The dust has not yet even settled on the Mercedes SL (or even arrived at dealers,) and Mercedes is already back at the premiere plate with the its hot-to-trot AMG version. The Mercedes SL 63 AMG is back for 2013 in two flavors: regular and extra spicy.
The heart of the beast is the 5.5-liter biturbo V8 engine. This engine produces 537 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. That’s a gain of 18 hp and 125 lb-ft over the old 6.2-liter engine, but that’s even not the whole story. Mercedes is now offering an AMG Performance package that boosts the SL 63′s figures to 564 hp and 664 lb-ft. In either flavor, it is linked to a seven-speed transmission with performance pieces like paddle shifters, automatic double-declutching function and “Racestart” function.
An all-aluminum body has been a big help to the SL 63′s 275 lbs savings over its predecessor. Now that a fat man has been kicked out of the passenger seat, Mercedes claims acceleration figures of 0 to 100 kmh (62 mph) in 4.3 seconds or 4.2 seconds with AMG Performance package. The run to 125 mph takes 12.9 seconds in the regular SL 63 or 12.6 seconds in the extra spicy version.
The final argument for the AMG Performance package may be the top speed. The regular SL 63 keeps to the German gentleman’s agreement by being electronically limited to 155 mph, but the extra performance pack proves its more of a rebel by being limited to 186 mph.
Mercedes cannot help but compare the SL 63 AMG to the next rung up the ladder, the SLS AMG. That’s not too far of a stretch considering the AMG Performance package gives the SL a 1 hp advantage over the SLS.
Because this is Mercedes at its heart, the interior is not neglected in this sports car. Just like the tamer SLs in the lineup the SL 63 takes many of its cues from the SLS AMG. So plenty of rounded gauges and quality leather. Possibly the most interesting part is the folding hardtop. It is available as a painted tin top, clear glass roof, or vario-roof with “Magic Sky Control”. While a name like that makes us think Mercedes wants everyone to believe David Blaine comes out to control the tint on this glass roof, it is just a transparency shield that can go from light to dark when electric current is passed through it.
In total, Mercedes has put together a hot luxury ride, but it also feels a little like they are trying to cheat us. By offering the AMG Performance package, Mercedes is telling its customers that not only will they have to pay for the already exclusive AMG badge, but now they have to pay a premium on top of that to get the ultimate SL. How much this will all cost will be revealed closer to when they SL 63 AMG hits dealers later this year.
Even for those who can live with Mercedes’ extra speed tax will also have to get over the somewhat bland looks of the new SL. We still want one (in any color but silver, please.)