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Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG: Comfortable power (pictures)

We took Mercedes' SL 63 AMG out for a spin to see whether it lived up to the 'Sport' in the SL's name.

drew-stearne-headshot1
Drew Stearne
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Small touches like the carbon fibre spoiler help make the SL 63 AMG look more special.
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Quad, squared-off exhausts make the SL 63 AMG look pretty menacing.
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They also help its rump look rather more exciting.
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It's fair to say that the SL is a bit "snouty."
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And shouty, actually.
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It'll manage 0-62 mph in just over 4 seconds.
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If you think that's quick...
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...its top speed is 155 mph (limited), unless...
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...you spec the AMG Performance Package.
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The AMG pack ups the power to over 550bhp from around 530...
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...and rips the limiter off the engine...
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...pushing the top speed to 186 mph. That's quite brisk, isn't it?
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This isn't the fastest SL, either.
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The SL 65 AMG has more power, and will hit 62 mph in 4.0 seconds dead.
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The 65 has more power than the SLS AMG supercar, too.
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The chaps at AMG take a normal, sedate Mercedes-Benz and fill it with more power.
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But, they don't do too much to the suspension...
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...they do tune it, fret not, but they don't create a car that'll destroy your spine.
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So what you end up with is a cruise missile that's rather comfy. As though it were made of moss.
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The SL comes with plenty of toys to keep you comfortable while you travel at 186 mph.
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It has massaging seats, with four settings (fast and vigorous is a favourite).
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You can also have your seat heated or cooled. Which is nice.
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As the SL is a convertible (I drove it in late October -- that roof stayed firmly up), you can have Mercedes' air scarf to blow warm air over your neck as you drive along.
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One thing that we can't convey in pictures...
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...is the incredible noise that falls out of its exhausts. It's simply incredible.
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It's big, guttural, and mechanical. All the things a good V-8 should be.
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As you'd expect from a top-end Mercedes, everything in the cabin is superbly made.
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The paddles for changing gear are wonderfully machined and as a result they're just a touch nicer to use than common or garden plastic ones.
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AMG badges are littered all over the cabin...
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...to remind you just what the car's packing.
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Each AMG engine is handmade, this one by a chap called Stefan. Thanks, Stefan, for making a stonker.
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The SL 63 AMG weighs nearly 1,900kgs. Thankfully, it stops rather well.
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This is the gear selector. It's machined metal topped with leather. On the top it has a stamp from Affalterbach, where AMG cars are born. Nice touch.
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Interior flashes of quality make the AMG a wonderful place to simply sit.
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But why sit still? You can enjoy the interior at speed. Legal speed, obvs.
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Planting your foot results in a touch of lag, then the 63's two turbos spool up and fling the car forward.
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The nose lifts slightly, so it's a bit muscle car-ish, if I'm honest.
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Pace + noise = big smile.

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