Mercedes SL65 AMG (2012) first official pictures

Published: 20 March 2012

If you're wondering why Mercedes is persisting with a twelve-cylinder SL in this downsizing era, understand this: the new 2012-spec SL65 AMG exists purely because many buyers at this end of the market demand more of everything.

So a Mercedes SL65 AMG with a hulking bi-turbo 6.0-litre V12 has been launched for customers in China, the Middle East and other emerging markets, where millionaires are numerous and fuel prices less of an impediment to sizeable sales.

Over here, we'll just ogle the price tag well into six figures and stick with the big-selling SL350 or SL500. Merc reports next to zero demand for diesels, hybrids or four-cylinders at this lofty end of the market.

Mercedes SL65 AMG (2012): the lowdown

The SL65 AMG slots above the already fleet-of-foot SL63 AMG. It's predictably fast – the new SL is around 170kg lighter than before, and 621bhp and 737lb ft mean it's epically rapid. This is no flyweight, though; it weighs in at a chunky 1950kg.

Nought to sixty-two takes four seconds and it'll whisk past 125mph in 11.8sec on its way to a limited 155mph top speed. Derestricted, it would surely pass the double-tonne.

That lighter weight helps trim economy to 24.4mpg – 17% less thirsty than before. Merc claims it's the cleanest twelve-cylinder engine on the market, with CO2 emissions of 270g/km.

How to spot the new SL65 AMG

Anoraks, take note. You can differentiate the new AMG by its high-sheen chrome styling bar on the front spoiler – and Stuttgart is calling this 'the new AMG brand face'.

The twin-blade radiator grille is chromed, the Merc badge sitting proudly on it, and there are newly accented AMG daytime running lights, fins on the wings, and a diffuser-effect rear apron. Plus those V12 bi-turbo badges, obviously.

Nineteen-inch alloy wheels are shod in 285/30 tyres at the business end, lending the SL65 AMG a menacing air. They're even available with optional 'matt black with a high-sheen rim flange'. Crikey.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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