Three words spring to mind: Oh. My. God. Actually I have a fourth, but it isn’t suitable for print. Mansory has modified the air intake, engine management and then, of course, strapped a massive exhaust can to the rear. The 6.2-liter V8 was a monster before, now it’s plain scary. Mansory doesn’t talk much about acceleration figures, but this thing is just mad: Count on it breaking the 62-mph mark in 3.5 seconds and topping out at 205 mph or more. With 200 pounds shorn from its hips and all that extra power courtesy of a stainless steel sports exhaust, new intake and aggressive engine remap that makes full use of the SLS’s magnificently reworked version of the classic Mercedes V8 it’s just plain ferocious. And with all semblance of sound deadening gone it sounds like exiting the eye of the storm as it hits peak torque at 4850 rpm.
Now, Mansory cannot fix the car’s weak point, that relatively sluggish automatic gearbox. We’re not talking super slushy, but it simply isn’t up to this kind of rabid performance that would otherwise take the SLS into true Ferrari- and Lamborghini-baiting territory. Even with this handicap, though, expect the twin-supercharged one to rock their world in the worst way.
The car feels lighter on its feet, it sounds more urgent and even though the automatic ’box takes care of all the gearchanges, it feels frantic now. That’s partly down to the dropped, adjustable suspension, sitting 20mm lower than the factory car on stiffer springs that sacrifice a touch of civility, but gives the Cormeum even greater involvement at lower speeds. There’s a touch of induced anxiety at the wheel, a fidgeting at normal pace that somehow makes the car feels more alive. At higher speeds, though, that dropped, stiffer suspension really comes into its own as the Cormeum refuses to roll in the bends, and with the other mods it slices through corners much more effectively.
All those wings help push the car to the deck in faster corners and it just hangs on to the road now, no matter what you ask of it. That monster rear wing in particular ensures you have to really want the back end to step out with a pure stab on the throttle to send the Michelin Pilot Sports wrapped around race-style centerlock wheels into a frenzy of overactivity. Even then, the OEM Mercedes electronics will step in to keep things in check. Unless, of course, you’ve turned them off.
That’s not an option today, and we’re invited to feel the full force of this dark-side SLS for just a few moments at a time. But as the Benz skips through its gears and plunges deep into three figures once again, by this dirty, dark, dangerous beast that the SLS has become, I decide I quite like it this way.
And, just for a fleeting moment, I wish I had the money to join Mansory’s most exclusive club. If only to see the tears streaking down the Mercedes purist’s faces.
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive
6.2-liter V8, dohc, 32-valve. Stainless steel sport exhaust, Mansory software
Lowering springs (20mm), spacers
Wheels and Tires
Mansory centerlock alloys, 9x20 (f), 11x21 (r)
Michelin Pilot Sport PS2, 265/30 (f), 295/25 (r)
Full carbon-fiber/aluminum weave, front apron, side skirts, roof cover, rear spoiler, diffuser.
Full Mansory leather, Alcantara and carbon-fiber trim, carbon bucket seats, drilled aluminum pedals
Peak Power: 660 hp @ 6800 rpm
Peak Torque: 553 lb-ft @ 4850 rpm
0-62 mph: 3.5 sec.
Top Speed: 205 mph