Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG F1 Safety Car

The most powerful Official F1™ Safety Car of all time: The new Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG takes its place at the head of the Formula-1 field.

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 maximum output of 563 hp (420 kW) and a peak 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 Official F1™ Safety Car, otherwise the Formula-1 cars' tires 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 technology is used for the AMG sports suspension: aluminium double-wishbone axles at the 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.

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-optimized 10-spoke forged wheels are shod with 265/35 R 19 (front) and 295/30 R 20 (rear) tires.

The Official F1™ Safety Car features the same engine, power-transmission set-up, 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 an 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.

Compared to the standard-production SLS, the Official F1™ Safety Car is distinguishable on the outside by its prominent F1 logos, carbon-fibre exterior mirrors and the characteristic roof light bar with integrated TV camera. It sits on an all-new carbon-fibre hood whose shape has been tested in the wind tunnel to ensure optimum airflow at the rear aerofoil. The aerofoil pops up when the car reaches 120 km/h and, together with the rear diffuser, provides the necessary rear downforce. LEDs are used for all light functions for the first time in the new, aerodynamically styled roof light bar. Their advantages over the previously used bulbs lie in their extremely fast response time and low power consumption.

The two centrally positioned green lights in the aerodynamically optimized light bar are illuminated when the Official F1™ Safety Car joins the field and first has to overtake all the racing cars in front of it. Once the SLS AMG has assumed the leading position, the outer orange flashing lights are switched on to signal to the Formula-1 drivers that no overtaking whatsoever is allowed. The white stroboscopic lights in the headlamps and tail lights perform a general signaling function in that they always flash during deployment of the safety car. A special number plate at the rear, displaying the words "Safety Car" and equipped with 700 LEDs, provides additional safety in darkness or wet weather. A reversing camera is integrated to the left of the number plate, allowing those in the cockpit of the Official F1™ Safety Car to keep an eye on the Formula-1 cars behind via monitors.

The distinctive gullwing doors open to reveal a practical cockpit which, like the exterior, differs only slightly from that of the standard-production model. AMG sports bucket seats with black leather upholstery and six-point seat belts ensure optimum lateral support. On the right side of the AMG DRIVE UNIT, there are four colored buttons for controlling the various light functions, along with the signal horn, which is activated when the car is driving into and out of the pit lane. The centre console, like various other interior trim parts, is finished in genuine carbon fibre, while the AMG performance steering wheel in leather/Alcantara features a specially shaped grip area, a high-quality genuine-metal insert and a flat-bottomed rim with a diameter of 370 millimeters. Two genuine-metal shift paddles are used to change between the seven gears in the double-clutch transmission.

Source: Mercedes-Benz press

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