Mercedes-AMG SL 63 S E Performance: rival for Ferrari 296 GTS

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Mercedes has unveiled the most powerful SL ever: The Mercedes-AMG SL 63 S E Performance has a plug-in Hybrid system with an electrified rear axle that develops 816 PS and up to 1420 Nm.

The Plug-in Hybrid system called P3 is taken over from the Mercedes-AMG S 63 E Performance and AMG GT 63 S E Performance 4-doors. It consists of a 4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine with 450 kW (612 PS) and 850 Nm at the front mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission and a permanently excited synchronous electric motor with 150 kW (204 PS) at the rear axle (70 kW continuous power).

The rear-wheel drive unit includes a two-speed gearbox and a mechanical rear-axle limited-slip differential. The AMG high-performance battery is developed in conjunction with Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team engineers, has a capacity of 6.1 kWh, and can be charged at household outlets or AC stations with up to 3.7 kW. The electric range is only 13 km.

The Mercedes-AMG SL 63 S E Performance is equipped as standard with AMG Active Ride Control with semi-active roll stabilization and all-wheel steering. The displacement dampers, which can be adjusted in rebound and compression, also have semi-active, interconnected hydraulic elements that replace the traditional torsion bar stabilizer.

The electric motor acts directly on the rear axle, but if the rear axle tends to skid, the electric motor can transmit some of the power to the front axle via the mechanical connection provided by the AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system.

The Mercedes-AMG SL 63 S E Performance is differentiated from other models in the range by the charging flap on the rear bumper and the red E Performance badging on the boot lid and front fenders. It also comes standard with custom AMG 20-inch wheels measuring 265/40 R20 at the front and 295/30 R20 at the rear. Through the Manufaktur program, 20-inch or 21-inch forged wheels are available in various colors.

The driver can select eight driving programs: “Electric”, “Battery Hold”, “Comfort”, “Smoothness”, “Sport”, “Sport+”, “RACE”, and “Individual”. The car starts in electric mode, and the driver will hear a synthetic sound that mimics the sound of the V8 engine.

The driver can also choose between four degrees of energy recovery using the right AMG steering wheel button. In the highest level of recovery, the car can be driven in One-pedal mode, with recovery power exceeding 100 kW.

The Mercedes-AMG SL 63 S E Performance takes over its active aerodynamics from the Mercedes-AMG SL 63 4Matic. The active aerodynamic element made from carbon fiber is hidden in the underbody in front of the engine and automatically extends downwards by around 40 millimeters at a speed of 80 km/h.

Another active component is the extendable rear spoiler integrated into the boot lid ,which can be positioned in five stages from a speed of 80 km/h.

The Mercedes-AMG SL 63 S E Performance accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 2.9 seconds, and reaches a top speed of 317 km/h. Its main rival is the Ferrari 296 GTS, which also uses a plug-in hybrid system.

Ferrari 296 GTS has a longer electric range

Ferrari’s Plug-in Hybrid system is different. It consists of a 663 hp 3-litre twin-turbo V6 engine, located in central position, and a 122 kW (166 PS) electric motor mounted between the combustion engine and the 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The powertrain develops a total of 830 PS and 740 Nm, propelling the car from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.9 seconds, while the top speed is over 330 km/h (186 mph). The 7.45 kWh battery, located centrally behind the seats, gives an almost double range of 25 km.