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OverviewMercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG Black Series: Exclusive high-performance coupé for especially discerning customersML 63 AMG: A masterfully honed, high-performance SUVML 63 AMG “Performance Studio”: Maximum luxury fittingsML 63 AMG “10th Anniversary”: Exclusive high-performance SUV with particularly appealing fittingsTechnical dataThree special high-performance vehicles from Affalterbach: SL 65 AMG Black Series, ML 63 AMG “10th Anniversary” and ML 63 A
Nov 6, 2008
A spectacular look, unique performance data, consistently lightweight design and the highest degree of exclusivity – these attributes sum up the new 65 AMG Black Series from Mercedes-Benz. The high-performance coupé features pure-bred motor sports technology, and introduces sports car fans to a whole new world in terms of dynamic performance. The AMG 6.0-l V12 biturbo engine, developing a maximum output of 493 kW/670 hp and maximum torque of 1,000 newton metres, guarantees the dynamic performance of a super sports car.
This high-performance two-seater was developed in the AMG PERFORMANCE STUDIO by the same experts who were responsible for designing the Official F1™ Safety Car and Official F1™ Medical Car. The SL 65 AMG Black Series is a continuation of the successful Black Series strategy from Mercedes-AMG, the high-performance brand from Mercedes-Benz Cars. As the new AMG top model, the SL 65 AMG Black Series outstrips the other AMG SL models: both the SL 63 AMG with its 386-kW / 525-hp AMG 6.3-l V8 engine and the SL 65 AMG, powered by an AMG 6.0-l V12 biturbo engine, developing 450 kW/612 hp.
Wide, solid and low – that is the new Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG Black Series. The dynamic coupé inspires passion even when it is stationary. The distinctive wide mudguards, extendable spoiler and rear apron with diffuser fins are an unmistakable demonstration of the transfer from the motor sports world that has been part of the company philosophy at Mercedes AMG for over 40 years. In its appearance, the SL 65 AMG Black Series is reminiscent of the successful AMG racing cars, such as the DTM C-Class.
Large cooling air vents in the front apron and bonnet give a clear indication of the enormous power of the AMG biturbocharged twelve-cylinder engine. From 5,980 cc, the AMG V12 develops a maximum output of 493 kW / 670 hp at 5,400 rpm, and an electronically limited torque of 1,000 newton metres at between 2,200 and 4,200 rpm. Without limits, the AMG 6.0-l V12 biturbo engine, handmade at the AMG engine plant in accordance with the traditional philosophy “one man – one engine”, would develop a maximum torque of 1,200 newton metres.
Compared with the basic power train of the SL 65 AMG, which develops 450 kW / 612 hp, the turbochargers on the twelve-cylinder engine of the SL 65 AMG Black Series have been redesigned. The spiral cross-section of the turbocharger, which is twelve percent larger, together with the optimised wastegate ducts enable a higher airflow rate and even more impressive power development in all speed ranges. The modified intake air duct produces an even more spontaneous vehicle response. Redesigned mufflers in the AMG sports exhaust system reduce exhaust back pressure and help boost performance. And there is an acoustic side effect: a typically evocative AMG harmony is created by the distinctive twelve-cylinder sound that escapes from the two trapezoidal exhaust pipe ends.
The low-temperature charge air coolers are about 30 percent more effective, enabling not only a maximum power output under highly dynamic driving conditions, but also the greatest possible stability in high external temperatures. This is also assisted by the optimised water cooling system with a repositioned radiator, high-performance aspirator and large vents in the bonnet.
Attractive power/weight ratio delivers superb performance
The extraordinary engine specifications which make the SL 65 AMG Black Series the most powerful AMG model so far enable it to deliver superb performance values. It can reach a speed of 100 km/h from a standing start in just 3.8 seconds, and takes 11.0 seconds to reach 200 km/h. The top speed is 320 km/h (electronically limited).
Brief summary of the most important facts and figures:
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SL 65 AMG Black Series
Cylinder arrangement, no. of valves per cylinder
Engine displacement cm3 cm³
Bore x stroke mm
82.6 x 93.0
at 1 rpm
Max. torque Nm
Acceleration 0–100 km/h s
0–200 km/h s
Top speed km/h
* Electronically limited
Also responsible for the high dynamic performance is the attractive power/weight ratio of just 2.79 kg/hp – a result of the comparably low curb weight of 1870 kg, which complies with the EU standard. This makes the SL 65 AMG Black Series 250 kg lighter than the SL 65 AMG – a significant weight reduction derived from specific lightweight design measures. A large number of bodywork components are made from high-strength and especially lightweight carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), a technology which has proved its value in motor sports. The front mudguards, which are 14 cm wider, the front apron with the visible carbon fibre front splitter, the bonnet and the boot lid are all made from CFRP. The “V12 biturbo” lettering on the front mudguards give an indication of the engine’s potency.
New CFRP roof with integrated roll bar
The roof cladding, made completely from CFRP, is presented in an all-new design. Not only does it feature an integrated roll bar, but by foregoing the Vario roof typical for SL-Class vehicles, the roofline has been made considerably flatter. This is obvious from the rear window, which is at a flatter angle to the boot lid. The CFRP spoiler incorporated in the boot lid automatically extends by 12 cm from a speed of 120 km/h, increasing the rear axle power take-off at 200 km/h by 50 kg. Viewed from behind, the rear apron with its visible carbon fibre diffuser insert is conspicuous: this incorporates the active cooling system for the rear axle limited slip differential. New, optimum-weight AMG forged wheels with a double spoke design –19” at the front, 20” at the back – sit impressively in the wheel housings. With the black paintwork, the high-sheen surfaces and matt finish lend an opulent look to the side profile.
Power transmission with four drive programmes and double clutch function
In keeping with its outstanding potential and high dynamic performance, the power development and chassis of the SL 65 AMG Black Series are also presented at their best. Power is transmitted to the rear wheel via an AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS five-speed automatic gearbox. There are four drive programmes to choose from: “C”, “S” and “M1”, as well as “M2”, which has a 20-percent quicker response time than “M1”. Both manual programmes, “M1” and “M2”, allow the driver to benefit from the extreme tractive power of the V12 biturbo engine, since the gears will not automatically change down, even on full throttle; the AMG SPEED-SHIFT PLUS five-speed automatic gearbox stays reliably in the selected gear, even during kick-down shifts. In addition, a power train which is extremely direct in all driving conditions supports the torque converter bypass coupling from first gear onwards. The automatic double clutch function provides an extra thrill when changing down, as well as reducing the load alteration effects – which has an exceedingly positive effect, especially when braking to corner on the race circuit, and also improves driving safety in wet and icy conditions.
In keeping with this vehicle’s tremendous power and torque, the power train features especially high-performance components: not only the various gearbox components, such as the clutch discs and switching and converter bypass logic, but also the drive shafts, wheel carriers and bearings, and also the spring links on the rear axle, are made to an extremely resilient design.
Completely new design for AMG coil-over sports suspension
When it comes to the chassis, the AMG experts have put their faith in a new design. The AMG sports chassis has been designed with coil-over suspension – this solution, which has been proven in the realm of motor sports, makes it possible to adjust the pressure and flow rates of the shock absorbers and vehicle level, as well as the track and camber. Drivers can configure their own personal suspension setup, especially for use on the race circuit. Both axles feature newly developed spring links and thrust, camber and tension rods, as well as optimum weight aluminium wheel carriers. Compared with the series production SL 65 AMG , the Black Series has 115 mm more track width on the front axle, and 103 mm more on the rear axle. The new front axle kinematics creates a steering ratio which is eight percent more direct, and the completely revised elasto-kinematics ensures greater steering precision. The result: light-footed, predictable handling.
3-stage ESP® provides distinctive driving dynamics
3-stage ESP® with sports function is synonymous with the greatest possible driving pleasure and distinctive driving dynamics: the driver can use the ESP® button on the centre console to switch between “ESP ON”, “ESP SPORT” and “ESP OFF” – the selected mode is displayed on the central screen of the AMG instrument panel. In “ESP ON” mode, in the advent of unstable driving conditions, brakes are automatically applied to one or more wheels, and the engine torque is reduced.
Briefly pressing the ESP® button activates the “ESP SPORT” function. In this mode, automatic oversteer and understeer control as well as the accompanying engine torque adjustment allow for more dynamic driving conditions, more or less corresponding to the drift angle – which clearly means a lot more driving enjoyment for SL 65 AMG Black Series drivers. Depressing the brake pedal fully reactivates ESP®.
Holding down the ESP® button activates the “ESP OFF” function. This means there are no more automatic adjustments to the driving dynamics, and in general the engine torque will no longer be reduced – for even more driving excitement. “ESP OFF” should be used only by experienced drivers on closed-off race circuits. Even in this mode, it is still possible to reactivate all of the ESP® functions by depressing the brake pedal. Traction logic is active in all three ESP® modes. If a drive wheel starts to spin, specific automatic brake control is used to improve traction. Working together with the multiple-disc limited-slip differential, which has over 40 percent of its barrier effect in deceleration, this ensures that the enormous power of the engine is transferred to the road surface with minimum loss.
Sports tyres and compound disc brakes for top performance
The selected wheel/tyre combination is responsible for ensuring the best possible performance of the SL 65 AMG Black Series on the race circuit: on the front axle, 265/35 R 19 tyres are fitted onto 9.5” AMG light alloy wheels. On the rear axle, the impressive format is AMG 11.5 x 20 light alloy wheels with 325/30 R 20 tyres. The Sport Maxx GT tyres are supplied by DTM Motor Sports partner Dunlop; they provide especially good grip and amazing coornering speeds. Peering through the filigree double spokes on the AMG light alloy wheels will reveal the generously dimensioned AMG high-performance brake system. Vented, perforated disc brakes featuring especially high-performance compound technology are fitted all round. On the front axle, the deceleration load is borne by 6-piston fixed callipers and 390 x 36 mm brake discs, with 4-piston fixed callipers and 360 x 26 mm discs on the rear axle.
Brief summary of the brake specifications:
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SL 65 AMG Black Series
Brake calliper Brake disc
6-piston aluminium fixed calliper Compound technology, internal vents, perforated
Brake calliper Brake disc
4-piston fixed calliper
Compound technology, internal vents, perforated
Functional yet charming interior design
Nappa leather, alcantara and carbon – the interior of the SL 65 AMG Black Series creates the perfect ambience to get sports car enthusiasts’ hearts racing. The all-black interior exudes the functional atmosphere of a genuine racing car, while at the same time captivating with its charming details.
Newly developed AMG bucket seats in CFRP (ECE version only) provide occupants with perfect lateral support when cornering at speed. The seats without side airbags are covered with fine, black nappa leather and charcoal alcantara, and feature the distinctive AMG logo on the headrests. Fifteen mm smaller in diameter and with a perforated lateral grip area, the AMG high-performance steering wheel, with its flattened underside, provides optimum vehicle control. Silver-coloured aluminium switch paddles enable manual gear changing.
More highlights featured on the centre console are the premium quality carbon body trim, the matt-lustrous start/stop button, the new AMG gear stick with carbon insert and the AMG logo with the words “Black Series” on the ashtray. To match these, there are carbon centre panels on the door with the AMG logo, and the roof lining and A and C columns are in charcoal alcantara. The AMG instrument panel has a completely new design: the black speedometer indicates up to 360 km/h and has been completely redesigned, as has the white rev counter with its four integrated LEDs, which indicate to the driver the optimum moment to change gear. When the ignition is switched on, the speedometer and rev counter needles move in synch to the end of their ranges then return simultaneously to their resting positions, giving the driver a clear signal to start the engine.
The AMG main menu displays more than just the selected drive programme. The driver can also view the selected ESP® mode, the engine oil temperature and the battery voltage. The integrated “RACETIMER” stores information on the race cicuit lap times.
Further standard equipment for the SL 65 AMG Black Series includes the COMAND APS. The new multimedia device with a 6.5”-colour screen combines a car radio with double tuner, telephone, CD-/DVD changer, Bluetooth interface, drive for SD memory cards and a Europe-wide navigation system. The 40-GB hard drive ensures extra fast route calculation. An iPod, USB stick or other external audio devices can be plugged into into the COMAND system via the media interface.
Complex development process in all of the Earth’s climate zones
The complex development and testing process for the SL 65 AMG Black Series began in 2006. The AMG engineers and technicians test-drove ten prototypes and development vehicles in all of the Earth’s climate zones. Whether this involved fast laps of the Nürburgring racetrack, high-speed test drives in Nardo, Italy, wind tunnel tests, extensive test drives in the summer heat and arctic cold or real-life crash tests – the new AMG high-performance Coupé had to prove that it was up to series production standard in every regard. In total, the SL 65 AMG Black Series notched up around 30,000 test kilometres on various circuits – 15,000 km of which were on the northern loop of the Nürburgring racetrack, acknowledged as the most difficult race circuit in the world.
Just like the SLK 55 AMG Black Series and the CLK 63 AMG Black Series, the SL 65 AMG Black Series was developed in the AMG PERFORMANCE STUDIO, opened in 2006. The sale price is 327,250 euros (incl. 19% VAT), and the first models will be delivered to customers in November 2008. For more information on the SL 65 AMG Black Series, visit the Mercedes AMG Website:
SL 63 AMG: high-performance roadster with AMG MCT sports transmission
Besides the SL 65 AMG Black Series, there are two more SL models from AMG to choose from: the SL 63 AMG and the SL 65 AMG. Both high-performance roadsters, launched in March 2008, offer extraordinary driving dynamics, a stand-alone design and exclusive fittings. The SL 63 AMG stands for passionate performance rendered by a technological tour de force: powered by an AMG 6.3-l V8 engine, developing 386 kW / 525 hp and 630 newton metres, it is currently the highest performing model with a naturally aspirated V8 engine in its class.
The innovative AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission is completely new, and exclusive to the SL 63 AMG. Instead of the traditional torque converter, the newly developed power transmission system uses a compact, wet starting clutch. The resulting direct connection with the drive train, combined with the double clutch and RACE START functions, provide for an exciting and highly dynamic driving experience. With this extraordinary power train combination and with the new, fine-tuned, more agile AMG sports suspension on an Active Body Control basis, the SL 63 AMG is setting new standards in the open sports car segment.
The SL 63 AMG accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds, and has a top speed of 250 km/h (electronically limited). With a displacement of 6,208 cc, the high-torque induction engine develops 386 kW / 525 hp at 6,800 rpm, and has a maximum torque of 630 newton metres at 5,200 rpm. The combination of the high-torque design and large engine displacement brings together the best of both worlds: high tractive power at low speeds and exciting high speeds of up to 7,200 rpm.
SL 65 AMG with the superior AMG V12 biturbo engine
The SL 65 AMG is top of the range in the exclusive twelve-cylinder roadster segment. Its AMG 6.0-l V12 biturbo engine develops 450 kW/612 hp and a maximum torque of 1000 newton metres – a performance which is unrivalled, even four years after its launch on the market. Impressive proof of the AMG twelve-cylinder engine’s extraordinary power is given by its accelerating power, reaching 100 km/h from standstill in 4.2 seconds; its top speed is 250 km/h (electronically limited).
These exclusive drive train dynamics are made possible by the V12 power train with 5,980 cc developed by Mercedes AMG: its maximum output of 450 kW/612 hp is always achievable between 4,800 and 5,100 rpm, while the electronically limited maximum torque of 1,000 Newton metres can be reached between 2,000 and 4,000 rpm. The AMG V12 biturbo engine develops a torque of 570 newton metres at the crankshaft at just 1,000 rpm, and 1,500 rpm takes it to 750 newton metres. As with the SL 63 AMG, the AMG sports suspension on an Active Body Control basis in the SL 65 AMG has been even further refined.