Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG Black Series: 670 hp and 1000 Nm of torque image

The SL65 AMG Black Series will be produced in a limited run of 350 over a 12-month period — and some 200 have been earmarked for the U.S. market. The new two-seat coupe is the third Black Series model from Mercedes-Benz’s AMG performance-car division in recent years. The SLK55 and CLK63 Black Series models were launched in 2006 and 2007, respectively.

To be priced at around $320,000, the SL65 AMG Black Series slots into the Mercedes-Benz lineup as an indirect replacement for the McLaren-built SLR coupe, which quietly ceased production late last year, upon the introduction of the SLR roadster. It is also rumored to incorporate a number of engineering solutions planned for the upcoming Mercedes-Benz SLC, an evocatively styled two-seat coupe and convertible pairing that are due out in 2011.

Based on the recently face-lifted SL65 AMG, the new car receives wholesale upgrades that not only provide it with an aggressive new look but, through the adoption of a predominantly carbon fiber body, an impressive 551-pound reduction in weight at 4,123 pounds. Among the more significant changes is a fixed roof structure in place of the folding aluminum hardtop on the standard model. A retractable rear spoiler has also been added to improve downforce.

Powering the new German supercoupe is a tuned version of the SL65 AMG’s twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V12. It gets larger turbochargers, a more efficient intercooler and modified exhausts to boost output by 57 hp to 670 hp. Torque remains the same at 737 pound-feet, a figure Mercedes-Benz says is limited from a theoretical peak of 885 lb-ft in a bid to safeguard the car’s five-speed automatic transmission and other driveline components.

Performance figures are provisional, and AMG suggests that testing has yet to be finalized. However, Mercedes-Benz claims the SL65 AMG Black Series will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in “less than 3.9 seconds” and reach a top speed limited to 199 mph. In comparison, the standard SL65 AMG figures are 0-60 in less than 4.2 seconds and a limited 155-mph top speed. Meanwhile, with the lower overall weight, fuel consumption improves from 15.6 mpg to 16.3 mpg in U.S. figures.

The boost in performance is accompanied by a major reworking of the SL65 AMG’s underpinnings, which ditch the heavy ABC (active body control) and Air Matic (air springs) and adopt increased track widths (up by 3.8 inches at the front and 3.5 inches at the rear). New suspension geometry has also brought about more direct steering, according to Mercedes-Benz.

Mercedes-Benz has developed two different interior layouts in consideration of the difference in safety standards between Europe and the U.S. The Europe-bound SL65 AMG Black Series gets seatbelts anchored in the newly created B-pillar and does without side airbags. Those for the U.S. retain the standard seats with integral seatbelts and side airbags.

SL 65 AMG Black Series




82.6 x 93.0

9.0: 1





* electronically limited.

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