Time Attacking In A JDM-Style SL500

Given its huge size, it’s not unusual for multiple events to happen at the same time at Fuji International Speedway. So it didn’t come as too much of a surprise to me when I found out that a time attack circuit session catering to European cars was going on while I was checking out the annual R34 Meet.

My main focus on the day was to shoot Skylines, so by the time I arrived in the paddock, most of the time-attacking Euro machinery had already left and just a handful of owners were still packing up. That’s when I spotted something interesting amongst the stragglers – a track-spec, but road-registered Mercedes-Benz SL500.


My curiosity was instantly piqued; the carbon fiber splitter, canards, air scoops and GT wing gave the small two-seater a real aggressive look. This was definitely something you don’t see everyday, even the automotive melting pot that is Japan.


What stood out the most, however, was the 295×30 Hoosier slicks protruding slightly from the front fender wells. I could tell from afar that this car was built for a purpose.


Unbeknownst to me, the owner was watching me poke around the SL500, and could obviously tell that I wanted to know more about his machine. Thus, he casually walked over, introduced himself, and asked if I wanted to see inside and what was under the hood. Yes I did!


The interior hasn’t exactly been stripped out, but there’s only one seat and a JDM-style arrangement of gauges up the A-pillar and across the dashboard.

In the passenger side footwall sat a giant water jug with an electrical pump fitted to it. It’s purpose? With a flick of a switch, water is pumped to the front of the car and sprayed across the intercooler core for some extra cooling.


In the quest for power, the SL’s original M273 V8 engine has been removed and replaced with its supercharged brother – the AMG M113. With a few tweaks here and there, the owner told me it’s now outputting around 550 horsepower.


I definitely wasn’t expecting to find a time attack-spec Mercedes-Benz at Fuji Speedway while attending a Skyline meet, but I’m pleased I did. Hopefully I’ll be able to see it in action in the near future!

Ron Celestine
Instagram: celestinephotography



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It was a nice merc but hopefully I can see atleast one SE R b13 story in speedhunter too.


That's lairy as heck. Gauge placements like that always make me laugh though – at the angle they're at in relation to the driver there's almost not a worse place you could put them. Except for maybe under the bonnet, or in a wheel well.


Eye candy


I wonder if there will be 改二 version of SL500 .With roll cage and carbon fiber bodykit


any idea what that squiggley bit on the bootlid means?


改(Kai) = Reform or Remodeling


Brazilian Track days...


Brasilian track Day interlagos

Mark Joseph I. Argoso

I kinda forgot who was that Blacklist member that had an SL as his car. WHo was that?


My. God. I can't believe you guys are talking still talking about THAT game.


There is a SL500 in Most Wanted but nobody on the Blacklist has that car. Blacklist 7 drives a CLK500 and Blacklist 2 drives a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren.


Blacklist #2 Bull ?


God, I love Japan.


Small isn't a word I'd use to describe an sl.
The car is pretty cool though.


I didn't want to comment to provoke the intended effect of this car.
However, it's not actually provocative. It doesn't even make sense and it's really tacky and slapped-together with a sloppy execution.
Not great...not even good...by the lowest standards.

The only reason anyone would give this car two looks is due to its (overly) contrived "shock value".

"OMG, an SL500 'track car'!"

Same cycle over and over again. Pick an extreme and go for "blowing minds" rather than good taste. Chances are there's multiple cars at the same event which are actually competitive, look better and probably feature something other people could learn from.

"Hold the phone! There's a Benz with a wing, aftermarket paste-on emblems and wire-strewn interior! WOOT!"


I'm fairly certain anyone who knows how to work Hoosiers knows what they're doing.


You seem to have missed the point of the care entirely. Guy probably wanted a fun track car but wanted something a little different. I don't know the guy but I do know not everyone is a kid that does things just because they want to blow up social media.


Why r u so angry bro


Right, well this care does have a amg swap... Which as a REAL auto tech(not keyboard mechanic) im always impressed by a good engine swap that actually works. And as for the wire strewn interior you've very obviously have never spent any time around real racers and real race cars. Sure amateur/privateer cars may be slightly less tidy than some big budget teams but I can guarantee you can find some "wire strewn interiors" among even those guys as well. So just take you're jealous hate elsewhere, you probably drive a Camry


I like how the worst insult we can give each other here is "you probably drive a Camry".


Nice car ! Anyone knows what the rear wheels are ?


I think they are Work CR Kiwami's

MPistol HVBullets

a benz beaten on - love to see that

Matthew Everingham

I would NOT want to drop a spanner in that engine bay! :O


I think you need to cover Euro track days Ron.


I think you might be right ^__^

Dino Dalle Carbonare

It's at times surprising what you can find at track days in Japan!

Rich E Wavy Kariuki


Milos LIcko Bash Randjelovic

Great products for cleaning, protecting and restoring your favorite car:


whats jdm about this car? Just looks like a track car in japan.


That thing looks KILLER. Love the shape of these cars.


What lap times was it cutting?