The Original 'G'
How a Mercedes-Benz supercar inspired Asian casino designThursday, 09 September 2010
Gullwing doors (car doors that are hinged at the roof rather than the side) were pioneered by Mercedes-Benz in 1952 with the 300 SL race car. The road legal 300 SL Coupe followed in 1954 and was the fastest production car of its day.
The 300 SL’s iconic door design actually sprang from engineering necessity. Longtime Mercedes-Benz engineering meister Rudi Uhlenhaut had designed the 300 SL’s chassis in racing car fashion, employing a nest of welded steel tubing to make it as stiff as possible. This included the doorsills, which Uhlenhaut extended so far upward that pivoting the doors in the conventional manner simply wouldn’t work. Hence the creation of Gullwings, which went on to be incorporated by other supercars, including the DeLorean featured in the ‘Back to the Future’ movie franchise and the Bricklin SV-1.
World-leading casino architect Paul Steelman brought Gullwings to the gaming floor, also as a solution to a practical problem. Observing gambling in Macau is “a spectator sport,” Mr Steelman conceived of a stadium-style design for the casino at Sands Macao.
If the lights and surveillance cameras were set in the high ceilings, the lights would be too bright and the cameras ineffective, so Mr Steelman came up with the ‘G-wings’ above the individual tables to house them. G-wings are bound to become an enduring feature of casino design, and are already prominent on the main floors of Macau’s Grand Lisboa and Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands.
G-wings on the Gaming Floor
‘G’to the Present
The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL’s design lines have been reinterpreted and updated in the new SLS AMG, launched in Hong Kong last month. The new Gullwing supercar’s exterior communicates power and dynamism, while the interior was inspired by the aviation world.
The SLS AMG boasts an unrivalled technology package, including aluminium spaceframe body and the AMG 6.3-litre V8 front-mid-engine developing 420 kW/ 571 hp peak output. The SLS AMG accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds, before going on to a top speed of 317 km/h (electronically limited). The fuel consumption of 13.2 litres per 100 kilometres (combined) puts it at the head of the supercar pack.
The SLS AMG is the first car to be independently developed by AMG, the performance brand within Mercedes-Benz Cars. AMG was established in 1967 by Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher, and is considered a pioneer in the field of vehicle tuning for motorsports. Following the cooperation agreement concluded in 1990 with Daimler-Benz AG, the company was gradually incorporated into what at the time was DaimlerChrysler AG in 1999. On 1st January 2005, DaimlerChrysler AG acquired 100% of the shares. Today Mercedes-AMG GmbH is a vehicle manufacturer in its own right, specialising in unique, high-performance vehicles.
The SLS AMG is now available for purchase in Hong Kong and Macau.