New Mercedes-Benz AMG SLs for Geneva
In line with the general revisons to the SL range, Mercedes have announced several changes to the AMG members of the open-top family. Both the SL 55 AMG and SL 65 AMG have new bodywork, and engine improvements to the V8 means an extra 17 HP to 517 HP. The SL 65 AMG's V12 twin-turbo motor remains unchanged.
The enhanced AMG 5.5-litre V8 supercharged engine is equipped with a new, higher-speed supercharger compressor and a larger throttle valve to optimise the fresh-air supply. In addition, the installation of an even more efficient engine management unit has boosted the output from 368 kW/500 hp to 380 kW/517 hp, while the peak torque has been increased from 700 to 720 Nm. The new SL 55 AMG accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds (outgoing model: 4.7 seconds) and goes on to reach an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h.
The AMG 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine develops 450 kW/612 hp and a maximum torque of 1000 Nm, making this still the most powerful production Roadster in the world. The car has a 0-100 km/h acceleration time of just 4.2 seconds, and again the top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h.
Both AMG Roadsters feature modified AMG sports suspension based on second-generation Active Body Control, and newly developed AMG high-performance composite brakes.The front axle on both models boasts large composite brake discs with six-piston aluminium fixed callipers. The SL 65 AMG has 30 mm larger disc brakes all round and ultra-high-performance composite brakes at the rear as well as at the front. Plus the top-of-the-range AMG V12 model is fitted with a multiple-disc limited-slip differential with a locking factor of up to 40 percent for optimal traction.
Externally, the new-generation AMG Roadsters are distinguishable by their updated AMG bodystyling, including new AMG front aprons with an even more pronounced wedge shape and fog lamps ringed in chrome. In addition, the front apron of the SL 65 AMG also incorporates side air outlets allowing optimal flow through the auxiliary engine-oil cooler. There's also an AMG-specific radiator grille with black louvres and chrome highlights, new tail lights with special AMG tinting, new high-sheen AMG 18-inch light-alloy wheels featuring new multi-spoke styling for the SL 55 AMG and an AMG sports exhaust system with two sets of chromed twin tailpipes featuring new V12 styling for the SL 65 AMG
Inside the cars the AMG ergonomic sports steering wheel with its specially moulded rim is now fitted with silver-coloured aluminium AMG shift paddles, more (real) carbon-fibre is used, and the AMG main menu on the instrument cluster now displays the RACETIMER. The new RACETIMER function allows the driver to record lap times on private racing circuits, storing not only the time for the fastest lap but also the average and top speeds as well as the lap length.
Both facelifted AMG Roadsters feature metal door sill panels with AMG lettering, a new-look instrument cluster shroud trimmed in nappa leather with double topstitching above the classic chronometer-design round gauges, a new digital clock, a ventilation outlet cover and a new aluminium-look switch for operating the vario-roof. It takes just 16 seconds to open or close the folding hard-top, a glass version of which can be specified as an optional extra. The AMG sports seats, interior door panels and armrests are upholstered in fine nappa leather.
The new-generation SL-Class is set to celebrate its public presentation in February 2006 at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland before appearing at Mercedes Benz outlets and authorised dealerships from March 2006. Prices in mainland Europe start at EURO 133,980 for the SL 55 AMG, and EURO 206,132 fpr the SL 65 AMG.
Text: Classic Driver
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