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AMG Adaptive Suspension Option on SLS

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Old 01-16-2017, 01:59 AM   #1
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AMG Adaptive Suspension Option on SLS

It seems when I talk to people interested in purchasing an SLS the Adaptive Suspension is the most misunderstood option on the car. I'm no expert but, I wanted to jot down (cut and paste ) the differences here. I am only familiar when this options occurred in the USA as far as model years go.

There was no Adaptive in 2011 Coupes (There was no Roadster in 2011)

There are two different AMG Adaptive Suspensions. One for 2012 and, one for 2013 and up GT cars. I will leave out the Black Series for now.

The 2012 has the most versatile suspension of any SLS with 3 settings
The 2013 has no Comfort setting. It only has 2 settings.

For 2012 New AMG Adaptive Suspension (Option 479)

The new Adaptive AMG Sport Suspension with electronically controlled damping is available as an attractive optional alternative to the standard AMG sports suspension. It enables the damping characteristics to be modified at the touch of a button. Using a button on the AMG DRIVE UNIT, the driver can choose his own suspension setup. Three modes are available: "Comfort", "Sport" and "Sport plus". The current mode is shown in the instrument cluster.

"Comfort" delivers a sensitive response with soft damping characteristics, while in "Sport" mode the shock absorbers have a much stiffer response depending on the driving situation. This not only leads to better road contact, but also effectively suppresses body roll and pitching. "Sport plus" is ideal for challenging laps on a racetrack: in addition to the higher damping force, this mode comes with specific control algorithms that have been tailor-made for a sporty driving style. The new, variable suspension will also be optionally available for the SLS AMG Coupé in future.

You can easily see if a car has it by looking for a little shock absorber button by the AMG button as seen here in my car.



If the car doesn't have it, the button will show the symbol to raise the rear wing in its place. The rear wing button on the adaptive suspension cars is up by the radio. Look to the left of the hazard warning button here



Now for the SLS AMG GT Adaptive Suspension 2013 to 2015.

The 2013 SLS AMG GT suspension was not left untouched and also gets some performance improvements. The GT gets a new AMG Adaptive Performance Suspension setup. While utilizing the same twin aluminum wishbones all around, the new suspension features stiffer and more aggressive spring/damper tuning for a more aggressive driving.

The suspension features two settings, “Sport” and “Sport plus” which is the most hardcore setting for use on the track. The press release says the new SLS AMG GT will be able to deliver faster lap times on the race track than with the regular SLS AMG. All of this is achieved through a button on the AMG DRIVE UNIT that automatically reduces body roll.

Hope this helps!

Last edited by NewportSLS; 01-16-2017 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 01-16-2017, 05:23 PM   #2
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On 2011, the C, S, S+, & M don't affect the suspension stiffness then?


Did they relocate the spoiler button on those cars?
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Old 01-16-2017, 07:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Houdini View Post
On 2011, the C, S, S+, & M don't affect the suspension stiffness then?


Did they relocate the spoiler button on those cars?
Correct those are the transmission settings only, on the 2011. The transmission "dial" on all years doesn't affect the suspension.

The spolier button is by the AMG button on the 2011. All other cars with the active suspension the button was relocated to the dash.

I will throw this into this thread too. The 2011 had a track suspension as an added option.


However that was not an "Active" suspension.

Last edited by NewportSLS; 01-16-2017 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:16 PM   #4
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Correct those are the transmission settings only, on the 2011. The transmission "dial" on all years doesn't affect the suspension.

The spolier button is by the AMG button on the 2011. All other cars with the active suspension the button was relocated to the dash.

I will throw this into this thread too. The 2011 had a track suspension as an added option.


However that was not an "Active" suspension.
Good to know. I saw some video reviews saying stiffness was adjustable via the transmission knob, but I guess that's not the case. Mine does have that track suspension option.
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Old 01-16-2017, 10:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by NewportSLS View Post
Correct those are the transmission settings only, on the 2011. The transmission "dial" on all years doesn't affect the suspension.

The spolier button is by the AMG button on the 2011. All other cars with the active suspension the button was relocated to the dash.

I will throw this into this thread too. The 2011 had a track suspension as an added option.

However that was not an "Active" suspension.
I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that I cannot get my spoiler button to do anything. What gives? I've tried tapping it, press&hold (a few secs) and it doesn't seem to do anything. I'd really like to lower the wing when I'm just cruising on the freeway. Do I need to read the manual or something?

+1, I have the track suspension on my 2011.
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Old 01-17-2017, 12:45 AM   #6
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I'm somewhat embarrassed to admit that I cannot get my spoiler button to do anything. What gives? I've tried tapping it, press&hold (a few secs) and it doesn't seem to do anything. I'd really like to lower the wing when I'm just cruising on the freeway. Do I need to read the manual or something?

+1, I have the track suspension on my 2011.
To get the spoiler up under 70MPH, you just press the button once. If the spoiler is up and you want to bring it down, you have to hold it until the spoiler is all the way down. It's hard to see, but the red light on the button will blink on the way down until the spoiler is all the way down. I'm not sure if you can lower the spoiler over 70mph.
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Old 01-17-2017, 10:10 AM   #7
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To get the spoiler up under 70MPH, you just press the button once. If the spoiler is up and you want to bring it down, you have to hold it until the spoiler is all the way down. It's hard to see, but the red light on the button will blink on the way down until the spoiler is all the way down. I'm not sure if you can lower the spoiler over 70mph.
Wouldn't surprise me if you can't lower the spoiler over 70mph. Remember the 1st generation Audi TT? They didn't have any kind of spoiler on the rear and were unstable at high speed (they took on the aerodynamics of an airplane wing...liftoff!!). "Ye kennot change the laws of physics, Cap'n" -- Scottie

Hey, I'm headed up to the Bay Area tomorrow (thru Fri morning), decided to drive the SLS. Let me know if you have time for a coffee!
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Old 01-17-2017, 05:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Sandy Eggo View Post
Wouldn't surprise me if you can't lower the spoiler over 70mph. Remember the 1st generation Audi TT? They didn't have any kind of spoiler on the rear and were unstable at high speed (they took on the aerodynamics of an airplane wing...liftoff!!). "Ye kennot change the laws of physics, Cap'n" -- Scottie

Hey, I'm headed up to the Bay Area tomorrow (thru Fri morning), decided to drive the SLS. Let me know if you have time for a coffee!
I'll be up in Tahoe, minus the SLS of course.
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Old 02-22-2017, 02:15 PM   #9
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Can anyone comment on the difference in ride quality between an SLS without adaptive dampers and a 2012 SLS with adaptive dampers set to comfort? Everything I've read about the SLS is that the ride is pretty firm. If the adaptive suspension makes a big difference in helping smooth things out, I will seek out a 2012 model that has it. Finding a car equipped with that option eliminates about 80% of cars for sale though

I have yet to actually drive a SLS, need find a place around OC or Los Angeles that rents one. I recently had an SLR to drive around for a few days and loved it. I don't want to a car that costs $40k for a brake job though, so I've decided to buy an SLS instead.
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Old 02-22-2017, 02:59 PM   #10
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Can anyone comment on the difference in ride quality between an SLS without adaptive dampers and a 2012 SLS with adaptive dampers set to comfort? Everything I've read about the SLS is that the ride is pretty firm. If the adaptive suspension makes a big difference in helping smooth things out, I will seek out a 2012 model that has it. Finding a car equipped with that option eliminates about 80% of cars for sale though

I have yet to actually drive a SLS, need find a place around OC or Los Angeles that rents one. I recently had an SLR to drive around for a few days and loved it. I don't want to a car that costs $40k for a brake job though, so I've decided to buy an SLS instead.
PM me I will take you for a ride in mine. The adaptive is a must if you want a softer rider now and then. I have been in both types of cars with and without.
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Old 02-22-2017, 05:23 PM   #11
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Old 06-18-2017, 02:03 AM   #12
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From 2012 ...

The flagship Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG represents the pinnacle of the company's considerable engineering prowess. Yet there are always those looking for a little more. And for such customers, Mercedes has announced a series of new options available on the Gullwing coupe and its roadster counterpart.

The list includes new wheels and paint finishes (like the Sepang Brown Metallic pictured above), as well as the company's latest blind-spot warning system. But the salient point of the announcement (which you can read in full after the jump) is the new AMG Ride Control suspension.

Available as a ~$3,000 option over the stock setup, the new adjustable suspension offers drivers a choice between Comfort, Sport or Sport Plus settings. Some buyers will invariably revel in the choices, but then as Lotus founder Colin Chapman once famously quipped, "Make the suspension adjustable and they will adjust it wrong." Good thing, then, AMG has taken the guesswork out of the equation.
AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension with adaptive damping: New optional extras for the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

PRESS RELEASE

Groß-Dölln/Affalterbach – The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is now even more attractive and individual. The new high-tech option of the AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension with adaptive damping combines concerted performance-orientation with optimal comfort on long journeys. Blind Spot Assist improves active safety on board the gull-wing model. Further optional features such as AMG 10-spoke forged wheels painted in matt black, red-painted brake callipers or AMG high-gloss black trim make for even more exclusivity.

A glance at the centre console of the SLS AMG not only reveals the stylishly designed, new E-SELECT lever with its embossed AMG emblem, but also a new shock absorber symbol in the AMG DRIVE UNIT. This key symbolises the new AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension with variable, electronically controlled damping. Depending on the driving situation, speed and road surface conditions, this optional system almost instantly varies the damping characteristics and automatically reduces the body roll angles. For the driver this means immediate and variable adaptation between the greatest possible agility and the best possible ride comfort – for any driving style and route.

Maximum individuality: "Comfort", "Sport" and "Sport plus"

A small key with a major effect: pressing the shock absorber symbol allows individual, convenient adjustment of the damping characteristics. There is a choice of three modes: "Comfort", "Sport" and "Sport plus". The currently selected mode is shown in the AMG main menu.

"Comfort" is automatically active whenever the engine is started, and provides a sensitive damper responce with comfort-oriented characteristics. "Comfort" is recommended for cruising at moderate speeds – e.g. in urban traffic or on motorway sections with speed restrictions. But even on poor, bumpy road surfaces, "Comfort" mode will be the first choice of many SLS AMG drivers by virtue of the softer damper setup.

To select "Sport" mode the key in the AMG DRIVE UNIT is pressed once. The left control lamp in the key and the AMG main menu display tell the driver that "Sport" mode has been manually activated. In "Sport" mode the shock absorbers have a tauter response depending on the driving situation, which not only ensures better road contact when driving in a sporty manner, but also more effectively reduces body roll and pitching. In most driving situations, "Sport" mode provides the best compromise between satisfactory suspension comfort, low body movements and high agility.

"Sport plus" is recommended for fast lap times on a race circuit: apart from higher damping forces, this mode has special control algorithms configured for a decidedly sporty driving style on uneven road surfaces. The driver is able to store his personal setup using the AMG key in the AMG DRIVE UNIT. Sustained pressure on the AMG symbol stores the currently selected suspension mode and also the selected transmission mode. As before, the driver has four different transmission modes available: fuel economy mode "C" (Controlled Efficiency), "S" (Sport), "S+" (Sport plus) and "M" (Manual). Brief pressure on the AMG key quickly and conveniently activates the preferred combination.

With immediate effect, the new AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension is available on request for the SLS AMG Coupé and Roadster. Alternatively the gull-wing model is available with the basic AMG suspension or the AMG Performance suspension, both without variable damping characteristics.

Numerous parameters monitored by electronics

The electronic damper control is based on acceleration sensors which register dynamic vehicle body and wheel movements, both absolutely and in relation to each other. Other factors relevant to the driving dynamics, such as drive and braking moments, the steering angle and lateral/linear acceleration are continuously registered and evaluated. The current vehicle speed, wheel rotation speeds and selected gear ratios are also continuously analysed. High-performance control electronics in permanent dialogue with the engine and transmission control unit ensure that the forces of the four newly developed shock absorbers are adapted practically instantly.

Depending on the selected suspension mode, different control configurations and parameter weightings are active to strike the best possible balance between comfort and dynamic performance. Electromagnetically actuated valves in the shock absorbers control the oil flow between the lower and upper chamber. In "Comfort" mode more oil flows through the valves, and less in "Sport" and "Sport plus" mode.

Double wishbone suspension of forged aluminium

All four wheels are located on double wishbones with a track rod, a technology that has proven itself in motor racing right through to Formula 1. With a double-wishbone axle, the wheel location and suspension functions remain separate; the spring/damper struts are supported on the lower wishbone. The double-wishbone concept with its high camber and track rigidity positively locates the wheel with minimal elastic movements, providing the driver with an optimum sense of road contact when driving at the limits.

Wishbones, steering knuckles and hub carriers at the front and rear are made entirely from forged aluminium – substantially reducing the unsprung masses; this configuration also notably improves the suspension response. The long wheelbase of 2680 millimetres not only results in outstanding straight-line stability but also low wheel load shifts, significantly reducing the vehicle's tendency to dive and squat when braking and accelerating. The broad track width – front 1682, rear 1653 millimetres – ensures lower shifts in the wheel loads from the inner to the outer wheel when cornering, enabling the tyres to retain more grip.

The chosen solution with a front-mid-engine plus transaxle configuration ensures an ideal front/rear weight distribution of 47 to 53 percent. Mounting the engine behind the front axle has created the ideal conditions for consummate driving dynamics with precise steering, first-class agility, low inertia with spontaneous directional changes and outstanding traction.

Direct steering, differential lock and 3-stage ESP®

The rack-and-pinion steering gear provides a consistently direct steering feel with a constant mechanical ratio of 13.6:1, in tune with the high expectations placed on a super sports car. The power steering provides speed-sensitive assistance and improves feedback for the driver as the road speed increases: an indispensable factor for high-speed straight-line driving. Mounting the steering gear in front of the engine on the integral subframe enables the engine to be set down very low. The SLS AMG comes with 3-stage ESP® as standard, providing the driver with access to the three "ESP ON", "SPORT Handling mode" and "ESP OFF" modes at the touch of a button. In "ESP OFF" mode too, vigorously operating the brake pedal restores all the normal ESP® functions.

The acceleration skid control (ASR) system's traction logic is active in all three ESP® modes. If one of the drive wheels starts to spin, specific brake pressure is applied to improve traction significantly – especially in conjunction with the standard-fit mechanical multi-disc limited-slip differential. This means that the engine power is transferred to the road even more effectively when driving in a particularly dynamic style.

Blind Spot Assist increases active safety

The new, optionally available Blind Spot Assist is able to increase active safety. This visual and acoustic warning system uses the close-range radar sensors of the standard PARKTRONIC system to recognise vehicles in good time where visibility is restricted. When the system registers another vehicle in the blind spot, this is indicated to the driver by a red triangle lighting up in the relevant exterior mirror. An acoustic warning also sounds if the driver operates the indicators despite the visual warning.

Blind Spot Assist is operational from a speed of 30 km/h. It monitors the area around the vehicle to a distance of around 3.5 metres on each side and three metres beyond the rear. Vehicles in the process of overtaking are shown immediately when they enter the monitored area of the difference in relative speeds between the two vehicles is not more than 16 km/h. Vehicles that have just been overtaken are however shown with a delay of 1.5 seconds after entering the monitored area, thus preventing distraction by unnecessary warnings.

New optional appointments for more style and design

Available as an optional extra, the car's visual appearance is enhanced by weight-optimised AMG 10-spoke forged wheels shod with tyres in size 265/35 R 19 (front) and 295/30 R 20 (rear). Their matt black paint finish corresponds perfectly with the high-sheen rim flange. Optional red-painted brake callipers all-round provide a further visual highlight.

Single-tone or two-tone designo leather in espresso brown is available as a new interior colour – this dark shade of brown perfectly matches the new metallic paint finish AMG Sepang brown. New AMG high-gloss black trim (optional) is an exclusive alternative to the standard centre conslole in solid metal or the optional carbon-fibre trim.

All prices for the new features at a glance (incl. 19 % VAT):

AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension with adaptive damping: € 2320.50
AMG 10-spoke forged wheels with matt black paint finish and high-sheen rim flange: € 3272.50
Red-painted brake callipers: € 714.20
Blind Spot Assist: € 773.50
AMG Sepang brown metallic: € 2439.50
AMG high-gloss black trim: € 2320
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