The recently facelifted SL is just the tip of the sports car iceberg for Mercedes. CAR Magazine Online can today reveal the company’s plans for a hardcore SL65 Black Series that will transform the slick SL into a 670bhp hardcore coupe aimed at Lamborghini and Porsche.
The exclusive Black Series model, scooped here by CAR Magazine Online, will be launched in autumn 2008. It’s been developed in close cooperation with HWA of DTM/German Touring Car Championship fame. Only 400 units will be available – and you’ll need a stiff £193,000 (€260,000) to bag the ultimate SL, we hear.
The fixed-roof Black Series model sports much wider wings, massive 19/20in (front/rear) wheels, stronger steel brakes and a new Sportshift transmission which mates a new wet clutch (in lieu of the torque converter) to the familiar seven-speed cogworks.
Mercedes SL65 Black Series: the design
It’ll be easy to spot the uber SL, thanks to additional air intakes and a massive adjustable rear wing. Much of that soaraway price tag is spent on carbonfibre body panels, helping the Black shed a substantial 260kg over the SL65. Fireworks under the long bonnet are provided by the unloved SLR’s supercharged V8 developing a heady 670bhp and a maximum torque of 737lb ft, restricted to 555lb ft in first and second gears to protect the drivetrain.
Click ‘Next’ to read the full spec lowdown on the SL Black
SL65 Black Series goes GT2 hunting
This exclusive SL is aimed squarely at the Porsche 911 GT2 and Lamborghini Murcielago. The raw figures are certainly impressive, the Black Series SL accelerating to 62mph in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it 3.9sec. The top speed is a totally unrestricted 200mph.
According to those in the know, there will be a six to nine month gap between the end of production of the SLR and the launch of the new Mercedes supercar which is being developed without the help of McLaren this time round.
Regular SL: the facelift
The rest of the SL range gets a refresh at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. There are new L-shaped headlamps, a single-bar grill and a freshened interior with optional Airscarf, plus numerous technical improvements: quicker and more direct steering, an updated telematics system, hard disc infotainment system plus AMG-developed drivetrain tweaks.
We’ll see all this on the new range unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show – spanning from the SL280 3.0-litre V6 to the SL63 V8. CAR Magazine Online will report live from Switzerland on 4 March 2008 – so stay tuned to read about all the unveils in the coming weeks.