What is it?
This is the third of the Black Series cars from Mercedes’ in-house tuning department, AMG. The first was the less-than-wonderful SLK 55 of 2006, and the second was the entirely delightful CLK of 2007 – so the SL 65 AMG Black Series could go either way.
Black Series models are intended to be even more focused versions of existing AMG products, and unless they have two seats and a fixed roof they don’t comply with the template.
Hence the reason the Black Series ditches the regular SL 65’s folding metal roof for a fixed carbon fibre item, which, together with a whole range of weight saving measures, has removed 250kg from the kerbweight. In total there will be just 350 made.
But that’s merely the beginning when it comes to the differences between a regular SL65 and the Black Series – not least the fact it carries a quarter-million pricetag.
The 6.0-litre V12 engine is identical internally to the regular 65’s, but thanks to bigger turbos, a redesigned exhaust and various tweaks to the ECU, it now produces 670bhp and a whopping 737lb ft of torque between 2200-4200rpm.
The reason why the torque peak is as flat as a table is because neither the gearbox nor the diff can take what the twin turbo V12 is fully capable of producing (around 900lb ft of torque).
Even so, you still have to make do with a somewhat ancient five-speed automatic gearbox in the SL Black, whereas the far cheaper SL 63 has an infinitely more sophisticated seven-speed semi-auto, for the same reason: the newer box just can’t handle it.
Chassis-wise the Black is very different from the regular SL 65 AMG. Not only is the steering faster, featuring just 1.7 turns across the locks despite an almost identical turning circle, but the suspension has been completely redesigned to deliver optimum control as well.
There are proper track-spec coil-over dampers at the front and the entire multi-link rear suspension is now adjustable, so if a customer wants to change the way their car handles, AMG will duly oblige.