A spectacular look, unique performance data, consistently lightweight design and the highest degree of exclusivity – these attributes sum up the new SL65 AMG Black Series from Mercedes-Benz. This high-performance coupé features purebred motorsports technology, and introduces sports car fans to a whole new world in terms of dynamic performance. The AMG 6.0 litre V12 bi-turbo engine, developing a maximum output of 661 hp and maximum torque of 738 lb-ft, guarantees the dynamic performance of a super sports car.
This high-performance two-seater was developed in the AMG PERFORMANCE STUDIO by the same experts who were responsible for designing the Official F1™ Safety Car and Official F1™ Medical Car. As the new AMG flagship model, the SL65 AMG Black Series joins the line up with the other AMG SL models: both the SL63 AMG with its 518-hp AMG 6.3 litre V8 engine and the SL65 AMG, powered by an AMG 6.0 litre V12 biturbo engine, developing 604 hp.
Wide, solid and low – that is the new Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series. The dynamic coupé inspires passion even when it is stationary. The distinctive wide wheel arches and fenders, extendable spoiler and rear apron with diffuser fins are an unmistakable demonstration of the transfer from the motorsports world that has been part of the company philosophy at AMG for over 40 years. In its appearance, the SL65 AMG Black Series is reminiscent of the successful AMG racing cars, such as the DTM C-Class.
Large cooling air vents in the front apron and hood provide a clear indication of the enormous power of the AMG bi-turbocharged twelve-cylinder engine. From 5,980 cc, the AMG V12 develops a maximum output of 661 hp at 5,400 rpm, and an electronically limited torque of 738 lb-ft between 2,200 and 4,200 rpm. Without limits, the AMG 6.0 litre V12 biturbo engine, handmade at the AMG engine plant in accordance with the traditional philosophy "one man – one engine", would develop a maximum torque of 885 lb-ft.
Compared with the basic powertrain of the SL65 AMG, which develops 604 hp, the turbochargers on the twelve-cylinder engine of the SL65 AMG Black Series have been redesigned. The spiral cross-section of the turbocharger, which is twelve percent larger, together with the optimized wastegate ducts enable a higher airflow rate and even more impressive power development in all speed ranges. The modified intake air duct produces an even more spontaneous vehicle response. Redesigned mufflers in the AMG sports exhaust system reduce exhaust back pressure and help boost performance. There is also an acoustic side effect: a typically evocative AMG harmony is created by the distinctive twelve-cylinder sound that escapes from the two trapezoidal exhaust pipes.
The low-temperature charge air coolers are about 30 percent more effective, enabling not only a maximum power output under highly dynamic driving conditions, but also the greatest possible stability in high external temperatures. This is also assisted by the optimized water cooling system with a repositioned radiator, high-performance aspirator and large vents in the hood.
Attractive power/weight ratio delivers superb performance
The extraordinary engine specifications which make the SL65 AMG Black Series the most powerful AMG model so far enable it to deliver superb performance values. It can reach a speed of 100 km/h from a standing start in just 3.8 seconds, and the top speed is electronically limited to 320 km/h (199 mph).
Also responsible for the high dynamic performance is the attractive power-to-weight ratio – a result of the comparably low curb weight of 1,971 kgs (4,345 lbs). This makes the SL65 AMG Black Series 95 kgs (210 lbs) lighter than the SL65 AMG – a significant weight reduction derived from specific lightweight design measures. A large number of bodywork components are made from high-strength and especially lightweight carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP); a technology that has proved its value in motorsports. The front wheel arches, which are 12.7 mm (.5 inch) wider, the front apron with the visible carbon fibre front splitter, the hood and the trunk lid are all made from CFRP. The "V12 bi-turbo" lettering on the front wheel arches also provides an indication of the engine's potency.
New CFRP roof with integrated roll bar
The roof cladding, made completely from CFRP, is presented in an all-new design. Not only does it feature an integrated roll bar, but by foregoing the convertible roof typical for SL-Class vehicles, the roofline has been made considerably flatter. This is obvious from the rear window, which is at a flatter angle to the trunk lid. The CFRP spoiler incorporated in the trunk lid automatically extends by 121.9 mm (4.8 inches) from a speed of 120 km/h (75 mph), increasing the rear axle power take-off around 190 km/h (120 mph) by 50 kgs (110 lbs.) Viewed from behind, the rear apron with its visible carbon fibre diffuser insert is conspicuous: this incorporates the active cooling system for the rear axle limited slip differential. New optimum-weight AMG forged wheels with a double spoke design – 19" at the front and 20" at the rear – sit impressively in the wheel housings. The black paintwork, high-sheen surfaces and matte finish lend an opulent look to the side profile.
Powerful transmission with four drive programmes and rev-matching function
In keeping with its outstanding potential and high dynamic performance, the power development and chassis of the SL65 AMG Black Series are also presented at their best. Power is transmitted to the rear wheel via an AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS five-speed automatic transmission. There are four drive programmes to choose from: "C", "S", "M1", and "M2", with "M2" featuring a 20-percent quicker response time than "M1". Both manual programmes, "M1" and "M2", allow the driver to benefit from the extreme tractive power of the V12 bi-turbo engine, since the gears will not automatically change down, even on full throttle. The AMG SPEED-SHIFT PLUS five-speed automatic transmission always stays reliably in the selected gear, even during kick-down shifts. In addition, a powertrain which is extremely direct in all driving conditions supports the torque converter bypass coupling from first gear onwards. The automatic rev-matching function provides an extra thrill when down-shifting, as well as reducing the load alteration effects. This has an exceedingly positive effect, especially when braking to corner on the race circuit and when driving in wet or icy conditions.
In keeping with this vehicle's tremendous power and torque, the powertrain features especially high-performance components made with an extremely resilient design. This advanced design is not limited to the various transmission components such as the clutch discs and switching and converter bypass logic, it also includes the drive shafts, wheel carriers, bearings and the spring links on the rear axle.
Completely new design for AMG coil-over sports suspension
The AMG sports chassis has been designed with coil-over suspension. This solution, which has been proven in the realm of motorsports, makes it possible to adjust the pressure and flow rates of the shock absorbers and vehicle level, as well as the track and camber. Drivers can configure their own personal suspension setup when using the vehicle on the race circuit. Both axles feature newly developed spring links and thrust, camber and tension rods, as well as optimum weight aluminum wheel carriers. Compared with the series production SL65 AMG, the Black Series has a 114 mm (4.5 in.) wider track on the front axle, and a 101 mm (4 in.) wider track on the rear axle. The new front axle kinematics creates a steering ratio which is eight percent more direct, and the completely revised elasto-kinematics ensures greater steering precision. The result is light-footed and predictable handling.
3-stage Electronic Stability Program (ESP) provides distinctive driving dynamics
3-stage ESP with sports function is synonymous with the greatest possible driving pleasure and distinctive driving dynamics. The driver can use the ESP button on the centre console to switch between "ESP ON", "ESP SPORT" and "ESP OFF", with the selected mode always displayed on the central screen of the AMG instrument panel. In "ESP ON" mode, in the event of unstable driving conditions, brakes are automatically applied to one or more wheels, and the engine torque is reduced.
Briefly pressing the ESP button activates the "ESP SPORT" function. In this mode, automatic oversteer and understeer control as well as the accompanying engine torque adjustment allow for more dynamic driving conditions, corresponding to the drift angle – which creates even more driving enjoyment for SL65 AMG Black Series drivers. Depressing the brake pedal fully reactivates ESP.
Holding down the ESP button activates the "ESP OFF" function. This means there are no more automatic adjustments to the driving dynamics, and in general the engine torque will no longer be reduced. "ESP OFF" should be used only by experienced drivers on closed race circuits. Even in this mode, it is still possible to reactivate all of the ESP functions by depressing the brake pedal. Traction logic is active in all three ESP modes. If a drive wheel starts to spin, specific automatic brake control is used to improve traction. Working together with the multiple-disc limited-slip differential, which has over 40 percent of its barrier effect in deceleration, ensures that the enormous power of the engine is transferred to the road surface with minimum loss.
Sports tires and compound disc brakes for top performance
The selected wheel/tire combination is responsible for ensuring the best possible performance of the SL65 AMG Black Series on the race circuit: on the front axle, 265/35 R 19 tires are fitted onto 9.5" x 19" AMG light alloy wheels. On the rear axle, the impressive format is AMG 11.5" x 20" light alloy wheels with 325/30 R 20 tires. The Sport Maxx GT tires are supplied by DTM Motorsports partner Dunlop; they provide especially good grip and amazing cornering speeds. Peering through the filigree double spokes on the AMG light alloy wheels will reveal the generously dimensioned AMG high-performance brake system. Vented, perforated disc brakes featuring especially high-performance compound technology are fitted all around. On the front axle, the deceleration load is borne by 6-piston fixed callipers and 388/38 mm (15.3/1.5 in) brake discs, with 4-piston fixed callipers and 360/25 mm (14.2/1.0 in) discs on the rear axle.
Functional yet charming interior design
Featuring Nappa leather, Alcantara and carbon, the interior of the SL65 AMG Black Series creates the perfect ambience to get sports car enthusiasts' hearts racing. The all-black interior exudes the functional atmosphere of a genuine racing car.
Fifteen millimetres smaller in diameter and with a perforated lateral grip area, the AMG high-performance steering wheel, with its flattened underside, provides optimum vehicle control. Silver-coloured aluminium shift paddles enable manual gear changing.
More highlights featured on the centre console are the premium quality carbon body trim, the matte-finish start/stop button, the new AMG gearshift with carbon insert and the AMG logo with the words "Black Series" on the ashtray. To match these, the roof lining, A and C columns are finished in charcoal Alcantara. The AMG instrument panel features a completely new design with a black speedometer showing up to 360 km/h, and a new white rev counter with four integrated LEDs that indicate the optimum moment to change gears. When the ignition is switched on, the speedometer and rev counter needles move in synch to the end of their ranges and then return simultaneously to their resting positions.
The AMG main menu displays more than just the selected drive programme. The driver can also view the selected ESP mode, the engine oil temperature and the battery voltage. The integrated "RACETIMER" stores information on the race circuit lap times.
Further standard equipment for the SL65 AMG Black Series includes the COMAND system. This new multimedia device with a 165 mm (6.5") colour screen combines a car radio with double tuner, CD/DVD changer, Bluetooth telephone interface, integrated drive for SD memory cards and a hard-drive-based navigation system. The 40-GB hard drive ensures extra fast route calculation, and an iPod, USB stick or other external audio devices can be plugged in to the COMAND system via a universal media interface.
Complex development process in all of the Earth's climate zones
The complex development and testing process for the SL65 AMG Black Series began in 2006. The AMG engineers and technicians test-drove ten prototypes and development vehicles in all of the Earth's climate zones. Whether this involved fast laps of the Nürburgring racetrack, high-speed test drives in Nardo, Italy, wind tunnel tests, extensive test drives in the summer heat and arctic cold or real-life crash tests – the new AMG high-performance coupé had to prove that it was up to series production standard in every regard. In total, the SL65 AMG Black Series notched up nearly 30,000 test kilometers (18,641 miles) on various circuits – of which, 15,000 kilometres (9,321 miles) were on the northern loop of the Nürburgring racetrack, acknowledged as the most difficult race circuit in the world.