Mercedes Benz has taken the veil of secrecy off its range topping roadster model the 2013 Mercedes SL65 AMG ahead of its official April debut at the 2012 New York Auto Show.
Fans of the old SL65 AMG will be pleased to hear that the familiar 6.0 liter twin turbocharged V12 has been retained but Mercedes engineers have upgraded the venerable power-plant with new turbochargers that now utilize a larger spiral cross section as well as new waste-gate channels and manifolds which have been designed to help further optimize airflow to the engine. These changes help the revised V12 produce a whopping 621 horsepower which is a small 17 horsepower jump over the old engine but with the same stump pulling 738 lb ft of torque – numbers that should more than satiate the tastes of all but the most die hard performance drivers.
A major change for the 2013 SL65 AMG is that the 6.0 liter V12′s familiar dance partner, the rugged but antiquated five speed automatic gearbox – which was the only gearbox in the company’s arsenal that could handle the extreme torque) - no longer transmits power to the rear wheels. Instead, Mercedes engineers have shelved it in favor of a strengthened seven speed automatic gear box which should help bestow the car with quicker performance numbers while providing improved fuel mileage. The new transmission gives the driver four different shift modes to choose from Sport, Sport Plus, Manual, and a brand new Controlled Efficiency program to help increase fuel mileage. To help bring the car to a safe and stable halt from any speed, the 2013 SL65 AMG utilizes big 15.4 inch rotors with six piston fixed calipers up front and equally meaty 14.2-inch rotors with single piston floating calipers at the rear wheels. If that is not enough stopping power for most buyers, carbon ceramic brakes from the SLS AMG super car are available as a stand alone piece of optional equipment.
To help shed as much weight as possible versus its steel bodied predecessor, engineers have managed to cut 254 lbs out of the 2013 SL65 AMG vs. the previous generation car thanks to the use of aluminum body construction which helps it attain a final curb weight of 4,299 pounds. A clever active sport suspension helps keep the weight in check during cornering maneuvers and it features a sport mode which does its part to tighten dampening and to reduce body-roll.
The exterior of the standard SL (which has received mixed reviews from automotive critics) is beefed up to AMG specifications with not only the addition of the familiar aggressive body-kit but also the use of the new AMG “face” in its styling. This particular styling touch was first seen on the SL63 model, and will be eventually used on all future AMG models. It is highlighted by the use of a rather minimalist two bar grille which serves to accentuate the width of the roadster as well as the use of a horizontal bar on the front skirt area that is coated in high gloss grade chrome. This chrome treatment is also used on the LED daylight running lamp bezels, hood fins, and side fins. Other exterior tweaks include a lip spoiler, 19 inch AMG alloy wheels, and a faux rear diffuser.
The interior of the SL65 AMG has also received its fair share of tweaks starting with the use of unique leather upholstery which features diamond stitching and covers the headliner, door panels, and the brand new sport seats. Chrome trim and splashes of carbon fiber help to balance out the interior while Magic Sky Control (Which is standard on the SL65 AMG and optional on lesser SL’s) allows drivers to control how much sunlight enters through the roof of the car. Other bits of standard equipment include Mercede’s air scarf system, and a potent Bang & Olufsen surround sound system which is perfect for blasting your favorite tunes when the road gets twisty.
Expect more information on the 2013 SL65 AMG to be revealed when it is formally unveiled at the New York International Auto Show in early April. The first shipments should reach a Mercedes dealer near you sometime this fall.