Update from Dubai: iF design award goes to SLS

Dubai 2009

Arabian nights aboard a new SLS.

Coveted 2010 iF design award goes to new SLS
‘AMG Desert Gold’ finish debuts in Dubai

Pre-empting the imminent push from aftermarket tuners to fiddle with their new supercar, Mercedes AMG has launched an SLS finished in a most unique “AMG Desert Gold.” And what better place to debut the aggressive new paint scheme than the Desert oasis of Dubai during this year’s Dubai International Motor Show.

Continuing the trend of mainstream manufacturers embracing elements of the hot rod and rat rod automotive subculture, the new paint has a very silky matte finish. Generally found on chopped ’50 Mercury coupes cruising drive-ins around the United States, this cool finish is slowly creeping into more and more manufacturer’s show cars and optional finish selections. It all began 60 years ago with “flat black” paint, a cheap and quick way to paint your cut down ’32 Ford Highboy.

There are areas of the new shape that certainly lack harmony but maybe that is its appeal.

To further accent the unique flat finish, Mercedes and AMG have “blacked out” all the originally bright finished items on the car with a deep gloss black finish. Very cool. Think AMG 500SL in the early ’80s. The same treatment is back. It should do well in Dubai and appeal to US buyers that just might have a flat black ’32 three window Ford in their garage.

Dubai 2009

SLS takes on somewhat of a radar evading military feel in the new AMG Desert Gold matte finish. The new Gullwing’s clean 3/4 rear view is highlighted with stark paint tone and absence of wheel details distracting the eye.

SLS AMG wins 2010 iF Product Design Award

The accolades have only just begun for the SLR’s replacement. Last month it was the Golden Steering Wheel award and this month a prestigious design award from the International Forum Design in Hanover, Germany. According to the press release, the new SLS has demonstrated outstanding design performance and offers high captivation potential. Ok, I get that but a notation of the new 6.3 liter Gullwing representing a “purist design” doesn’t ring totally true. At least to this purist.

There are areas of the new shape that certainly lack harmony but maybe that is its appeal. I’m warming to the design but am beginning to feel it was not designed with a 55 year old hardcore automobile enthusiast with roots to ’60s era designs from the house of Pininfarina in mind. In other words, perhaps not me. I’m sure my warming to the design will continue when I’m able to see one in the flesh. Oh, and a drive just might completely change my mind.

There is no doubt, the new SLS is is one spectacular offering. And this time around Mercedes/AMG’s supercar is actually affordable, well somewhat. Does this new Gullwing faithfully “reinterpret the breathtaking lines of the Mercedes-Benz 300SL?” What do you think?

Dubai 2009

Edgy nose design is somewhat at odds with shape of the tail of the car. Love the matte paint finish.

roy spencer/editor mercedesheritage
photography/daimler ag

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