Icons – MERCEDES-BENZ SL63 AMG 2010 – The Beast Within.
Since the 50s, the SL model range has catered to quite a particular demographic: the successful, suave and sensible individual with meetings to attend and a lifestyle fit for a king. However, when AMG steps in with 6.2 litres of naturally aspirated hatred for mediocracy, expect some crazies to join the aristocrats at the country club.
AMG drivers are a breed of their own, much like their cars. Well dressed, well-spoken and very well-off individuals, but when the sun goes down, they roll up their sleeves, ball their fists and fight their way into the centre of a mosh pit. While we quietly despise them, we secretly envy them. The unlimited energy they emanate, the amount of flammable fluids they consume, the amount of chaos they can contain – and when everything around you is crumbling and on fire, you can trust an AMG driver to sweep you up, slap the flames and ambers off you and scream in your face that everything is alright. Of course the appropriate response would be to gaze back at them in a stupor and whimper, “Okay…”
In the 2010 model, changes were made to add to the savagery. On the outside, the body kit features disco ball headlights and an attractive front lip. Side gills were added much like most of the cars in the AMG range and the rear sports a muscular apron and a diffuser to improve aerodynamics. The cockpit is a tidy improvement to the previous model. The AMG leather seats have ample support and all the buttons and knobs are within view and reach. Instead of the tech mess you get with some other cars, Mercedes knows that the SL driver wants complete control while doing as little work as possible.
AMG swapped out their long running 5.5 litre supercharged V8 for a naturally aspirated 6.2. This brings the power from 493 bhp to a slightly beefier 518 bhp. Furthermore, instead of adopting a double-clutch gearbox, MERCEDES-BENZ have gone old school with a single wet clutch and 7 speed auto set up which in comparison, lets the engine rev more easily, takes up less space and saves weight. That being said, this car still weighs close to two tons. Heavy as it may be, it still manages to propel you from 0 – 100km/h in a scalp-peeling 4.6 seconds.
The drive in Comfort Mode was simply enjoyable. It emulated the feel of driving a luxury sedan rather than a sports car. Unlike other cars in its class, it does not leave you feeling like a bag of crushed croutons. While you float over road irregularities with ease, the softness means that you will still get some roll in the corners. Power is delivered without much urgency, accompanied by the humble growl of the powerhouse beneath the bonnet.
In Sport Mode, I was surprised that the soft ride was not compromised much but the feeling of the transmission was noticeable. Sharper gear changes and throttle responses gave more confidence to take sharper corners at speed, but the ride got jerky at low speeds.
In Sport Plus, it felt as if I was driving a different car. The steering firmed up, throttle response was again more sensitive and the traction control allowed for a bit of oversteer in corners. Being a MERCEDES-BENZ, the traction control is never fully off and what you get when you push the limits is the brakes annoyingly stabbing at the discs, trying hard to help you find grip. Occasionally you do find yourself smiling uncontrollably while the car roars through the turns and the tyres scream for mercy.
In the end, AMG and MERCEDES-BENZ have unified power and sense into a hard-top convertible. A parting piece to would-be owners: the ability to coast to your destination in absolute comfort will assure you that you have made it in life, while the rumble and gurgle of the AMG’s V8 will let you know you are still the animal you always were.
To find out more about about this MERCEDES-BENZ SL63 AMG in Singapore, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org .