The new Mercedes-Benz AMG SL65 Twin Turbo Roadster
Published on Mon, Jan 2, 2017
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
Words and pictures by Harvey Schwartz
After spending seven days behind the wheel of the new Mercedes-Benz AMG SL 65 roadster all I can say is “Wow!” This is true supercar bliss. The styling, comfort, luxury, performance, ergonomics, connectivity and safety are beyond belief. This AMG has it all, the most power, performance, and luxury on the market. With 621 horsepower and a massive ground shaking, 738 pounds of torque; it blasts out to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds. A closer look shows this 6.0 liter V12 carries twin air/water turbochargers, an all alloy construction, built and then signed by the technician.
The only other power retractable hardtop two seat sports car—the more expensive Ferrari 488 GTB with 661 horsepower and a mere 561 pounds of torque—is lighter but less luxurious and less high-tech savvy, nor does it carry as much connectivity. New this year is the addition of Apple CarPlay and a Smartphone integration package that lets you enjoy a more seamless integration of the iPhone.
What stands out styling-wise is the new front facia with a twin-blade radiator grille including shiny black inserts and a wider bottom. The new headlights feature active LED’s/fog lamps/turning lamps and DRLs. The A-wing front apron and the large cooling air-intakes are an additional means of guiding air flow while the front splitter emphasizes the vehicle’s width. The side shows steeply raked windshield A-pillars, flared fenders with V12/Biturbo letters, soft-close doors with LED lit pull-out door handles and a new hood combining design and function in the guise of classic powerdomes and vents with silver spears. The rear apron and new diffuser catches the eye. All-red LED tail lights underscore the stylish character.
The new high-gloss chrome side skirts push down to enhance very high-speed stability. The power-opening rear trunk features a plush-mounted wing to increase downforce and AMG SL65 lettering. The wheel-house stuffing AMG wheels feature 9X19 inch front and 10X20 inch rear multi-spoke ceramic polished forged wheels. They are wrapped with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires to enhance grip and further help with tight turning manoeuvres and stopping power.
When you push the aluminum start/stop button the engine lights up and the AMG quad sport exhaust yells out with a loud burble (that decreases to a less obtrusive sound when driving). With the top up the ride is very quiet and reserved, and with the top down (it only takes 20 seconds) you can use the power actuated wind blocker to also make that ride fairly quite (as far as cabriolets go). The top is a special Magic Sky Controlled panoramic sunroof that can change from light to dark as you wish.
Performance at the wheel is boosted by the AMG Sports Suspension based on Active Body Control, the AMG high-performance composite ceramic brake system, and the re-developed AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic. The intelligent lightweight design is a major contributing factor to the high drive dynamics and the use of a light all-aluminum bodyshell provides the basis for high rigidity, safety, and comfort combined with the lowest possible weight. Further examples of how the designers have managed to cut down on weight is their use of the very light material magnesium for the panel behind the gas tank. Even in the interior weight reduction has been employed heavily; the interior support consists of a light carbon-fiber composite material. The extremely rigid carbon-fiber component benefits from AMG’s motorsport expertise and is bonded to the equally very light plastic outer shell. The high-tech wizardry is revealed in its incredible rigidity whether driving with the top down, when entering/exiting steep curves and when driving at triple digit speeds; it just sticks to the road.
The powerful engine is mated to the AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic transmission driving the rear wheels. Whether in automatic or initiated by using the steering wheel shift paddles, upshifts and downshifts are noticeably fast. There are four driving modes to choose from; Individual/Comfort/Sport/Sport+. The four options will optimize the engine, continuously variable shocks, and the transmission software making the vehicle drive and feel very different.
The fully independent suspension is supreme for everyday driving and for long trips. The steering knuckles and spring links of the 4-link front axle and almost all the wheel control parts of the multi-link rear suspension are also produced in weight-optimized aluminum. For even greater agility and high cornering speeds, the car has more negative camber all around and fully revised shifter elastokinematics. At the touch of a button the suspension offers an emphatically sporty characteristic with reduced body roll angles and taut body damping (Sport), or a more comfort-oriented set-up for a high level of comfort on longer rides (Comfort).
In conjunction with the new electromechanical speed-sensitive power R&P steering, the car offers agile cornering and clear feedback when the car is approaching its critical limits. The steering features constant and more direct ratio and variable power assistance which adapts according to the selected suspension set-up. The standard scope of equipment includes a three-stage ESP traction control system with a SPORT Handling mode for the utmost in high-speed driving. For even more traction and driving dynamics is the mechanical rear-axle differential lock that puts the power down on the rear wheel with better traction.
Supercar brakes are front and center in the AMG SL65 starting with the front 15.4 inch 6-piston AMG carbon ceramic rotors that are punched for better heat dissipation. The rear features 14.2 inch dual-piston AMG carbon ceramic rotors that are also punched. Braking power is awesome with a great linear feel as the calipers clamp down on the giant rotors.
Supreme power, performance, comfort, high-tech, and connectivity makes the Mercedes Benz AMG SL65 one of the best on the market, and now for the piece ‘d resistance, the interior, that matches the incredible power and performance. The doors open showing dual polished chrome kick plates with lighted AMG lettering, and fully lined with leather that are quilted on the doors and seats. There is aluminum trim finished with Designo thick black piano lacquer trim on the doors, center stack and console. The multi-adjustable Designo bucket seats are quilted and feature heat/cooling/massage elements, and the SCARF system on the headrest blow out cool or heated air. More standard equipment includes keyless-go doors, self-dimming rearview mirror, aluminum foot pedals, heated/power closing/self-dimming sideview mirrors, dual-zone climate control, power wind blocker, dual map lights, rain-sensing wipers, ambient lighting, Bang & Olufsen BeoSound high-end surround sound system with 11-speakers, Bluetooth, Command navigation, Designo floor mats, beefy, power tilt/telescopic AMG leather wrapped steering wheel, Sirius radio, power trunk opener, a TWC analog clock, and front/side/rear parking sensors. Along with this impressive list of convenience features, the standard safety features includes pretty much everything that the Mercedes brand has on offer, including their very neat Night View Assist which uses infrared cameras to give you a live picture of what you have in front of you, even if you can’t see it in the dark.
After the seven-day test drive, it was hard to find anything else that one could wish for in a four-season, two-seat roadster. Arguably, it’s the best on the market.
© Words and pictures by Harvey Schwartz
Name of vehicle:
2017 AMG SL65 Roadster
$219,850.00 base/$235,625.00 as tested including destination
EPA fuel economy rating:
Hand-built AMG 6.0 liter, aluminum alloy, bi-turbocharged V12
621 at 4,800-5,400 rpm
738 pounds at 2,300-4,300 rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed AMG Speedshift Plus Steering: speed-dependent, electromechanical rack & pinion Suspension Front: independent multi-link with coil springs single-tube shock absorbers with continuously adjustable damping and tubular torsion bar. Rear: Independent multi-link with coil springs single-tube shock absorbers with continuously adjustable damping and tubular torsion bar. Brakes: F-15.4 inch punched AMG carbon ceramic with 6-piston calipers. R-14.2 inch punched AMG carbon ceramic with dual-piston calipers. Wheels and tires: F-9X19 inches with 255/40R19 inch R-10X20 inches with 285/35R20 Dimensions Length: 182.7 inches Width: 73.9 inches Height: 51.2 inches Weight: 4,299 pounds Got something to say? Add your Facebook comment regarding this article here. For more information about Mercedes-Benz products, go to mbusa.com