Mercedes-Benz revealed three vehicles during its presentation at the end of day one of the 2008 LA Auto Show, with the most notable being the SL65 AMG Black Edition.
Like the SLK 55 AMG Black Series and the CLK 63 AMG Black Series before it, the SL65 AMG Black Series is ultrahigh performance and ultraexclusive. Only 175 examples will be sold in the United States.
Between the wildly exaggerated front fenders lies the most powerful Mercedes-Benz AMG engine ever produced. The SL65 Black features a 6-liter V-12 biturbo engine, outputting an electronically limited 670 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. Left unchecked, AMG's engineers reckon the engine would produce 885 pound-feet of torque. I smell ECU hacks!
Power is transmitted to the rear wheel via an AMG SpeedShift Plus five-speed automatic gearbox with four drive programs to choose from: Comfort, Sport, and two manual programs, one of which features 20 percent faster shifts. Three levels of ESP let the driver choose the size of their safety net: ESP On, ESP Sport, and, for the lunatics, ESP Off.
Putting rubber to the road is an upgraded coil-over suspension with a wide track. Wheels are staggered, with 19-inch rollers up front and 20-inchers out back, and wrapped in R-rated tires. Bringing the beast to a halt are vented, perforated disc brakes with high-performance compound pads.
According to Mercedes-Benz, the only shared body panels between the SL65 Black and the standard SL are the doors. Extensive use of carbon fiber throughout the wide body kit (including the roof and hood) help the Black shed 210 pounds. Lightweight and high power mean the SL65 Black hits 100 kph (62 mph) in 3.8 seconds before rocketing onward toward an electronically limited 198 mph.
Putting the most powerful AMG engine ever in your driveway will cost you $299,000 if you're one of the first 175 buyers to pony up.