Mercedes-AMG SL 63 4Matic+ Review by Auto Motor und Sport

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German magazine  auto motor und sport  has tested the new Mercedes-AMG SL 63 4Matic+ and here are their impressions.

Photo: Auto motor und sport 

Exceptional agility 
The Mercedes-AMG SL 63 4Matic+ is the top of the SL range and is powered by the M177 V8 bi-turbo engine with 585 HP and 800 Nm. Our colleagues at auto motor und sport were impressed by the remarkable agility of this car that weighs 1904 kg. In the slalom trial between the pylons placed 18 m apart and the double lane change, the Mercedes-AMG SL 63 4Matic+ was as fast as the Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster which is 200 kg lighter, 16 cm shorter and 2 cm wider; 68.3 km/h in the slalom trial and 140.4 km/h in the double lane change.

This exceptional result was achieved by using all the latest drive train technologies currently available from Mercedes: all-wheel drive with variable torque distribution, integral steering (the rear wheels steer 2.5 degrees in the opposite direction to the front wheels at low speeds and 0.7 degrees in the same direction to the front wheels at higher speeds), and AMG Active Ride Control suspension with active anti-roll bars operated by hydraulic rather than mechanical elements.

With 21-inch wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, the Mercedes-AMG SL 63 4Matic+ handles decently on bumps despite a firm suspension because the new SL is not only the successor to the former SL generation but also has to fill the gap left by the AMG GT Roadster. Only on short bumps does it respond a little stiffly.

Only average response of the engine at start, exceptionally economical
In contrast, colleagues at auto motor und sport were a little disappointed by the response of the twin-turbo V8 engine that doesn’t benefit from any mild hybrid system. The lack of electric support at start and the 800 Nm of peak torque only achieved at 2,500 rpm are the reasons why the V8 engine doesn’t accelerate too frantically. But how does it achieve the excellent acceleration of only 3.6 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h? With the Race Start function, which allows the engine to rev forward, allowing it to explode as soon as you take your foot off the brake.

Fuel consumption is unbelievably low for this engine power and performance figures. Under 10 l/100 km on the Eco test route used by auto motor und sport and 13.5 l/100 km average consumption. And speaking of brakes. The optional ceramic disc brakes provide a deceleration of 11.5 m/s2 which corresponds to extremely short braking distances: just 33.8 m from 100 km/h and 56.8 m from 130 km/h.

No drift mode
Strangely, there is no drift mode like on the AMG E 63. Mercedes-AMG says it doesn’t suit the SL’s character. But there’s still Racetrack mode that disengage the assistance systems. The testers at auto motor und sport didn’t clearly understand the positioning of the car either. What is the role of the new SL? A pure sports car? A comfortable high-tech convertible? Mercedes wanted to shoot two birds with one stone and this is not so easy because the requirements of a sports car and of a high-tech convertible are so different.

At the same time, the return to the soft top roof fits very well with tradition but already from 100 km/h upwards there is a wind noise in the upper area of the driver’s window. Well protected by the windscreen, it’s a pleasure to drive the new SL even without the wind deflector which can be installed manually.

As for the interior, the rear seats offer too little room which is further restricted if you push back the front seats. And the rear backrest is in a very upright position, so only children can travel there. But colleagues at auto motor und sport think that space is more suitable for luggage storage because the SL is also a long-range GT.

Conclusion

The SL is a munch better sports car than before. It is a much more agile and the old generation is not even close.