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Review (2/2)

2013 SL65 AMG Offers Refined, Exclusive Performance

Source: Mercedes-Benz | Published: Thu Mar 22, 2012

(continued from the previous page)

New AMG "Face"

The 2013 SL65 AMG is clearly recognizable as a stylish and exclusive high-performance roadster not just technically, but also visually. The MB SL65 AMG is presented for the first time with the new AMG "face". The two dominant visual elements - the grille and the lower air inlet - remain, but have been reinterpreted to give them a more distinctively dynamic and premium look. The central styling feature is the new twin-blade grille finished in high-gloss chrome. The Mercedes star is mounted on two blade-like fins with aerofoil profiles. The stronger arrow-form of the grille optimizes the vehicle's longitudinal proportions, adding even more visual emphasis to the aerodynamic, minimalist design.

The stylized "A" that is a hallmark of AMG vehicles is retained beneath the twin-blade grille. Along the lower edge of the air intake is a slit beneath a fine black fin for optimum airflow to the cooling modules - a perfect combination of design and high technology. The lower horizontal bar on the front skirt is finished in high-gloss chrome and is lent significant visual depth by the slit above it, creating a premium visual accent. The twin-blade grille and lower horizontal element are two corresponding design features that emphasize the new AMG brand "face" - this look will be further developed in forthcoming AMG models, increasing even more the visual recognition of the AMG performance brand.

The top-of-the-range model is distinguished from the SL63 AMG by carefully placed applications in high-gloss chrome - as well as the twin-blade grille and the lower horizontal bar on the AMG front skirt, the bezels in the AMG-specific LED daytime running lights, the side fins on the fenders and fins on the hood all have the same surface finish. The characteristic AMG styling of the SL65 AMG also includes the front skirt with large openings for cooling the engine oil, water, charge air and transmission oil, the specially designed sill panels, the AMG spoiler lip and the rear skirt with a diffuser visual and body-color inlay.

Typical V12 features are not only the two chromed, standalone dual end pipes of the AMG sports exhaust, but also the V12 BITURBO lettering on the fenders and the titanium grey painted and polished 5-spoke AMG alloy wheels with 255/35 R19 tires on the front and 285/30 R19 on the rear. Optional AMG forged alloy multi-spoke wheels from the AMG Performance Studio with 255/35 R19 tires at the front and 285/30 R20 at the rear reduce unsprung mass are also available. The forged wheels are also available in matte black with polished outer rims.

Retractable Hard-Top

The sixth generation of the SL offers a space-saving electro-hydraulic retractable hard-top that converts the SL65 AMG from a roadster to a coupe in less than 20 seconds. In contrast to the previous model, the new SL comes with the unique MAGIC SKY CONTROL. Its transparency can be switched from light to dark at the touch of a button.

Pleasure for All the Senses Inside

Inside, the SL65 AMG is distinguished from its eight-cylinder sibling by highly exclusive design and equipment features. One particular eye-catcher is the electrically adjustable AMG sports seats with one or two-color upholstery in exclusive leather featuring AMG-specific V12 diamond stitching. This distinctive upholstery also appears on the center door panels. The AMG logo embossed on the seat backs is a standard feature, as are AIRSCARF neck-level heating, the multi-contour function, seat memory and seat ventilation. The designo headliner in leather featuring AMG V12 diamond stitching provides a perfect finish that is both visual and tactile.

The cockpit design is reminiscent of the SLS AMG - the four air vents in jet-engine style, the E-SELECT gear lever and the AMG DRIVE UNIT are all evocative of the super sports car. The selection of exquisite materials and high quality of workmanship in the interior of the SL65 AMG creates a truly sensual masterpiece. This is underscored by the AMG trim elements in carbon, the analog clock in IWC design, the chromed and white illuminated AMG entry trim and the AMG performance steering wheel incorporating an AMG logo in the lower metal spoke. A 225 mph scale in the AMG instrument panel and the AMG start-up display with exclusive AMG V12 BITURBO animation hints at the phenomenal dynamics of the SL65 AMG.

AMG 6.0-Liter V12 Biturbo Engine

The AMG 6.0-liter V12 biturbo engine (M 279) is based on the previous M 275 unit and has been extensively developed for its application in the new SL65 AMG. New turbochargers with an enlarged spiral cross-section, new manifolds and wastegate channels optimized for airflow deliver an additional 17 hp. The multi-spark ignition with twelve twin ignition coils not only makes for smoother running, but also works together with a new, more powerful engine management and optimized cylinder heads to provide even more effective combustion. The outcome is fewer exhaust emissions, which is also in large part due to the optimized catalytic converter system.

The redeveloped AMG sport exhaust system incorporates a modified pipe layout for improved flow coupled with a weight reduction of seven pounds resulting from reduced wall thicknesses.

And it is not just the inner attributes of the AMG 6.0-liter V12 biturbo engine that are stunning - the engine also looks inspiring. The carbon-fiber and aluminum engine cover further underscores the exceptional nature of the powerful twelve-cylinder that lies beneath.

AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7-Speed Transmission

For the first time, AMG is combining the 6.0-liter V12 biturbo engine with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7-Speed transmission. The wide ratio spread of the seven-speed automatic transmission delivers significantly lower revving and helps in the reduction of fuel consumption. A new fuel-economy torque converter, reduced-friction bearings and transmission oil thermal management further increase the efficiency of transferring power to the wheels.

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7-Speed transmission features four individual drive programs that can be selected at the touch of a button on the center console - Controlled Efficiency (C), Sport (S), Sport plus (S+) and Manual (M). The ECO stop/start function is always active in C mode. For the greatest sense of involvement and dynamics, there is the automatic double-declutch function for downshifting, as well as brief and precisely defined retardation of ignition and injection during upshifting under full load. The latter also reduces shift times.

Intelligent Lightweight Design

Compared to the steel construction of the previous model, the all-aluminum body-in-white of the new SL65 AMG delivers weight savings, as well as superior stiffness, safety and comfort. Intelligent lightweight design also means optimizing components for their specific application. For instance, an array of different aluminum processes come into play - components are made using gravity die casting or vacuum pressure casting, worked into extruded profile or used as aluminum sheet with varying wall thicknesses. The results are a high degree of stiffness and safety and improved vibration characteristics. Engineers made use of the even lighter magnesium for part of the cover behind the fuel tank. High-strength steel tubes are integrated into the A-pillars for reasons of safety.

Further weight reduction comes courtesy of the rear decklid. The internal frame is made from carbon composite material. The plastic exterior shell is then fastened to the extremely stiff carbon component with adhesive. The result is a weight saving of eleven pounds compared with a conventional rear lid. The innovative solution is being used initially in AMG's SL models. The outcome of the many lightweight design innovations is that the curb weight of 4,299 pounds for the new SL65 AMG is 254 pounds less than that of the previous model.

AMG Sport Suspension Based on Active Body Control

When it comes to the chassis, Mercedes-AMG is focused on lightweight engineering. The four-link front suspension incorporates steering knuckles and control arms in aluminum, which also features in almost all suspension parts on the multilink rear axle. Agility is not the only aspect to benefit from the reduction of unsprung masses; the response characteristics of the spring-and-damper units are also improved. Like the previous model, the new SL65 AMG is fitted with the ABC active suspension system as standard. The AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control is a further developed version of the setup in the SL63 AMG with the eight-cylinder engine, tuned specifically for this application.

Handling and performance were the top priorities during conception, development and testing. Two chassis settings are available for selection at the touch of a button - a very sporty setting with reduced roll rate and tighter body damping ("Sport") and a program offering a high degree of long-distance comfort ("Comfort"). More negative camber on both axles, plus completely re-engineered elastokinematics deliver increased agility and higher cornering speeds.

AMG Speed-Sensitive Steering

Combined with the all-new, electromechanical AMG speed-sensitive sports steering, the V12 top-of-the-range model offers a stunning ride with excellent dynamics and very clear feedback at the edge of the performance envelope. The steering ratio is constant and direct, while the power assistance adjusts in line with the chassis mode. Standard equipment also includes the 3-stage ESP, a specialty exclusive to AMG with "SPORT Handling" mode for enthusiastic drivers. The enormous engine power is harnessed with the aid of AMG rear-axle locking differential, which is also standard equipment.

Top deceleration figures, perfect modulation and excellent stability - all standard features of an AMG high-performance brake system. The same applies to the all-new brakes on the SL65 AMG - on the front axle are 15.4 x 1.4 in. compound discs with six-piston fixed calipers, while the rear axle boasts 14.2 x 1.0 in. integral discs with single-piston floating calipers. An electric parking brake is standard equipment. The even more powerful and weight-optimized AMG carbon ceramic brake system familiar from the SLS AMG is available as optional equipment.

AMG Performance Studio Accessories

Even more individuality is available from the AMG Performance Studio:

. AMG Carbon Ceramic Braking System
. AMG Exterior Carbon Fiber Package (transverse element in front skirt, exterior mirrors and spoiler lip in genuine carbon fiber)
. AMG Performance Media

2013 SL65 AMG's Optional Colors

Standard paint finishes for the new SL65 AMG in the U.S. include Black, Shadow Grey (matte finish), Dolomite Brown, Mars Red, Steel Grey, Iridium Silver, Palladium Silver, Pearl Beige, Diamond White and Lunar Blue.

As well as Obsidian Black, further paint finishes are available for the SL65 AMG from the designo range. Two matte paint finishes designo Magno Cashmere White and designo Magno Alanite Grey and the metallic paints designo Mocha Black and designo Graphite.

Selected to match the exterior paint choices is a fine range of interior leather upholstery options - Black Exclusive Leather, Beige/Brown Exclusive Leather, Red/Black Exclusive Leather, Porcelain/Black Exclusive Leather. Trim is available in Carbon FiberBrown Poplar Wood (satin finish), Burl Walnut Wood and Black Ash Wood.

Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG: Photo Gallery, Review (1/2) and Specifications

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