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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - SL-class - SL 55 AMG

Benz goes ballistic with AMG

Distinguishing marks: The SL 55 can be distinguised from the SL 500 by its AMG side skirts, partially darkened tail-lights and four chromed AMG tailpipes.

Mercedes-Benz is set to reveal its latest power performer at the Frankfurt motor show

28 Aug 2001

MERCEDES-BENZ will unveil a ballistic new performance flagship - the SL 55 AMG - at next month's Frankfurt motor show.

The newcomer is due to land here a couple of months after the slightly tamer SL 500, which is due locally around June, 2002.

Mercedes-Benz Australia passenger car product manager Andrew Harlock said only a handful of examples were destined for Australia, priced not far short of $400,000.

Visually, the SL 55 can be distinguished from the SL 500 by its AMG side skirts, partially darkened tail-lights and four chromed AMG tailpipes.

A diffuser-look rear apron includes a black rib-mesh grille, as fitted to the front air intake. Its sporty 18 inch multi-spoke alloy wheels were inspired by the awesome 457kW CLK-GTR, of which 25 examples were built for road use.

Inside, the AMG sports seats are trimmed with special perforated leather and include silver-plated AMG badging. The dash is decked out in sand cast-effect aluminium trim.

The rapid roadster's 5.5-litre supercharged V8 powerplant develops 355kW and a whopping 700Nm of torque from 2650rpm to 4500rpm. Not surpris-ingly, this translates to awesome performance.

Mercedes-Benz says the SL 55 AMG covers the sprint from standstill to 100km/h in just 4.7 seconds on its way to an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.

The engine is clean, too, as the AMG-developed exhaust system complies with EU-4 emissions standards.

Power is relayed to the rear wheels by an upgraded five-speed automatic system with Porsche Tiptronic-style buttons on the steering wheel that enable the driver to shift gears manually. The gearbox also includes the standard and winter settings, as in the SL 500.

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