LOS ANGELES – Mercedes-Benz turns up the lights at the auto show here to introduce the world to the SLS AMG Black Series, the fifth in its highly-celebrated line of supercars.

Slated to enter the U.S. next summer, the SLS AMG is powered by a 6.3L V-8 engine that generates a power output of 622 hp at 7,400 rpm. Capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph (100 km/h) in 3.5 seconds, it is the fastest SLS yet.

The car is supported with coil-over AMG Adaptive Performance Suspension, a high-performance ceramic 2-piece brake system and weight-optimized forged light-alloy wheels.

“The 2012 SLS AMG Black Series is the ultimate expression of what happens when our engineers are allowed to go crazy,” Mercedes-AMG Chairman Ola Källenius tells an electrified audience.

AMG employed several performance enhancements to add 39 hp to the 583 hp delivered by the SLS AMG GT. The engine speed was boosted from 7,200 to 8,000 rpm, and the valvetrain was improved with modified camshafts, enhanced cam geometry and bucket tappets. That translates to a top speed of about 196 mph (316 km/h).

The V-8 engine in the SLS AMG Black Series also has a specialized mounting system. A gas-filled strut braces the engine against the body, eliminating undesired load shifts during high-dynamic race-track driving.

Honoring AMG’s long-standing philosophy of "one man, one engine," the V-8 is hand-built in Mercedes’ Affalterbach, Germany, factory. The personal workmanship is displayed by the black AMG engine badge bearing the signature of the specific engine builder.

“Supercar customers,” says Källenius, “expect the best from AMG,” which grew from a garage-based racing interest 45 years ago to occupy the top performance rung of the Mercedes lineup today. The Black Series is “the ultimate choice for fast laps and a highly emotional driving experience.”

Mercedes chose to premiere the Black Series at the auto show here because the U.S. is AMG’s largest market in the world, accounting for 30% of the line’s overall production, says Stephen Cannon, president and CEO, Mercedes-Benz USA. Southern California, one of the earliest places AMG found a foothold, in turn accounts for 30% of the line’s U.S. deliveries.