Articles - Cover Story

Tyre shredder

23rd March 2012

Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG loves speed, hates tyres

Just when BMW was having an evil laugh with the launch of the mighty 550bhp M6, Mercedes gate crashed the party with a grin. The SL63 AMG broke cover just a few days after the M6 and poses a serious threat to BMW’s M flagship. To start with, you get a retractable hardtop where as the Bimmer offers either a hardtop coupe of a soft top convertible.

Then there is the snarling AMG 5.5-litre V8 biturbo engine under the hood that delivers 537bhp and 800 Nm of torque in standard spec. But that’s not all for this tyre-shredding monster. Go for the AMG Performance package and you get 564bhp and 900 Nm, guaranteed to mince those rear tyres in no time. A 0 to 100kmph sprint is accomplished in 4.3 seconds and top speed is electronically limited to 250kmph. The AMG Performance package knocks off another tenth of a second from that while the top whack rises to the magic figure of 300kmph.

Even with all that power, the new SL63 AMG isn’t a fire breathing monster out to consume all the earth’s resources. Clever tech, a more efficient powertrain and lightweight construction has boosted the fuel economy by 30 per cent. Its all-aluminium bodyshell is similar to that of the SLS AMG and weight saving is in the region of 125kg compared to the outgoing car. The car now weighs 1,845kg.

The chassis also features a host of improvements. The enhanced AMG sports suspension is based on an Active Body Control (ABC). Then there is the new AMG speed-sensitive sports steering, AMG high-performance compound brake system and the AMG Speedshift MCT 7-speed sports transmission. This is also the first time that the SL63 AMG is available off the shelves with a choice of two engine outputs. This also raises the bar for the Black edition, which will take the performance to a completely new dimension when launched.