Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 Review

The Mercedes-Benz SL has long been the top 2-door convertible, dating back to the 1950s but lately Mercedes has introduced new convertibles, like the S-Class. Mike Gurr finds out if the new Mercedes AMG SL63 is still the go-to roadster in the high-end luxury market.

This is the 2018 mercedes amg sl 63 for more than 60 years this has been the very expensive roadster that everybody aspires to own especially the hot amg variants indeed it as long sat atop the heap of mercedes roadsters but with the launch of the s-class cabriolet especially the amg stablemate the s63 and the drop-dead gorgeous amg gt series the pecking order

Is no longer crystal clear but to be honest i care about that narrative approximately 0% it’s still massively powerful needlessly fast and comfortable so today i’m taking it for a drive now the standard sl is not exactly slow but if you got the need for speed then this sl 63 is the vehicle for you it’s powered by 5.5 litre twin-turbocharged v8 577 horsepower 664

Foot-pounds of torque oh yeah that’s a lot of power this is a rocketship zero to 100 k in four seconds dead and of course this engines built by one person it’s the one man one engine rule or should we call it one technician one engine rule basically that means we’ve got lots of hand built goodness as one person has overseen the construction of this powerplant

You’re putting that power down through the rear wheels only and while they’re big tires for a normal car 285 section rears you could probably do with another inch or so of soft rubber to really help with the cause now that power is being channeled through the only transmission available which is a 7-speed mct in normal duty around town and automatic it’s okay a

Little herky-jerky but when you put it in the sport plus and you take control of these paddles to your left and to your right behind the steering wheel it’s crisp and sharp and down shifts with a nice exhaust overrun note and it’ll blip the throttle and i think shifts are about a hundred milliseconds i can’t really quantify that but all i can say is there fast

Shifts the one thing i absolutely love about amg engines is this let me demonstrate put to the floor whoo oh baby tough to beat that you know i just got out of a cts-v and that was an absolute beast of an engine but it didn’t sound like this that engine was all about supercharged whine which has its own sort of character and quality but this sounds like just

The gates of hell have opened up and they’re firing you forward with enough speed to alter the spin of planet earth now you’ll notice finally i’ve got a convertible to review and finally the weather is just amazing so i’ve got the top down now excuse me once again while i demonstrate oh that cannot be beat but we want to make it to the end of this review without

Me losing my license so i’m just going to put it into comfort mode so you’ll notice that i do have the top down at least for the time being because it’s threatening skies where i am headed right now and what’s cool about this sl is it’s a hardtop and when you put this thing up and it does so all automatically in about 20 seconds it’s super quiet and composed and

It doesn’t sound like an convertible you just feel like you’re in a sporty coupe which is amazing and i think that really is what positions this uniquely in the mercedes benz range so here’s the thing about this we now have the s-class cabriolet which is bigger and has more advanced tech it’s the newer of the two vehicles we also have the amg gt and gt c and gtr

And all that good stuff which would be similar in size similar performance but that has greater capacity for track use and so on so this fits really nicely in between it’s no longer the automatic flagship in the range but i think it fills a nice little niche if you want top-down cruising on the weekend but you’ve got to commute to work and you just want to deal

With the peace and quiet of a high-end mercedes-benz coupe then you’ve got it and that is a real real benefit of this hardtop this is a grand touring car so it does need to have some degree of practicality and i was really pleasantly surprised to find the amount of storage in the back trunk and behind these seats as we have here in the sl so you can definitely get

A set of golf clubs and a few duffel bags in the back when you have the hardtop up when you have that hardtop down obviously it takes up probably half of the cargo capacity back there but even then more than enough room for a few soft bags or a carry-on luggage in my case a bunch of camera gear and some tim hortons wrappers but yeah you can even fit some stuff

Behind these seats now i’m back for it pretty far because i’m a tall driver but they’re still i don’t know i want to call it maybe five inches of space you could if you were sort of maybe a little bit shorter with your seats moved up a little bit you could probably cram a sleek compact golf bag back there i keep using that as an example but something makes me feel

Like whoever is buying this car is probably gonna go golfing quite a bit i mentioned that this is not the newest platform in the mercedes stable of course you’ve got the new cls and the s-class and the gts and all those are newer platforms and they carry that high-end tech so we’re a little bit last gen here and you can kind of tell when you get in this cabin two

Things to say about that the first is this is still a really nice place to be this is just wonderfully stitched with high-end leather everywhere you look where there isn’t leather there’s carbon-fiber it just looks really good and everything feels nice in your hand so i’m not complaining about this place necessarily but it does bring me to my second point which is

When you look down here in the gauge cluster the center console area it looks like it was designed five or six years ago all the buttons are sort of last generation mercedes-benz it has the older infotainment system so that doesn’t have that sort of high high-end look that you’re gonna get in the new s cabriolet so if you’re really really driven by that and you

Want perhaps a slightly cushy or ride then go for that one that said however this still is a car that has a lot of stuff there’s a lot of things going on here i mean just take for example these seats so they’ve got a million-in-one adjustments but if you feel like you’re getting a little hot and just press the button down here and you’ve got multi-stage ventilation

On it feel like getting a little cold i’ll just press this button over here and you’ve got an air scarf that’s gonna blow hot air over your neck so that would be very helpful if you live in canada you just want to lengthen that convertible season of course you’ve caught massaging seats of course we do because this is a high-end mercedes also feel like maybe it’s

Getting a little bit windy or you got your wife in the seat beside you and you want to make sure her hair doesn’t get destroyed well you just press this little button on the center console and up pops that windscreen now i’m just gonna put it down i think it looks cooler you want to change the driving character this vehicle well that’s easy you just cycle through

Your drive mode selector down here on the transmission tunnel you’ve got comfort sport sport+ an individual mode which will let you de couple settings from one another and an amg exclusive we’ve got race mode so race mode is going to give you access to a couple of things like launch control and it’ll allow you to pull all the nannies off so it’s just you $190,000

Car and hopefully not the ditch a couple more buttons down here of course you can turn your traction control off in any mode that you’re in we also have a little button for the damper control so unlike some more modern vehicles with dynamic dampers where there’s four or five sometimes more different settings for the dampers here we just have two so it’s a two-stage

Damper setting it’s either normal or sport and you do notice a difference but if i’m being honest not that much it’s pretty marginal nowhere near some of the new sort of magna ride dampers you’ll find in something like a mustang or cadillac cts-v those vehicles have a much wider range of capability and sort of feedback to the cabin the sensation of speed in this

Thing is really remarkable i mean we’re in third gear right now roll on the throttle and i can see i can see the track control like going on and off on and off i’m in sport+ so it’s dialed that back and give you a little bit of movement in the rear but this is a lot of horsepower to ask the rear tires to manage their only 285 sections for this much horsepower when

It does hook up though it propels you forward at an unreal pace and puts you back in your seat and what makes that so intense is the fact that we’re in a convertible you smell the you know the forest around us right now you hear everything and as you start to hit some high speeds the wind is buffeting around but even though you do have that real sense of speed from

The open top it feels very controlled it hugs the road i feel low slung i feel really sure-footed it’s a big vehicle it’s heavy it just feels rock-solid even at really high speeds that’s exactly what you expect a big grand touring car like this to be really really fast really smooth a little bit of practicality enough for the weekend anyways tons of performance

And just tons of class and sophistication the elephant in the room is certainly the styling of this sl63 it just looks a little bit disjointed a lot of people have a lot to say about this i’ll make it quick i feel like the front doesn’t know what the backs to it and the back doesn’t know what the side is doing there are cool elements of this car especially an amg

Trim it’s got a presence absolutely no doubt about that but it’s not beautiful and i hope that what the next generation of sl mercedes gets back to what i feel this car should be which is a big brawny capable grand touring convertible that is beautiful that has a sort of quality to the exterior styling rather than just a collection of aggressive bits and pieces it

Doesn’t come together in a particularly cohesive way so how does this big sl feel in the corners we’ll surprisingly good this vehicle stays really really flat and i shall demonstrate to you right now just drop it down a couple of gears that automatic transmission working really well throw it in a little bit understeer a little bit understeer there but i was putting

It through pretty hard but the rear end does rotate when you get on the throttle which is another quality of rear-wheel drive so we’ll do this again quick left corner nice and flat i have to say nice and flat when you’ve got the dampers in sport plus tip it in a little bit of understeer you just start to feel the front wheels just scrub a little bit if you overdo it

You can always just correct that with a little bit of throttle assuming you have the driving aids turned down and for a big car again i’ll emphasize 40 100 pounds of hef to lug around stays very flat through the corners these dampers do a great job of that and again i keep coming back to this just throw it back into comfort mode everything calms down and it’s that

Wonderful dual purpose that you’d expect from a grand touring car that you’d expect from an sl that you’d expect to see in a neighborhood like this holy where have we ended up here this is a beautiful place and of course a car of this price this capability this reputation it fits right in here tip it in reasonable steering feel nothing to write home about throttle

Pulls you out and it sounds so amazing yep yeah i’ll take one please i’ll take one of these maybe in a different color but i’ll take one well you’re sitting down because it’s time to talk about money this sl63 starts at one hundred and sixty-six thousand dollars and of course mercedes didn’t give me a base model they’ve given me one that’s gussied up with tons of

Expensive options two thousand dollar red amg nappa leather we’ve got a nine thousand dollar amg performance package there’s a couple of things namely raise your top speed i thought that was a little silly here in the canadian marketplace where you’re never gonna have an opportunity to do that but nonetheless it will be bragging rights around your favorite watering

Hole we’ve also got intelligent drive that’s some semi autonomous driving features you know it you love it it’s on every other mercedes-benz a few other things brings the total of this car pre-tax to a hundred eighty six thousand dollars one hundred eighty six thousand dollars that’s easily over two bills once you factor in your taxes in the province of ontario

You’ve got a decision to make do you want a sizable down payment on a house in the gta 41 and sl 63 that decision is harder for some than it is for others but as i always like to say you can sleep in a car but you can’t drive a house my money’s on the sl 63 when you hit this upper strata of carbyne our there really are no bad options the audi r8 the jaguar f-type

Svr and ferrari california t all offer similar performance for ballpark money but none of those will give you the comfort the luxury the everyday livability of this sl 63 yes it’s not as gorgeous as any of those options but what it lacks in a balanced silhouette it certainly makes up for an mean swoops and curves and gratuitous carbon-fiber the sl has always been

About delivering the very best and as we’ve become accustomed to amg is delivered yet again you

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Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 Review By Motormouth