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This Misunderstood Mercedes Technology Was Actually Brilliant

Despite not having a standard manual transmission (the SLS AMG has a slick-shifting 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox), the SLS AMG is blindingly quick off the line. The SLS AMG Coupe Black Series has an updated 631-horsepower V8 to push it from zero to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds and a 196 mph top speed. Meanwhile, a standard SLS AMG Coupe could trash the quarter-mile in 11.7 seconds at 125 mph, mind-bending numbers for a time that doesn’t seem too long ago.

Other noteworthy tech features of the SLS AMG are satellite radio, a Mercedes-Benz COMAND interface (prefacing the modern MBUX AI-powered infotainment system), memory front seats, Bluetooth connectivity, voice control, advanced navigation, and a six-speaker audio system. Moreover, the folks at Mercedes and AMG gave the SLS a unique and quirky piece of tech that has something to do with the car’s legendary gullwing doors.

You’re probably aware that the SLS AMG’s gullwing doors pay homage to the incredible Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster, the fastest production car in the 1950s and 1960s. Born out of necessity rather than a fashion statement, the gullwing doors and track-winning performance of the 300SL have made it the ultimate dream vintage car, a noteworthy addition to any auto collection. But in the Mercedes SLS AMG, the gullwing doors hide a unique safety feature that has something to do with “controlled detonation.”

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