I have been fortunate to have owned a 2008 Porsche 911 Turbo for 3 years before trading this car for the SLS Mercedes. The Porsche 911 Turbo was a great car with very few problems, but the Mercedes SLS is a little quieter than the 911 at highway speed and it is smoother than the 911 Turbo. The SLS has great style despite being a little long in the nose. People love to see this car, and it always draws a crowd when you stop. The doors just amaze people and comments of the 50's gullwing are often brought up. Fit and finish are great, and I dont have to worry as much about lack of ground clearance with dips in the pavement. This car is truly an easy everyday driver.
When I heard the announcement for this car, I started saving for it and after a disappointing 5 month wait, it arrived. This car is absolutely beautiful on the exterior, if that hasn't been figured out yet. Performance is great and is absolutely invigorating to drive, attracts lots of stares and those gull wing doors are one of a kind and I open and close them constantly like a little kid. On the bad side, the interior is not too impressive, traction is pretty bad on wet roads and I will never drive it on those ever again. You also might want to get used to double parking as you never know how close someone will park based on the gull wing's incline angle. Overall, a dream come true.
Even default mode in Drive, the SLS is deceptively quick and obviously fast. Speed comes on gradually then piles on endlessly. Once "RS" is selected, the car rolls slightly off the line, allows slight wheelspin and it cuts 3/10 from 0-60 and about as much from the quarter-mile time (trap remains the same). Upshifts in S+ are very quick but not harsh at all. Manual mode offers shift lights, but proved slower. Wheelspin with ESC off was virtually impossible.
Immediate bite and crazy effectiveness. Flat, short, consistent, straight, amazing. Pedal effort remained moderate-to-high, but not brutal.
Skid pad: ESC off and resolute understeer sets in -- lifting the throttle diminishes it, but the car doesn't rotate as a result. With ESC Sport, the understeer goes away and I could feel the rear stepping out slightly all the way around. Funny thing is, I couldn't detect/feel any brake application. Steering is magical, delicate and informative. Excellent weight and response. Slalom: This is a tough car to slalom -- it's obviously tuned to drive/steer from the rear and you must enter slowly and gradually squeeze the throttle to keep the rear planted. Otherwise, it gets loose, I catch it, but find myself late at the next cone. With ESC Sport, however, the car feels reined in and electronically limited (mostly closing throttle). The result is you can't steer it with throttle.