I’ve been racking my brains trying to think of another customer race car, that’s produced with all the ‘special touches’ of a limited-edition road car, but is in fact designed solely for the race track.
Usually race cars come delivered in a standard base colour (usually white), upon which a colour scheme (either paint, vinyl wrap or both) is then added. There’s little point in finishing the body to road-car standards because firstly, extra coats of paint just add unnecessary weight, and secondly it’s a ‘race car’, so rubbin’ panels is par for the course.
So what should we make of this Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3 “45th ANNIVERSARY” which is all glammed up like the a limited-edition road car, but isn’t – a road car. Is it ever likely to be driven, or merely feature as a trophy in a wealthy collector’s garage?
Mercedes say the car “..is aimed at car collectors with a particular penchant for motor racing”, but it features a special designo magno graphite matt paint finish, which was used on the SL 65 AMG “45th ANNIVERSARY”, which was unveiled to mark the 45th birthday of Mercedes-AMG at the New York Auto Show in April.
To complement the body’s matt finish paintwork, the SLS AMG GT3 “45th ANNIVERSARY” is fitted with AMG light-alloy wheels in the same designo magno graphite.
The special 6.3-litre AMG V8 engine is built by DTM champion and AMG brand ambassador, Bernd Schneider, together with an AMG engine fitter. So the familiar AMG engine badge will bear the signatures of both Schneider and the high-calibre engine fitter. Schneider carried out most of the development testing of the SLS AMG GT3, so it seems a fitting tribute to include his name on each of these 45th Anniversary race cars.
The Affalterbach-based company has also thoughtfully included a striking “45 Years of Driving Performance” logo framed in silver on the GT3 racing car’s gullwing doors, which embodies the sheer attention to detail of this special edition racer. On closer inspection, the carbon-fibre structure of the gullwing doors can be seen beneath the matt-finish paintwork, while the doors, along with the bonnet, mudguards, boot lid, rear wings, front and rear apron, front splitter and rear diffuser, are all produced in a lightweight carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) motorsport material.
Mercedes-AMG will produce no more than five vehicles (presumably already spoken for), which will wear a special badge with a “1 of 5” logo on the seats and the centre console to authenticate its uniqueness.
To confuse its racing car origins even further, each car comes with a high-quality AMG indoor car cover with “45 Years of Driving Performance” logo, while customers can request a coaching session on the race track, a part of the package.
The price, should you need to ask, is a modest € 446,250, which includes handover directly at AMG’s Affalterbach headquarters and a an exclusive vehicle certificate signed by Bernd Schneider.