new Mercedes GP Petronas Team at the F1 circuits," says Volker Mornhinweg, Chief Executive Officer of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.
From March 2010, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG F1 Safety Car will be deployed whenever hazardous situations such as accidents or bad weather endanger normal racing. The SLS AMG, piloted by Bernd Mayländer (38, from Germany), will be on standby in the pit lane throughout the entire race. When radioed by Race Control, the former DTM driver and his co-driver, FIA man Pete Tibbetts (44, from the UK) will take to the track at the head of the field in order to guide the Formula-1 race cars safely around the circuit.
Unique vehicle concept for maximum driving dynamics
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG has the best possible credentials for this demanding role in the top flight of motor racing: its 6.3-litre V8 engine has a peak output of 420 kW (571 hp) and a maximum torque of 650 Nm, enabling the gullwing model to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds. Fast lap times are a must for the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG F1 Safety Car, otherwise the Formula-1 cars' tyres and brakes would cool down too quickly, while their engines could overheat.
The unique vehicle concept is a key factor in ensuring outstanding driving dynamics: the aluminium spaceframe body keeps the vehicle weight down to 1620 kilograms (DIN kerb weight). And thanks to the dry-sump lubrication system, the AMG V8 powerplant can be installed very low down, resulting in a beneficial lowering of the vehicle's centre of gravity. The installation position a long way behind the front axle and the transaxle arrangement of the new seven-speed double-clutch transmission on the rear axle have a positive effect on the weight distribution, which is 47/53 percent (front/rear). Pure motorsport tech-nology is used for the AMG sports suspension: aluminium double-wishbone axles front and rear ensure outstanding driving dynamics with precise turn-in ability, first-class agility, low mass inertia when changing direction spontaneously and, therefore, a high cornering limit.
Double-clutch transmission and ceramic composite brake system
The AMG SPEEDSHIFT DCT 7-speed sports transmission with double-clutch technology features four modes and allows fast gear changes with practically no interruption in tractive power - in manual mode ("M"), gear changes can be effected in 100 milliseconds. Together with the 3-stage ESP, the integrated mechanical multidisc differential lock ensures outstanding traction. Meanwhile, braking distances are minimised and resistance to fading is maximised, even when the brakes are subject to typical race-track loads, courtesy of the AMG ceramic high-performance composite brake system with its generously sized ceramic discs measuring 402 x 39 mm on the front axle and 360 x 32 mm on the rear axle. The weight-optimised 10-spoke forged wheels are shod with 265/35 R 19 (front) and 295/30 R 20 (rear) tyres.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG F1 Safety Car features the same engine, power transmission, suspension and brake system as the standard-production SLS AMG. The exceptional technology package for the super sports car ensures perfect driving dynamics and means that no further technical modifications or lightweight-design measures are necessary, with the sole exception of the all-new rear silencer, which allows the high-revving AMG V8 naturally aspirated engine to breathe more easily and offers Formula-1 fans an even more emotionally charged sound experience.
2010, Mercedes-Benz, SLS, AMG, F1, Safety, Car