Naturally aspirated V8 replaces force-fed SL55: to be priced from £100k
6 February 2008

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.

Our Verdict

Mercedes-Benz SL

The Mercedes SL is perhaps the most splendid, single-minded luxury convertible in the world

Join the debate


10 February 2008


11 February 2008

I like the new look to the Mercedes range, most on here dont' (judging by the earlier blog on the SL).

It has that edge to it that I feel some of the Merc. range needs. The new C class has the new look and it is now a far better looking car for it.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out