Road Test: Hamann Hawk SLS AMG Roadster

It takes courage and conviction to turn your hand to a car like the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. Bred with performance in mind, the standard AMG tuned package is more than enough for most customers. Yet for some, the mass market design could do with an individual touch. With cartoon-style bulges and a healthy steroid injection, the Hamann Hawk Roadster aims to provide a package for the unsettled few.

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Monte Carlo was our test venue. Perhaps this is the perfect venue for the Hamann Hawk Roadster. The small principality bustles with supercar spotters during the few days of Top Marques, with plenty of paparazzi on hand to capture the dramatic drop-top style.

Plenty has been added to the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG in order to make it stand out. Thanks to the contrast in colour, the bonnet is the first visible change. Hamann offer this in two styles. The first features a normal, glossy carbon fibre finish, the second incorporates a chequered flag finish with wider carbon fibre weaves and a distinct new look. The Hawk bonnet features a generous power dome and a range of different air intakes.

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Also on offer is a new front air intake layout. Hamann add a new-look front splitter with side air intakes and a front grille cover. Both parts are offered in carbon fibre with the larger weave chequered flag look also available. During Top Marques Monaco 2013 Vredestein launched a new partnership with Hamann, hence the Ultrac Vorti R livery.

The Hamann Hawk also gets fenders which are 60mm wider on each front side and 70mm wider on each rear side. A new rear bumper incorporates a diffuser and gets two vents to extract air from the rear wheels. The final touches include a replacement carbon fibre rear spoiler, a set of carbon fibre side mirror housings. The Hawk Roadster isn’t offered with the larger spoiler option we saw fitted to the coupe Hawk package.

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The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster comes fitted with a 6.2 litre V8 engine with 563hp as standard. The Hamann Hawk Roadster standard received a small power boost, up to 636hp with 680Nm of torque. Hamann fit a new air filer and an exhaust system to achieve this. Performance is quoted at 0 to 100km/h in only 3.6 seconds – 0.2 seconds faster than standard – and a top speed of 320 km/h, although on the street, standard SLS have hit speeds above 340km/h.

To say that the Hawk was attracting some attention on our test drive would be an understatement. Through Casino square, we were main attraction thanks to the Hamann exhaust system which accompanies extensive performance upgrades. The rear muffler system is completely replaced with a new, more conventional unit. Quad stainless steel tailpipes are visible now, rather than the landscaped tailpipes that characterize the rear of the standard SLS.

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The increased flow and reduced pressure allows for a raspier sound. However, drivers will instantly notice changes to the handling characteristics, to be found at all four corners. The Hamann Hawk Roadster gets a set of sport suspension coilovers which lower the ride height by up to 30mm. The difference in stance is evident once taken into perspective with the bodykit.

The Hamann Hawk Roadster feels slightly faster than the standard SLS Roadster. It has a punchier response and the atmosphere is more intense. The lower stance brings the feeling of being in an open top racer, yet the ride reassures you that this is a car designed for the road. All together, the package is one which adds a visceral experience rather than offering unnecessary refinement.

When we first fired up the Hamann Hawk it immediately became clear we had something special in our hands. The crowds lining the pit lane at the annual Top Marques Monaco show all turned in our direction and followed our every move until we disappeared in the distance. The reason for this is the incredible sound, or thunder as some might call it, that comes from the Hamann Hawk’s exhaust. It could very well be the loudest car we have seen on the streets of Monaco this year.

Our first stop was at the Monaco harbor, following part of the F1 track through the famous tunnel and some of the super yachts that occupy the harbor any day of the year. When you drive this car through Monte Carlo it is not about sheer speed, but about showing that you are the baddest guy on the block. After a few photos in the harbor with the skyline of Monaco in the background we continued to another, lesser known, part of the city.

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This part is connected with a series of tunnels, driving through these tunnels with the roof down you get a true sense of how loud the Hamann Hawk actually is. We shift down a gear or two with the padels behind the steering wheel and press the accelerator just enough to enjoy the soundtrack to the fullest, release the accelerator and you will hear a bang and thunder like no other. After a small bend we approach the end of the tunnel, right after the exit of the tunnel is a bus stop with about 20 people starring at us in awe. Yes, the Hamann Hawk is loud, it is so loud in fact that you can make people look at you as if you were Thor himself.

After a few more photos at the Monte Carlo heliport we take the Hamann Hawk SLS AMG Roadster up into the hills to test its real strength, tight corners and sweeping bends leading up to the Italian border are taken with ease. Acceleration always comes with a smile on our face and thanks to the excellent stiffness it corners like no other. The suspension might be a bit harsh in the city, but here outside it is completely in its element. After a short drive on the highway into Italy, and more tunnels, a joyful afternoon comes to an end and we return to the Grimaldi Forum.

Overall, we loved the Hamann Hawk Roadster kit. It is a package designed for those that want to stand out from the crowd of standard SLS Roadster’s. It adds an extremely aggressive look with a raw soundtrack and the stance of a racer. Those that want to unleash the Thor in them on the boulevards of Monte Carlo or on the Streets of London need look no further! By: GtSpirit

 

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