The car that made the Mercedes SL mega, the SL55 AMG, is dead: long live the SL63. Mercecedes has just officially released photos of the replacement for the supercharged AMG open-top, and Autocar can exclusively reveal all the official details on the new firebrand folding tin-top too.
It's AMG 63s all round
The SL55 AMG was the last car in Mercedes’ line-up - barring the rarified SLR supercar - that used AMG’s supercharged 5.4-litre V8; the new SL63 will run the same 6.2-litre normally aspirated V8 that you’ll find in the marque’s C63-, E63-, CLS63-, CLK63-, S63-, CL63- and ML63 models (the AMG family is a big one these days). In the SL, it'll appear in range-topping 518bhp tune.What sets the SL63 apart from its rangemates, though, is its gearbox. It’ll be the first Mercedes to use a new seven-speed robotised paddleshift manual 'box from AMG called Speedshift MCT. This system uses a single compact wet start-up clutch rather than a torque converter, conveying power directly to the car’s driveline. The MCT system will have four drive modes, be capable of double-declutching and have a Race Start function guaranteeing the quickest possible take-off. In manual mode it’s capable of swapping the SL’s cogs in just a tenth of a second and, says Stuttgart, it will give the SL63 a more stirring, visceral driving experience than any previous SL.The SL63 will also get retuned springs and dampers, all-new suspension geometry, AMG’s active body control and a sports-tuned, fully-switchable electronic stability programme. In Race Start mode it will be capable of hitting 62mph in just 4.6sec.
Even quicker than an SL63...
Above the new SL63 AMG, those wanting the ultimate in luxury, refinement and power from their SL will still be able to get it via the V12 twin-turbo model - the 603bhp SL65 AMG - with its proper five-speed automatic gearbox converting an incredible 738lb ft of torque.They’ll have to pay for it, mind: UK prices have yet to be confirmed, but the new SL65 AMG is likely to cost over £150,000, making the SL63 look like a bargain at £100k or thereabouts.Left-hand drive models of AMG’s new SL siblings will be available this coming April: expect right-hookers to be on sale in the UK this summer.