Want An SLS AMG? Take A Number, Stand In Line

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
want an sls amg take a number stand in line

Today, Daimler’s gullwing SLS AMG sports car is going on sale in Germany. Mercedes dealers all around Deutschland are celebrating the occasion with the appropriate pomp & circumstance. The Hamburg branch of Daimler for instance welcomes its guests with an easter egg hunt.

Do you have the €177,310 ($237,000) in disposable funds to get behind the wheel of that 571 hp, 197 mph fast beast? Take a number. Bloomberg reports that automotive excess is still alive and well in Deutschland. Advance orders for the memorable Mercedes have been placed in record numbers. New customers will have to wait until 2012 for delivery.

Theoretically, the delivery times are the only positive aspect Porsche can gain from this. According to Bloomberg, the SLS is “taking a bite out of demand for Porsche as Daimler battles to attract younger, affluent drivers to Mercedes.” (Younger and affluent is usually an oxymoron in Germany. The typical German Porsche driver has a receding hairline and a biological clock that is ticking louder than a machinegun. The typical Mercedes driver is nearing retirement. But we let that slide as the usual marketing hype. Affluent alone is o.k., you will not get carded.)

Off course, Porsche remains blasé. According to Bloomberg, “Porsche, which is merging with Volkswagen, shrugged off the competition from the new Mercedes, which costs 4,000 Euros more than a top-of-the-line 911 Turbo S.” As if €4K would tip the scale.

U.S. deliveries are expected in early May. Start raiding that piggy bank.

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  • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Mar 27, 2010

    Porsche may have painted themselves into the same kind of corner with the 911 as Jaguar did with the XJ. Sure, a current 911 is nothing like the original other than engine location and general body shape, but then the last traditional XJ also shared nothing with the 1st gen model. The fact that the last trad XJ was a fairly advanced car in terms of technology (bonded and riveted aluminum unit body, modern drivetrain etc.) was ignored by buyers who couldn't get past the fact that it looked like every XJ for the past 40 years. I think the same may be true with the 911. No matter how much Porsche does to keep it a competitive top rank sports car, it's still a 911. Since Porsche has hamstrung the Boxster and Cayman to keep them slower than the flagship 911, they're locked into a small group folks who love ass-engined slot cars. Maybe after the market success of the Cayenne and if the Panamera does well, Porsche will reconsider making an ubercar that's not in the 911 mold, but I think the company's experience with the 928 and how traditional Porsche buyers turned their noses up to what was an advanced car compared to the 911 may have permanently soured them on making another sports car. I'd think that after they spent the money developing the Carrera GT and using it as a halo vehicle, that Porsche's 911 segment cars would start moving in that direction (mid engine), but Porsche seems to be permanently wed to rear engined 911s.

    • See 1 previous
    • Syke Syke on Mar 27, 2010

      And there's some of us to whom a front-engined Porsche is a more desirable car than a rear-engined one. I'm in no hurry to get rid of my 924S, and I'm certainly not looking for a used 911. Now, if Porsche were to bring out a modern 924 equivalent, and price it under the Boxster. Coupe is just fine, hatchback coupe is wonderful. Yeah, yeah, fat chance. Porsche wants a car that the great unwashed could afford just as badly as BMW.

  • Rcdickey Rcdickey on Mar 27, 2010

    I've looked at one in person though I didn't sit in it. The SLS is an awesome car.

  • Saponetta Saponetta on Mar 27, 2010

    People who criticize the 911 are usually stereotypical internet stat guys. If you wanna disregard the 911 because of its layout or statistics you might as well say that the miata and gti are terrible cars as well. Going by stats i guess the 4000 lbs 599 porker is a shitty car too.

    • Porschespeed Porschespeed on Mar 30, 2010

      Internet stat guy? I own Porsches, and none of them have the engine hanging off the ass-end. Not a one. Rear-engine a simply a non-optimal layout. If rear-engine actually had ANY functional value, it would be copied by someone, somewhere. Anywhere. The old man tried to keep Butzi from doing it, but he was weak. Didja know the 911 originally came with big weights in the front, to slightly diminish it's inherent tendancy to swap ends? The Miata and the GTI can actually stay on the road at speed without HAL intervening - try that in a new 911 Twin. I dare you. You'll stuff it before the first lap ends - but you'd be crankin' 'em out in a 914/944/951/968/Cayman/Boxster/Cayenne... I bought Porsches to go fast, reliably. A 911 does not fit that bill.

  • Brandloyalty Brandloyalty on Mar 27, 2010

    Today's newspaper included a Mercedes pamphlet listing all their cars, but emphasizing this thing. In a neighborhood where the typical car is no better than a 10-year old runabout sedan. I guess they figure there's no risk of adding to frustrating waiting lines. But then it's a waste of paper on people who are not a target market for any sort of Mercedes. Odd