The strikingly broad mudguards, the retractable rear spoiler and the rear apron with diffuser fins point unmistakably to its motorsport origins, part of the Mercedes-AMG corporate philosophy for more than 40 years. Wide cooling air apertures in the front apron and the bonnet are the clearest indication of the massive power of this AMG twelve-cylinder, biturbocharged engine.
From its 5980 cubic capacity, the AMG V12's engine generates a maximum power of 493 kW/670 hp at 5400 rpm and an electronically limited torque of 1000 Newtonmetres between 2200 and 4200 rpm. Without a limiter, the AMG 6.0 litre V12 biturbo engine, which is hand-built in the AMG engine factory in accordance with the "one man, one engine" philosophy, would achieve a maximum torque of 1200 Newtonmetres.
Compared with the basis power pack in the 450 kW/612 hp SL 65 AMG, new turbochargers were developed for the twelve-cylinder SL 65 AMG Black Series engine. The turbochargers' spiral cross-section, now twelve per cent larger, and the optimised wastegate ducts permit increased air throughput and an even more impressive display of power in all engine speed ranges. The modified intake air ducting results in a more spontaneous response. The new design for the AMG sports exhaust gas system's rear silencers reduce the exhaust gas backpressure and help increase the power output. The acoustic side effect of this is to produce a distinctive twelve-cylinder sound, typically evocative of AMG engine tuning, from the two trapezoidal tail pipes.
The extraordinary engine specifications, which make the SL 65 AMG Black Series the most powerful AMG model yet, help to produce unique performance data: from a standing start, it takes 3.9 seconds to reach 100 km/h; 200 km/h is attained after 11.0 seconds. The top speed is 320 km/h (electronically limited).
Numerous bodywork components are made of high-strength and particularly light carbon fibre composites (CFRP), a well-proven motorsports technology. The 14 centimetre wider front mudguard, the front apron with the visible carbon front splitter, the bonnet and the boot lid are all made from CFRP. Large apertures in the bonnet ensure that excess heat is reliably ducted away from the engine. "V12 Biturbo' lettering on the front mudguards gives an indication of the engine's power.
The whole CFRP roof shell has taken on a completely new design. Not only does it now have an integral roll-over bar but, by no longer having the typical SL vario roof installed, the roof line has a significantly flatter profile. This is also evident from a glance at the bigger rear window, now placed at a less sharp angle to the boot lid. The CFRP rear spoiler, concealed in the boot lid, automatically extends twelve centimetres at 120 km/h, effectively reducing the lift force on the rear axle at high speeds. Looked at from the rear, the conspicuous feature is the new rear apron with its visible carbon diffuser. Concealed within it is the active cooling system for the rear axle locking differential.
The AMG sports suspension has been designed on adjustable coil spring lines; this well-proven motorsports solution allows the shock absorbers' rebound and compression stages, the ride height, wheel alignment and camber to be adjusted. This means that the driver can adjust the suspension to suit his own personal specifications when driving on racing circuits.
The large AMG high-performance brake system can be seen through the filigree structure of the AMG twin-spoke light-alloy wheels. Internally ventilated and perforated disc brakes engineered in particularly strong composite materials are employed all round. On the front axle, braking is undertaken by six-piston fixed callipers and 390 x 36 mm discs; on the rear axles, this task is carried out by four-piston fixed callipers and 360 x 26 mm discs.
Nappa leather, Alcantara and carbon: the interior of the SL 65 AMG Black Series provides the perfect ambience to set the pulses of sports car enthusiasts racing. The interior, entirely in black, exudes the functional atmosphere of a genuine racing sports car while the lovingly designed details have the power to captivate.
Additional highlights in the centre console are the high-quality carbon trim parts, the gleaming matt start/stop button, the new selector lever with carbon inlay and the AMG logo with "Black Series" lettering. Matching features are the carbon door centre panels with embossed AMG lettering, together with the roof lining and the A and C-pillars upholstered in Alcantara anthracite. The AMG instrument cluster is a completely new design. The black speedometer with its scale reading up to 360 km/h has also been re-designed; and the same is true of the white rev counter which has four integral LEDs to advise the driver of the optimum gearshift points.Carlsson tunes Mercedes SL
23 January 2009