Skip to main content

New Mercedes-Benz 2013 SL65 AMG offers driver customization and exclusivity

Mercedes-AMG to launch flagship roadster 2013 SL65 AMG at the 2012 NY Auto Show

Mercedes-Benz introduced the new SL63 eight cylinder roadster in February, but many asked if there would be a 12 cylinder SL65 coming soon, and the answer is “of course.” For those who find 590 ft-lb of torque just a tad shy of sufficient, the new 12 cylinder, 6.0 liter, twin turbo engine in the SL65 AMG may be the remedy. With 738 lb-ft of torque on tap, the open top roadster will break the 4 second mark in a sprint from 0-60mph. More importantly, the embarrassment at the country club of having only an 8 cylinder engine, suffered by those driving the lesser SL or even the SLS-AMG supercar, can be avoided. Yes, with 12 cylinders comes exclusivity.

The SL body is all new this year. Turning 60, just a few weeks back, the SL has always been classy and understated and this new body continues the tradition. Those who seek flashy open top grand touring cars have many Italian and English choices, but for understated elegance and supreme touring comfort, the SL remains the benchmark. Now built mainly from aluminum, the SL chassis and body panels weigh nearly 300 pounds less than the car that preceded the new design. AMG chose high strength steel for the A-pillar supports and a carbon/plastic rear deck-lid proving that the best material for the job is more important to this company than trying to stick to 100% aluminum. To go beyond the weight savings available from aluminum magnesium was used as well.

Those who thrive on units and numbers can satiate their appetite with Mercedes-AMG literature. Suffice it to say that the engine has more than its share of modern updates including a total of 24 ignition coils, enough to populate 6 typical car engines. Since the 12 cylinder engine is the real hallmark of the SL65 AMG, designers didn’t end their work on the exterior and interior. The engine compartment features an attractive carbon fiber and aluminum cover all the better for showing off to friends with the hood open.

Driver selectability of the car’s systems is outstanding in the SL65 AMG. The 7 speed automatic transmission has four individual settings including manual, the usual sport and sport plus and now eco. Who would choose a 12 cylinder bi-turbo vehicle costing as much as an offshore wind farm and then turn that knob to eco? Not many people we suspect, but there it is. The suspension featuring Active Body Control has two selections called simply Sport and Comfort. The electronic stability control has three stages including the all-important Sport mode. Combined, these selectable driving characteristics provide more adjustability than a Sleep Number® Bed.

No buyer of an AMG vehicle wants anything “standard” or they would be buying a more mundane Mercedes-Benz. Thus, carbon ceramic brakes, custom color selections, special interior treatment, and other customer customizations are held back from the “base” model. Creating one’s own AMG is part of the charm and this model keeps the faith.

The new Mercedes-AMG SL65 AMG does an excellent job of continuing a long tradition of grand-touring roadster excellence, while upping the level of modernization.