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Biturbo V12 boost for SL 65 AMG

2012-03-26 11:24

AFFALTERBACH'S SUPER SNIPER: Merc's latest SL 65 AMG will be launched in South Africa in July. Image gallery


Mercedes-Benz unleashes more power on its flagship roadster – this time by shoving a crazy 463kW V12 biturbo into the svelte SL 65 AMG.

Mercedes-Benz has unleashed (even) more power on its flagship roadster – this time by shoving a crazy 463kW V12 biturbo into the svelte SL 65 AMG.

This Merc from AMG’s Affalterbach den sees an increase in power from its six-litre twin-turbocharged V12 from 450kW on the previous model to 463kW, while the peak torque figured remains a bone-crushing 1000Nm.

A true sprinter, this AMG charges from standstill to 100km/h in four seconds before reaching the 200km/h-mark in 11.8 seconds. Its top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h.


As with the mainstream SL roadster that will be launched in South Africa in August 2012, this range-topping version is 170kg lighter due to the extensive use of an all-aluminium bodyshell and components plus a selection of carbon fibre accents. This also contributes to the reduction in the AMG’s lower overall fuel consumption – its average fuel use is down by 2.4 litres to 11.6 litres/100km.

Further fuel savings are achieved by the revised V12 biturbo engine and AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic transmission, used for the first time with this powerplant,  along with standard Blue Efficiency measures including Eco start/stop and a more efficient torque converter.

The transmission offers four driving modes – Controlled Efficiency (C), Sport (S), Sport Plus (S+) and Manual (M) which, as with all Merc’s carrying the system, can be selected via a button mounted on the centre console.

As before, the range-topping SL rides on a lightweight four-link front and multi-link rear suspension AMG sports suspension based on the Active Body Control system that makes it possible to choose between two suspension settings – Sport and Comfort – at the touch of a button.

Comfort mode is ideal for longer journeys where a comfortable ride is a strong requirement, while in Sport mode, firmer damping and revised elastokinematics make for a car that is more agile through corners and more stable at speed.

Merc’s AMG electro-mechanical speed-sensitive sports steering is said to provide more constant responses with assistance that alters given the suspension mode selected.


Three-stage ESP comes with a Sport handling mode for more aggressive drivers with an AMG rear differential to help keep proceedings on the straight and narrow. An AMG performance braking system, complete with flashy red calipers, is in place too. The fade-resistant system uses 390x36mm discs with six-pot calipers at the front and 360x26mm discs with single-piston calipers at the rear.

In terms of its styling, the SL 65 AMG shows off the new AMG look with its front section is dominated by the latest radiator grille and the front apron’s lower cross strut finished in glossy chrome. The same chrome finish is used for the AMG daytime running lamps, bonnet fins and the side wings with the V12 badging, as well as the chromed twin tailpipes of the AMG sports exhaust system.

This SL also retains the electrohydraulically operated hard top that allows the roadster to be transformed from coupe to roadster (or the other way around) in under 20 seconds.

Inside the cabin, the SL 65 AMG has a number of AMG-specific treats including sports seats and additional upholstery finished with diamond patterning, carbon fibre trim, a performance steering wheel, and Comand system with telemetry function and an IWC-designed analogue clock.


Additional equipment includes the Active Parking Assist system, Merc’s Airscarf neck warmer, Pre-Safe, Attention Assist, a Bang & Olufsen audio system, Comand Online and an intelligent lighting system, while extra items can also be selected from the AMG Performance Studio.

The SL 65 AMG will be launched along with the SL 500 and SL 63 AMG in South Africa in July 2012. "Currently, there is no indication of price," Mercedes-Benz SA's Shirle Greig told Wheels24.

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