Mercedes SL63 AMG (2012) first official pictures

Published: 22 February 2012

This is the new Mercedes SL63 AMG, a £110k roadster with 557bhp and 664lb ft of torque. Mercedes will reveal this monstrous open-top at AMG model at the Geneva motor show in March 2012.

I’m up with Mercedes’ tricks – this Mercedes SL63 AMG doesn’t have a 6.3-litre engine, does it?

It doesn’t – that ‘63’ designation has been a misnomer for years while the powerplant was actually a 6.2-litre V8.

But that wondrous naturally aspirated V8 is reaching pensionable age, so even though it’s still living on in the SLS AMG and C63 Black Series, the SL uses the latest 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 that’s already been seen in AMG versions of the S-class, CL, CLS and E-class.

In the SL63 AMG that means 530bhp at 5500rpm, plus 590lb ft from 2000 to 4500rpm, all being sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed MCT automatic gearbox. The run from zero to 62mph is dispatched in a brisk 4.3 seconds, 0-124mph takes a scant 12.9 seconds, the electronically limited top speed is 155mph, and if you drive with utter delicacy you might match the official combined fuel consumption figure of 28.5mpg. CO2 emissions are a mightily impressive 231g/km, especially up against the old 518bhp Merc SL63 which did 20mpg and 328g/km CO2.

And for those that want more, the AMG Performance Package pushes peak power up to 557bhp, while maximum torque becomes a huge 664lb ft from 2250-3750rpm. A tenth is shaved off the 0-62mph sprint, three-tenths disappear from that crucial 0-124mph benchmark, and the electronically limited top speed is increased to 188mph. The fuel consumption is unaffected, says Merc.

What else makes the SL63 into an AMG?

It’s not just direct-injection tech, a stop/start system and a downsized bi-turbo engine that help reduce the fuel consumption. The all-aluminium body of the standard SL trims around 110kg from the kerbweight, while AMG touches – like the carbonfibre bootlid support that saves 5kg – mean the overall weight of the new SL63 is 125kg less than the outgoing model. 

The diet will benefit the handling too, which is also helped by an AMG version of Mercedes’s Active Body Control suspension – a more aggressive AMG Performance suspension is an option. Huge 390mm front and 360mm rear discs sort the slowing down, again there’s an upgraded composite version pinched from the SLS as an option, and you can raid the AMG Performance Studio catalogue to spec red brake calipers and bigger wheel and tyres packages.

A bodykit takes care of the visual transformation, with ‘biturbo’ badges, a rear spoiler and quad pipes the most obvious giveaway that this isn’t just a cruiser. Standard SL touches remain, including the Magic Sky Control roof that can be switched from light to dark at the touch of a button.

‘The new SL63 AMG is yet another masterpiece from Mercedes-AMG,’ said AMG CEO Ola Källenius. ‘Be it driving dynamics, lightweight construction or efficiency – the SL63 AMG represents a giant leap forward. Following on from the SLS AMG Roadster and the SLK55 AMG, it now makes our unrivalled roadster family practically complete.’

UK sales start in summer 2012, and with the outgoing car cost £106,820, we expect the new Mercedes SL63 AMG to set you back at least £110k.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy