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If ever there were any doubts about who invented the automobile, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG proves Mercedes-Benz is the one and further, still reigns supreme. The classic front-engine, rear-drive two-seat sports car boasts a hand-built 563-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 engine capable of generating 479 ft-lbs of torque. Originally introduced at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, the car went on sale in 2010 in Europe and 2011 in the United States.

A direct descendant of the legendary 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing coupe, the SLS AMG features the iconic gullwing doors of that model, as well as its basic overall proportions. Also, like that car, the SLS AMG is one of the most capable sports cars of its day. Supporting this assertion, in addition to that preternaturally powerful V8 engine, is a near perfect weight distribution of 48:52 with driver and passenger onboard, giving the SLS AMG remarkable agility to go along with its prodigious power output. Mercedes quotes a zero to 60 time of 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 197 miles per hour.

Aiding in the accomplishment of the ideal weight distribution of the model is the placement of the rear-mounted seven-speed automated manual transmission. Which, by the way offers four separate driving modes (Comfort, Sport, Sport-Plus, and Full Manual). Thing is, it’s also a Mercedes-Benz, so a balanced package is assured.

Long ago, it was decreed no one aspect of a Mercedes-Benz’s performance would be permitted to outweigh any other. Said differently, when a Mercedes is designed to attain exceptional speeds, it absolutely must have steering, braking, and handling to match. Easily living up to that expectation in terms of its dynamic capabilities, the SLS AMG goes even farther with remarkably luxurious, yet sporting accommodations; a style readily inspiring envious gazes; plus, exceptional comfort over long distances—all in direct proportion to its outstanding performance characteristics.

Standard features include bi-xenon headlights, parking sensors, rearview camera, keyless entry and start, dual-zone automatic climate control, a premium audio system, and plush leather upholstery along with an alcantara headliner. Still, while the SLS AMG is as luxurious and comfortable as you’d expect an upmarket Mercedes to be, all of that is merely a disguise for what the car is in actuality—the most uncivil road-going Mercedes-Benz product to date. At full cry, the AMG V8 blasts a baritone capable of summoning police officers from three surrounding counties. Both raucous and beautiful, the engine’s sound is absolutely addictive. Like an extremely powerful mood-altering substance, while experiencing it once is one time too many, experiencing it 100 times simply isn’t enough.