What is it?
For those of you familiar with the glacial pace of Mercedes-Benz SL development, prepare to be alarmed. Just four years after it was launched, here’s the facelift.
It’s okay, calm yourself. Mercedes clearly did. This is one of those mild tweaks, as befits a car that Mercedes, presumably, will be disinclined to throw vast sums of development money at because of the small numbers it sells in. Britain is its second-largest market, where fewer than 1000 of them a year find owners.
So, mild facelift it is. Most notably, the front – the face, if you will – has been, er, lifted. It’s now a bit more reminiscent of both the rest of the current range and the first SL, the racing one that the modern SL doesn’t otherwise particularly resemble. AMG’s GT is Merc’s racy car these days, the SL is a luxurious two-seat roadster, even when equipped with a 5.5-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 that puts out 577bhp.
The other options are an SL 400 (a 3.0-litre V6), the SL 500 (a 4.6 V8) and the AMG SL 65, which has a 6.0-litre V12. All of those have two turbos apiece because, let’s face it, a 6.0-litre V12 wouldn’t be sufficient without two turbos.
The 63, though. At £114,100, do you need it over a £73,805 SL 400 or the £82,850 SL 500? Unlikely, although somehow a car like the SL feels like it wants a V8, and if you’re going to have a V8, then I’m inclined to think that it’s worth having one that somebody has made as rowdy as the AMG engine.
The 63’s motor makes 577bhp which, when driving an 1845kg car, means performance is fast-sports rather than supercar quick. It can reach 62mph from rest in 4.1sec and is limited to 155mph. All versions do it in four-point-something, mind you, so none is slow, but only one makes this sort of noise. So it sounds like a sports car. Does it drive like one?