Something New to Lust Over

If your SL 55 AMG has become passé down at the country club, Mercedes-Benz has something new to help set you apart from the crowd. The ultimate statement of Mercedes-Benz style and power has been redefined with the introduction of the SL 65 AMG. The SL 65’s 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 engine produces 604 horsepower and an astounding 738 lb-ft of torque resulting in a 0-60 mph time of approximately 4.2 seconds. Recognizing the importance of the United States market, the SL 65 AMG made its world debut in New York this past April.

Mercedes-AMG, the producer of the SL 65 AMG, has grown into a supplier of exclusive high-performance cars with some 600 employees and an extensive model lineup from its beginnings 35 years ago as an independent racing and tuning firm for Mercedes cars. Far more than a marketing or development division, Mercedes-AMG is a self-contained entity responsible for all aspects of its vehicles, from development and testing to marketing.

Exciting high-tech features are revealed as soon as the SL 65’s hood is opened. The redesigned engine cover, which is made from deep-drawn aluminum and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic, is a visual treat. The twelve-cylinder engine is assembled by hand at the AMG engine facility, right next to the line where the supercharged AMG V8 for the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren is produced.

In the SL 65 AMG power is transmitted by the AMG Speedshift 5-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel gearshift controls and manual mode. In keeping with the tremendous levels of power and torque available, a number of measures have been taken to optimize key transmission components, including the adoption of newly developed clutch pack discs and modified shift and torque converter-lockup logic. There are also special drive shafts, larger hub carriers and wheel bearings and special spring links at the rear axle.
In the reinforced rear axle differential case, fitted with a heat sink, is a mechanical, asymmetric, multiple-disc limited-slip differential with a lock factor of 35% under load which insures good traction. With the modified acceleration skid control system, which is equipped with traction logic, the high engine output can always be optimally transmitted to the road.

Fully reworked dynamic handling control systems such as ABS, Brake Assist, ASR and ESP complement the enhanced chassis setup. In order to cope with the high power output of the AMG twin-turbo engine, the front wheels of the AMG V12 model is equipped with a newly developed, high-performance eight-piston compound brake system.

The SL 65 AMG is equipped as standard with Active Body Control (ABC) and special AMG spring struts with a firmer damping response for highly dynamic handling. Mercedes-Benz engineers use ABC to reduce body roll by 68%. An ABC Sport switch on the SL’s lower center console can be adjusted to 95% reduced roll if the driver prefers sportier handling.

Designing the AMG high-performance braking system required engineers to draw on their extensive experience acquired through more than three decades of motor sports. The front wheels are equipped with a newly developed brake system featuring eight-piston fixed calipers with 15.4-inch internally ventilated and perforated discs. Compared with conventional brake systems, this technology offers a weight saving of some 20% and also has a greater thermal capability. The rear wheels are equipped with four-piston fixed calipers with 13.7-inch internally ventilated and perforated discs. The combination of these two systems gives the SL 65 AMG the stopping power to match its performance.

AMG models have picked up major awards in recent years for their fine styling, which involves the combination of sporty elegance and long-term quality. The task facing the designers of the SL 65 AMG was to make subtle enhancements to the body while remaining true to the fundamental design philosophy.
Where looks are concerned, the new AMG V12 flagship model has several key features which set it apart from other SL-Class models. The redesigned front valance, optimized in the wind tunnel, has a striking contour and is based on the look of last year's Formula 1 Safety Car. The significantly larger air intakes insure a reliable supply of fresh air for water, engine oil and the turbocharger intercoolers. Like the rear apron and side skirts, it is part of the powerful AMG body styling package. Attractive 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels, painted in titanium gray, complement the overall picture. The rear is rounded off by two sets of chromed twin tailpipes and the powerful lines of the rear apron.

The first of 500 models that are to be imported over the next two years become available this month. The MSRP is $179,720, which includes the $720 destination charge.