The stage is set for the new Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG, the newest version of the high-performance roadster. The SL63 impressed us on several points, its systematic lightweight construction, a boosted output, increased driving dynamics, and 30 percent lower fuel consumption and emissions. Thanks to an all-aluminium bodyshell, similar to that of the SLS AMG super sports car, the vehicle weight has been reduced by 125 kilograms (275 lbs). With a kerb weight of 1845 kilograms (4,067 lbs) and an output of 395 kW (537 hp) or 415 kW (564 hp), the new model has the perfect recipe for unparalleled dynamism and a superior driving experience. A further boost in performance comes courtesy of a winning combination: enhanced AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control (ABC), new AMG speed-sensitive sports steering, the AMG high-performance composite braking system and the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission. The expressive front section is dominated by the new “twin blade” radiator grille and the front apron’s lower cross strut in silver chrome. An enticing mix of stylish design, extensive standard equipment and a high safety level.
Supreme performance and high efficiency: the SL 63 AMG is available with a choice of two power ratings for the first time. The AMG 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine delivers 395 kW (537 hp) and 800 Nm of torque. If the AMG Performance package is specified, drivers will have 415 kW (564 hp) and 900 Nm at their disposal – more power than any other competitor in this segment. The result is phenomenal performance, as underlined by the acceleration times from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.3 or 4.2 seconds respectively.
A speed of 200 km/h (124 mph) is reached in 12.9 or 12.6 seconds respectively. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph), although this increases to 300 km/h (186 mph) (likewise electronically limited) with the AMG Performance package on board. NEDC combined consumption comes in at 9.9 litres per 100 kilometres for both power ratings – a full 4.2 litres or 30 percent less than for the outgoing model.
The eight-cylinder powerplant with the abbreviation M 157 features a combination of innovative high-tech components – for high power output – and delivers exemplary, low fuel consumption. In addition to spray-guided direct petrol injection, the engine boasts an all-aluminium crankcase, twin turbochargers, four valves per cylinder with camshaft adjustment, air/water intercooling, alternator management and an ECO start/stop function. The weight-optimised AMG sports exhaust system with two chromed twin tailpipes produces a distinctive engine sound.
The key data at a glance:
|SL 63 AMG|
|Bore x stroke||98.0 × 90.5 mm|
|Output||395 kW (537 hp) at 5500 rpm
415 kW (564 hp) at 5500 rpm*
|Max. torque||800 Nm at 2000-4500 rpm
900 Nm at 2250-3750 rpm*
|Engine weight (dry)||204 kg|
|Vehicle weight in acc. with EC standard||1845 kg|
|Fuel consumption, NEDC combined||9.9 l/100 km|
|CO2 emissions||231 g/km|
|Acceleration 0-100 km/h||4.3 s 4.2 s*|
|Top speed||250 km/h**|
* with AMG Performance package ** electronically limited
Intelligent lightweight construction with aluminium bodyshell and carbon fibre
Intelligent lightweight construction is one of the major factors behind the low fuel consumption figures. The SL 63 AMG is based on a lightweight all-aluminium bodyshell similar to that of the SLS AMG super sports car. Compared with the preceding model which featured a steel construction, this design not only delivers a significant weight saving of around 110 kilograms, it also greatly enhances rigidity, safety and comfort. Intelligent lightweight construction also means that the components have been optimised in line with their specific purpose. Various types of processing are used for the aluminium components, for instance, which are produced as permanent mould castings (reusable metallic casting mould) or vacuum die castings before being processed into extruded sections or used as sheet aluminium with varying wall thicknesses. The result is high rigidity, high safety and improved vibration characteristics. For the cover behind the tank, the designers use even lighter magnesium material in some cases. High-strength steel tubes are integrated into the A-pillars for safety reasons.
The boot lid helps to further trim the weight. For the first time on a volume-produced model, the inner support is made from lightweight carbon-fibre composite material. The extremely rigid carbon-fibre component is bonded to the plastic outer shell, resulting in a weight saving of five kilograms compared with a conventional boot lid – an innovative solution that is being pioneered with the SL 63 AMG. This raft of innovative lightweight design measures means that, at an EC kerb weight of 1845 kilograms, the new SL 63 AMG is 125 kilograms lighter than the model it is replacing.
AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control
The lightweight design measures are not just limited to the body of the SL 63 AMG, however, as the steering knuckles and spring links on the four-link front suspension and almost all of the multi-link independent rear suspension’s wheel location components are made of aluminium. The reduction in unsprung masses enhances both agility and the response characteristics of the spring-and-damper units.
Mercedes-AMG is remaining faithful to the ABC active spring and damper system: the new SL 63 AMG is equipped with an enhanced version of the AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control as standard. During the design, development and testing phases, the focus was firmly on driving dynamics and performance. To enable greater agility and faster cornering speeds, the SL 63 AMG has more negative camber all round and fully revised elastokinematics. Exceptionally sporty characteristics with reduced roll angles and firm body damping (“Sport”) or more comfort-oriented settings for a high level of comfort on long journeys (“Comfort”) can be selected at the push of a button.
Equipped with the new, electro-mechanical AMG speed-sensitive sports steering, the flagship AMG model impresses with its fleet-footed, agile cornering and exceptional feedback at the critical limits. The steering has a constant and more direct ratio, and variable power assistance which adjusts in line with the suspension settings. Further standard equipment includes 3-stage ESP®, a speciality exclusive to AMG with “SPORT Handling” mode for particularly keen drivers, while options available from the AMG Performance Studio include an AMG rear axle differential lock and AMG performance suspension.
Individuality: AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission
Power transmission can likewise be adapted to specific requirements, as the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission has four modes to select from: “C” (Controlled Efficiency), “S” (Sport), “S+” (Sport plus) and “M” (Manual). In “C” mode, the ECO start/stop function is active and switches off the eight-cylinder engine when the vehicle is at a standstill. Plus the transmission characteristics are tangibly soft, with smooth and early gear changes. Second gear is generally used as the starting gear in this mode.
The engine and transmission are far more agile in “S”, “S+” and “M” mode; in addition, the ECO start/stop function is deactivated. Partial suppression of the cylinders proves perfect for a committed driving style: briefly and precisely interrupting ignition and injection under full load leads to even faster gearshifts than before. A welcome side effect of this is the emotive sound impression. An automatic double-declutching function for downshifting and the RACE START function are also included as standard with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission.
Newly developed AMG high-performance composite braking system
Maximum performance is also a top priority when it comes to braking: the newly developed AMG high-performance composite braking system features 390 x 36 mm composite discs with six-piston fixed callipers at the front and 360 x 26 mm integral discs with single-piston floating callipers at the rear. An electric parking brake is fitted as standard, while options available from the AMG Performance Studio include red-painted callipers to denote the AMG Performance package and the even more high-performance, weight-optimised AMG ceramic high-performance composite braking system as seen on the SLS AMG.
The SL 63 AMG leaves the factory fitted with five-twin-spoke AMG light-alloy wheels painted in titanium grey with a high-sheen finish, complete with 255/35 R 19 front and 285/30 R 19 rear tyres. Multi-spoke AMG forged wheels painted in titanium grey and with a polished finish from the AMG Performance Studio with 255/35 R 19 front and 285/30 R 20 rear tyres – also available in matt black including a rim flange with a high-sheen finish – help to reduce the unsprung masses.
Design: dominated by the new AMG brand face
SLS AMG Roadster, SLK 55 AMG and SL 63 AMG – as the latest addition to the AMG Roadster family, the flagship V8 model displays the hallmark styling elements of a superior high-performance car from Affalterbach. The new AMG brand face comprises the twin blade radiator grille and the lower cross strut in the front apron – both featuring a solver chrome finish. The dynamically distinctive AMG bodystyling, meanwhile, comprises the front apron with large air dams and AMG-specific LED daytime driving lights. Other particularly eye-catching features include the side sill panels and the “V8 BITURBO” logos on the vent grilles with fins in silver chrome. At the rear, the AMG spoiler lip, the two chromed twin tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system and the diffuser-style rear apron with body-coloured insert draw the design to a fitting conclusion.
Vario-roof: MAGIC SKY CONTROL as an option
The sixth-generation SL retains the electrohydraulically operated vario-roof which can be retracted into the boot to save space, enabling the SL to be transformed into a roadster or a coupé, as the mood takes the driver and depending on the weather, in under 20 seconds. In contrast to the outgoing model, there are three versions to choose from for the new SL: painted roof, glass roof or the unique panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL. Its transparency can be switched to light or dark at the push of a button.
Interior: a feast for all the senses
The SL 63 AMG interior is likewise inspired by the SLS AMG and offers a feast for all the senses: the four air vents styled like jet engines, the E-SELECT lever and the AMG DRIVE UNIT are all reminiscent of the super sports car’s styling. Standard equipment includes AMG sports seats in nappa leather with their own V8 seat upholstery layout and AMG badges in the seat backrests, a multicontour function and seat heating, as well as AMG carbon-fibre trim, AMG illuminated door sill panels, ambient lighting and an IWC-design analogue clock. One of the stand-out details on the AMG Performance steering wheel is the AMG logo in the lower metal insert. The sportily designed AMG instrument cluster provides a wealth of information with its TFT colour monitor, AMG start-up display, AMG main menu and RACETIMER. Outstanding material quality and high-calibre workmanship underline the attention to detail paid by the Mercedes and AMG experts.
Further standard equipment for the SL 63 AMG at a glance (selection):
- ATTENTION ASSIST
- COMAND Online with 6-disc DVD changer
- Anti-theft alarm system
- Remote-unlocking boot lid incl. power closing for boot lid
- Intelligent Light System (ILS)
- MAGIC VISION CONTROL adaptive windscreen cleaning system
- NECK-PRO head restraints
- PRE-SAFE® system
- Automatic, pop-up roll-over bars for driver and front passenger
- In keeping with tradition, the SL 63 AMG has an extensive range of optional extras (selection):
- AIRSCARF neck-level heating
- Active Parking Assist incl. PARKTRONIC
- Bang & Olufsen BeoSound AMG high-end surround sound system
- Driving Assistance package Plus (DISTRONIC PLUS incl. BAS PLUS, PRE-SAFE® brake, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist)
- harman/kardon® Logic 7® surround sound system
- KEYLESS-GO Convenience package (incl. remote-closing boot lid and HANDS-FREE ACCESS system)
- Exclusive nappa leather
- Climatised seats
- Electric draught-stop
A winning formula: the SL models made by AMG
The powerful SL models from Affalterbach are among the most successful AMG models of all time: around 5000 examples of the SL 63 AMG models with the 6.3-litre V8 naturally aspirated engine were sold between 2008 and 2011. Over 21,500 of the SL 55 AMG models with V8 supercharged engine produced between 2001 and 2007 were sold, making it the best-selling AMG model so far. In the last ten years, a total of more than 26,500 SL AMG models with eight-cylinder engine have been sold.
The new Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG will be launched in May 2012. Prices in Germany at a glance (incl. 19% VAT):
- SL 63 AMG: €157,675 ($204,835 based on today’s conversion rate)
- AMG Performance package: €14,280 ($18,551 based on today’s conversion rate)