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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - SL-class - 63 AMG

New Benz SL65 AMG flagship here next year

Success for excess: Mercedes-Benz says the market for cars like the SL65 is small, but for some customers only a V12 engine will do.

Power up 13kW, fuel consumption down 17 per cent for V12 Mercedes SL65 AMG

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Mercedes-Benz logo21 Mar 2012

By HAITHAM RAZAGUI

MERCEDES-BENZ hot-shop AMG has shoehorned its twin-turbo 6.0-litre V12 engine under the bonnet of the new SL sportscar and turned up the wick from 450kW to 463kW – maintaining torque at a tyre-toasting 1000Nm – while improving fuel efficiency by 17 per cent.

Due to arrive in Australia by the first quarter of next year after a public debut at next month’s New York motor show, the $513,760 base price for Mercedes’ flagship folding-hardtop roadster is not expected to change much.

Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific senior manager for corporate communications David McCarthy told GoAuto the SL65 is a special-order car that buyers customise to their specification, meaning no two cars have the same drive-away price.

The SL65 is 170kg lighter than the car it replaces, largely achieved through the SL’s switch to aluminium body construction, and gleans efficiency improvements from upgrades to the engine and transmission.

A seven-speed AMG-tweaked 7G-Tronic automatic transmission replaces the old five-speed unit and provides an efficiency mode, a wider spread of ratios with lower revs at cruising speeds, and reduced friction and thermal losses.

4 center imageThe 6.0-litre engine has received an updated ignition system plus revised cylinder heads, new turbochargers and a revised, lightweight exhaust system, all of which optimise gas flow to help boost power and efficiency, the latter further aided by the inclusion of idle-stop technology.

As a result of the reduced weight and increased power, the 1950kg SL65’s 0-100km/h dash is completed two-tenths quicker than its predecessor at 4.0 seconds and 200km/h comes up in just 11.8 seconds, 1.1 seconds faster than the outgoing car.

Combined fuel consumption drops from 14 litres per 100 kilometres on the New European Driving Cycle, to 11.6L/100km, with CO2 emissions at 270 grams per kilometre.

Like the SL63, six-piston front brake callipers grip 390mm compound rotors, while rear 360mm discs are clamped by single-piston items. Red-painted callipers can be specified, as can ceramic rotors.

The almost $100,000 cheaper SL63 with a 415kW/900Nm V8-turbo – which has the same electronically limited 250km/h top speed as its V12 sibling – can crack 0-100km/h in 4.3 seconds (4.2 seconds with the optional AMG Performance package) and consumes 9.9L/100km.

Around 14 per cent of SL sales are for AMG variants and Mr McCarthy said that, while the proportion sold in Australia with the V12 engine option is small, there are customers of CL, SL and S-class vehicles for whom only a V12 will do.

As would be expected, the SL65’s standard equipment list trumps that of the V8, with a panoramic glass roof, Airscarf neck warmers, parking assist, fatigue detection, keyless entry and start, and a Bang & Olufsen premium audio system with surround sound.

The interior is also more luxurious, with fully electric adjustment and memory for the ventilated nappa leather seats that are stitched with a diamond pattern quilting effect, a theme also used on the door and ceiling trims.

On starting the SL65, the driver is greeted with a V12 Biturbo animation and the 320km/h speedometer hints at the car’s true top-speed potential.

Like the SL63, the V12 gets a six-disc DVD changer, Comand infotainment screen, wind deflector, power-operated boot, power door closing, adaptive headlights and automatic wipers.

A suite of AMG-designed accoutrements can be added, including a selection of alloy wheel designs, carbon-fibre trim, on-board telemetry system, and a leather and microfibre-wrapped sports steering wheel.

Further bespoke individualisation is available via the Mercedes-Benz ‘designo’ service.

The SL65 looks similar to the SL63, with the exception of V12 Biturbo badging on the front wings and a different, five-spoke design for the 19-inch alloy wheels.

Both models feature AMG’s new signature grille with its twin chrome horizontal bars, a redesigned front bumper with chrome lower lip, more aggressive side splitters, side vents and integrated LED daytime-running lights.

At the back are a lip spoiler and quad exhaust outlets flanking a body-coloured diffuser-style rear apron.

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