The first race of the 2010 Formula-1 season in Bahrain on March 12 will mark the debut of the most powerful official F1 safety car of all time, the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Gullwing, which replaces the firm's SL 63 AMG roadster that was used in the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
Being a supercar and all, there was no need for Mercedes to fiddle around with the mechanical recipe so the new F1 safety car features the same 571HP V8 engine, 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, suspension and brake system as the standard-production SLS AMG but gets an all-new rear silencer, that is said to allow the naturally aspirated V8 to breathe more easily and offer improved acoustics.
On the outside, the "Gullwing" safety car is distinguishable by its F1 logos, carbon-fibre exterior mirrors and the characteristic roof light bar with integrated TV camera plus a special number plate at the rear, with "Safety Car" lettering and 700 LEDs.
Moving into the cockpit, aside from bucket seats with the six-point seat belts, the "Gullwing" has been fitted with two central screens to monitor the progress of the race and a radio system to communicate with the organizers.
The SLS AMG also gets a "Marshalling System" that is integrated in the central display on the instrument cluster allowing the driver and co-driver to see the same exact signals as the Formula-1 drivers in their cockpits.
As in the last two years, Mercedes-Benz will also provide a C 63 AMG Estate to be used as the Official F1 Medical Car for the coming season.