Mercedes-Benz introduces SL65 AMG
20 March 2012 | Mercedes-AMG is embarking on the 2012 roadster season in inimitably dynamic style: following on from the recent launch of the SL63 AMG, the top eight-cylinder model, there now comes the presentation of the new Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG, the V12 roadster in the line-up from the Stuttgart-based manufacturer. The AMG 6.0-litre V12 "biturbo" (twin-turbocharged) engine develops a maximum output of 630 hp and maximum torque of 1000 newton metres.
An important aspect of the new model is the lightweight construction which also contributes to improved fuel efficiency. At 24.4 mpg (NEDC combined) the new car is 17 per cent more efficient than the previous SL 65 AMG and simultaneously establishes a new benchmark in the twelve-cylinder petrol engine segment. A major role in the reduced fuel consumption figures is played by the AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic transmission, the ECO start/stop function, in-engine measures to optimise efficiency and alternator management. Despite the significantly reduced fuel consumption, the maximum output of the AMG V12 6-litre biturbo engine is up from 612 hp to 630 hp. The maximum torque is 1000 newton metres.
The performance figures of the new SL 65 AMG are: acceleration from 0 to 62 mph takes 4 seconds with the 125 mph mark attained after just 11.8 seconds. The top speed is 155 mph (electronically limited).
The AMG 6-litre V12 biturbo engine with the designation M 279 is based on the M 275 engine used previously and has been comprehensively revised for the new SL 65 AMG. New exhaust gas turbochargers with an increased spiral cross-section, new manifolds and wastegate ducts with optimised flow characteristics increase the engine output by 18 hp. The multi-spark ignition with twelve double ignition coils not only results in smoother running, but also enables even more effective combustion in combination with a new engine management system with higher performance and optimised cylinder heads.
The resulting reduction in exhaust emissions is also due to a large extent to the optimised catalytic converter system. The newly developed AMG sports exhaust system, which has a pipe layout with enhanced flow characteristics, is 3.2 kilograms lighter as a result of a reduction in the wall thickness.
The AMG Speedshift Plus 7G Tronic has four different driving modes - Controlled Efficiency (C), Sport (S), Sport plus (S+) and Manual (M) - which can be selected at the push of a button on the centre console. In "C" mode the ECO start/stop function is permanently active. The dynamic character of the driving experience is made all the more vivid by the automatic double-declutching function during downshifts and through the brief, precisely defined interruption of ignition and fuel injection during upshifts under full load; the latter functionality has the additional benefit of reducing the shift times.
Compared with the predecessor model's steel design, the all-aluminium bodyshell of the new SL65 AMG delivers a significant weight saving of around 110 kilograms. Lightweight construction also means that the components have been optimised in line with their specific purpose. Various types of processing are used for the aluminium components, for instance, which are produced as permanent mould castings or vacuum die castings before being processed into extruded sections or used in the form of sheet aluminium with varying wall thicknesses. The result is high rigidity, high safety and improved vibration characteristics. For the cover behind the tank, the designers use even lighter magnesium material in certain areas. High-strength steel tubes are integrated into the A-pillars for safety reasons.
Mercedes-AMG also makes systematic use of lightweight construction principles for the suspension. The steering knuckles and spring links of the 4-link front suspension and almost all of the multi-link independent rear suspension components are made of aluminium. Both the vehicle's handling agility and the response of the spring and damper components are enhanced by the reduction in unsprung masses. Like the predecessor model, the new SL 65 AMG is equipped as standard with the ABC active suspension system. The AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control fitted in the eight-cylinder SL 63 AMG has been enhanced and its setup optimised for this new top-of-the-range model.
The sixth-generation SL retains the electrohydraulically operated vario-roof which can be retracted to save space, enabling the SL65 AMG to be transformed into a roadster or a coupé, as the mood takes the driver and depending on the weather, in under 20 seconds. In contrast to the predecessor model, there are two versions to choose from for the new SL: the panoramic vario-roof or the unique panoramic vario-roof with Magic Sky Control. The transparency of the latter can be switched to light or dark at the push of a button.
The new Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG will arrive in the UK in Autumn, 2012. UK pricing and specifications are still to be confirmed.