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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - SL-class - SL63 AMG

First look: Wild new SL-AMG twins emerge

Bent eight: 6.2-litre AMG V8 powers biggest Benz roadster for the first time.

Mercedes-Benz reveals two wild new AMG models for its facelifted SL roadster range

13 Feb 2008

WE SAW the facelifted Mercedes-Benz SL emerge almost a month ago ahead of its official public appearance at the Geneva motor show in two weeks, and now Benz has revealed the two AMG versions that will top the revised range here from July.

Like the lesser SL variants (including the new entry-level SL280), the SL65 AMG and SL63 AMG - which replaces the SL55 AMG - features a new front-end design that's said to herald a new look for future Mercedes sedans.

But the biggest news for performance Benz fans lurks beneath the updated SL's heavily sculpted bonnet.

4 center imageLeft: SL65 AMG.

While the SL280 will slot into the SL range beneath the six-cylinder SL350 (the current entry-level variant, priced at $218,000), which itself will get a performance upgrade from mid-year, the SL63 AMG marks a significant upgrade from the outgoing SL55's supercharged 5.4-litre V8, which produced 380kW and 720Nm of torque.

Its successor, the SL65 AMG, offers marginally more power at 386kW (which is still enough for Mercedes to claim it as the most powerful naturally-aspirated V8 model in its class), but a lower torque peak of 630Nm. Importantly, however, instead of the SL55's five-speed automatic transmission, the SL63's 6.2-litre V8 will come mated to AMG's seven-speed Speedshift MCT auto, which for the first time comprises a compact, wet start-up clutch that replaces the conventional torque converter. According to Benz, the subsequent direct connection between engine and transmission, combined with its new double-declutching and "Race Start" functions, "guarantees an engaging, supremely dynamic driving experience".

Harnessing this is a retuned, Active Body Control-equipped chassis that's claimed to make the SL63 the most sporting SL iteration ever.

Meantime, the range-topping SL65 AMG features the same new exterior look but continues with a 450kW/1000Nm twin-turbocharged V12. While the current SL55 is priced lineball with the 380kW/830Nm V12 SL600 at $376,000, the outgoing SL65 AMG costs a $459,000.

Read more:

First look: Benz presents facelifted SL Roadster

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