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Driving impression: Mercedes-AMG SL 63

2017-04-25 09:31

MANIC MERCEDES: Sean Parker describes what's like to drive the updated Mercedes-AMG SL 63. Image: Wheels24

Sean Parker

Cape Town - A big part of my job is to put you in the driver's seat: to best describe how I feel when I drive a McLaren 650 S, Mazda MX-5 or, in this case, the Mercedes-AMG SL 63. In April, I experienced the latter in all its glory and here's the only way to describe it... 

Driving the SL 63 is akin to riding a bull at a rodeo that's prepared to do whatever it takes to shirk its rider. It's an imposing car that frankly doesn't deserve to be on public roads. 

Demonic surge 

Let's talk numbers: 430kW and 900Nm produced from its 5.5-litre V8 bi-turbo engine. This car will spin its wheels in third gear, it literally does not give a damn where you are or what you're doing. Every time you start it up it snarls angrily and its engine rumble is  brash and intoxicating; if Connor McGregor was a car, he'd be an SL 63. 

Every time I get close to the throttle the V8's sticks its flaming spear into my heart, it's a visceral experience that hits you much like Lionel Messi's last minute winning goal against Real Madrid in the Clasico

The engine dominates the experience like a giant olive on a canapé. There's no getting around it, no switching to quieter modes, no feathering the throttle. People from kilometres away will hear you coming and they'll gasp and gaze in anticipation at the ungodly noise is coming their way. 

The V8 barks above the sound-dampening turbochargers to emit a noise that'll anger many supercar owners, clearly the realm who Mercedes is aiming the SL at. 

Despite its curb weight of 1882kg, it catapults you forward with astonishing force. Mercedes claim a 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.1 seconds yet it feels faster. 

The SL 63 uses a seven-speed automatic fitted with a wet clutch to deal with its mammoth torque. 

It grips the road tighter than president Jacob Zuma to the highest office in South Africa, and it feels like that in its most subtle setting. Turn the rotary switch to Sport mode brings sharper steering and throttle response, it also tweaks the damping and spring rates to what's best described as 'beast' mode.  

After a breathless few days with the updated SL 63, those are the words that rushed through my fingertips as I type this. 

It's an all-encompassing beast that's cartoonishly rapid, the surge is manic, out of this world. The soundtrack that comes along with it is worth half the price. Hmm the price... that's a cool a R2.5-million before options. 

Tell me what you think about the looks, feel free to drop me an email

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Read more on:    mercedes-benz  |  amg  |  sean parker  |  cape town  |  south africa

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