Virtual AMG racer points to SLS replacement

MERCEDES-Benz has released images of its PlayStation 3 Gran Turismo 6 star, the AMG Vision Gran Turismo, and there’s a strong hint that the real SLS replacement, due late in 2014, lurks beneath the digital car’s wild exterior.

“Historically, we don’t do design studies just for the sake of it,” Mercedes-Benz spokesman Jerry Stamoulis told Wheels. “There’s always a purpose. Look back to the Coupe concept of 1993, which pointed to the production CLK. The 2011 A-Class concept also strongly pointed at the current production A.”

While Stamoulis stopped short of confirming a link between virtual and real grand tourers, the use of the name ‘Vision’ seems like a dead giveaway. Previous Mercedes Vision concepts — the Vision SLR of 1999 and the SLA of 2000 — stylistically influenced the McLaren-Mercedes SLR and the 2004 SLK respectively. Adding further weight to the connection is speculation the SLS replacement will be called the AMG GT.

The Gran Turismo concept was conceived by Mercedes-Benz stylists when they were invited to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the game series. “We’ve shared strong links with the Gran Turismo brand, dating back to the AMG SLS featuring on the cover of Gran Turismo 5,” Stamoulis said.

The AMG Vision GT is the first commemorative vehicle to be released, and a full-scale model — sadly non-functioning — will be displayed at this week’s Los Angeles Motor Show.

While the virtual AMG Vision GT packs a 430kW/800Nm biturbo V8 under its CGI bonnet, the latest information on the AMG GT indicates it will receive a new twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 that is expected to produce 370kW/650Nm. Production is likely to start in the third quarter of 2014, with Australian sales commencing in 2015.

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