SL 63 AMG Review
“What are the key figures for the SL63 AMG?”
The atmospheric V8 engine has an 800cc greater swept volume, which compensates for the absence of a supercharger that forces charge into the combustion chambers. As a result, the engine’s power output has increased from 510bhp to 518bhp, making it the most potent V8-powered Mercedes model. However, the twin-turbo V12 SL65 is in an entirely different league, boasting an impressive 604bhp.
When you pushed the throttle in a 55, it wasn’t the power that was impressive, but rather the torque. The previous engine produced 531 lb-ft of torque between 2600rpm and 4000rpm, but this new engine only generates 464 lb-ft that peaks at 5200rpm. Both cars are limited to 155mph, but the new car takes 4.6 seconds to reach 0-62mph, one-tenth of a second longer than the old one.
Is the SL63 AMG considered a step backwards? Well, No, it is not.
The SL55 was a fun car dominated by its engine, but the SL63 is a more well-rounded machine. Although it’s still fast in a straight line, you need to work the engine more challenging to get that power, which means spending more time enjoying the chassis than before.
The 6.2-litre V8 (referred to as a 6.3 by Mercedes for nostalgia purposes) doesn’t have the same high-pitched scream as BMW’s V10. Instead, its power delivery is more consistent throughout the rev range, providing better traction when exiting corners and reducing the time the ESP light blinks. The engine sounds fantastic, like four road menders’ drills, but upgraded and running on high-octane fuel. Additionally, the latest gearbox introduces a launch control feature, which is pointless but clever nonetheless.
See – SL63 AMG for sale.
What makes the new gearbox of SL63 AMG so innovative?
Many automakers opt for dual-clutch sequential-manual transmission, but Mercedes has chosen a different approach. It believes that semi-automatic gearboxes spend most of their time in fully automatic mode, which is when they perform the least impressively. On the other hand, a traditional epicyclic automatic gearbox is more compact and provides much smoother gear changes. Additionally, re-engineering the floor plan of existing cars to fit a new gearbox is expensive.
The torque converters used in vehicles rely on fluid pressure to connect the engine to the gearbox, but they are only locked up a solid part of the time. This can negatively affect throttle response and efficiency due to the weight of the torque converter. Mercedes partnered with clutch experts Sachs to incorporate a wet-plate clutch into their existing seven-speed gearbox as a solution. While a dry clutch would have been lighter and more efficient, it would not have been able to dissipate the heat generated when transmitting the V8’s twist to the wheels.
Overall, the transmission performs exceptionally well. There’s only a slight judder when driving in slow traffic; otherwise, it feels like a regular automatic transmission. When left in the drive mode, where most automatics are, it shifts seamlessly like any other Mercedes without a clutch. However, you can feel the V8 engine’s extra response when you need more power. It feels lightweight and is quick to rev. Unlike many automatic transmissions, there’s no slurring when you accelerate.
Now and then, you may experience some jerks when different gear ratios are selected, and sometimes, the gears may not engage immediately upon selection (an AMG insider blames the inexpensive steering wheel switches). However, this is an admirable attempt to combine automatic and manual transmissions. Only the SL63 model has this transmission (the SL65 has too much torque).
First introduced at the beginning of the decade, it had no real competition in the market. There were no Aston Martin Vantages or DB9s, no Audi R8s, and no Bentley Continentals. If you wanted a luxury sports car, your only options were to save and buy a Porsche 911 or spend twice as much on a proper supercar such as the Ferrari 360.
Despite the increasing competition, the SL remains a desirable option, particularly the SL63. Although it may not provide the same level of driver engagement as a Porsche 911 GT3, it excels in every other aspect. It is fast, sounds fantastic, handles its weight incredibly well, and is now a complete performance package than its predecessor, the SL55.
However, when you’re not driving at maximum performance, the SL quickly transforms into a luxurious GT car, making it versatile for different driving needs. The SL’s folding hardtop is another unique feature that sets it apart from its competitors, allowing it to seamlessly switch between a hardtop and a convertible.