Days after the company officially presented the SL63 AMG at the Geneva Motor Show, the big brother in the new SL AMG family was also revealed, carrying no less than 630 horsepower at 5400rpm. Under the hood sits a revised and updated version of the old 6.0 liter twin-turbo V12, which is also used in the face lifted CL65 AMG and S65 AMG. Modifications to the engine include upgraded headers, updated ECU and a new exhaust. The torque remains electronically limited to a mighty 1000Nm (737lb ft) between 2300 and 4300rpm. The top speed limit of 250km/h (155mph) is also in place.
The weight of the Mercedes SL65 AMG is significantly reduced and is just under 2 tonnes. 170kg have been stripped and the weight of the new model is exactly 1950kg. The power to weight ratio increases to 318hp per tonne as compared to the 289hp per tonne of the old generation. This is achieved through extensive use of aluminum, reinforced carbon plastic and kevlar. The new SL models are based on a totally new platform and the new all-aluminum body shell is a first for Mercedes. Even, the signature folding hardtop is made of magnesium to save weight.
Finally a 7-Speed Auto For The Most Powerful AMG Engine
The archaic 5-speed auto (it was in use for about two decades) that was used in the previous generation AMG cars wearing the 65 badge is finally a thing of the past. Those now come equipped with the Mercedes-Benz’s 7G-Tronic seven speed automatic gearbox and the new SL65 AMG is no exception. It was just ridiculous seeing a 612 horsepower super luxurious roadster doing 300+ km/h in 5th gear. The old 5-speed auto was as sturdy as it gets though, and that is why it was used to handle the enormous torque generated by the 6.0 liter twin-turbo AMG engines. Hopefully the new tech will be as durable, because the power is now even higher. The new gearbox comes with some new features. It has four different modes – C is for economy, S for sport, S+ for sport plus and M for manual mode. The “C” stands for Controlled Efficiency and utilizes the new start/stop system.
The weight reduction and power increase (the previous SL65 AMG had “only” 612 horsepower and weighed more than two tonnes) as well as the new gearbox bring about better dynamics and better fuel economy at the same time. The new SL65 AMG does the 0-100km/h sprint in about 4 seconds while consuming 11.6l/100km (24.4mpg), which is a 17% reduction according to Mercedes. The CO2 emissions are reduced to 270g/km, which is not bad for such performance.
Evolutionary Exterior & The New “Face” of AMG
The exterior of the new Mercedes SL65 AMG is very close to its predecessor. If we exclude the very controversial front and daytime running lights (way too flashy for my taste), all else is not much different from the previous generation. Yeah, the quad-tipped exhausts and taillights have been revised but are no big change-up. The new face of the AMG line-up is firstly exhibited here – it includes two thin chrome horizontal lines, with the Mercedes emblem in the middle.
The New SL65 AMG Vs. The Upcoming “Baby” SLS AMG
A lot of rumors were going around before the official presentation of the new Mercedes SL65 AMG. Many people believed that such model would not be launched. From a purely practical point of view, a roadster with so much power is quite ridiculous. But even more ludicrous are some other Mercedes models that sell, take the G55 AMG for example. Ludicrous car really, it can barely reach 200km/h (because of its anti-aerodynamic shape) and is so unstable during turning that it just makes you wonder who would buy this thing at such a price. But there are people that will. And even more people that will buy a Mercedes SL65 AMG with 630 horses.
A possible problem is that its very high price tag puts it almost in the SLS AMG league and Mercedes is even expected to launch a cheaper and smaller SLS model, which is planned to be close to the SL65 AMG pricewise. Now of course, a lot of people will go for the baby SLS, it is a much more exquisite model line and let’s be honest, it will probably look much better. It will not be as powerful but it will probably be lighter and more sport-oriented. Here lies a fine line that Mercedes should avoid crossing with the new baby SLS. The Mercedes SL65 AMG is a car for people that want the unique combination of raw endless power in a luxurious drop-top roadster that is very easy to drive and can be used every day. It is very much in a league of its own in that respect. So the new baby SLS should be much sportier, less easy on the driver and noticeably more expensive so that it does not steal the sales of the SL 65 AMG. Otherwise the SLS styling and exquisiteness could seriously endanger the future of the SL top tog.
Images courtesy of Daimler AG