Mercedes SL 63 AMG in the test

Rossen Gargolov
Mercedes SL 63 AMG in the test
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C urrywurst or haute cuisine, camping tent or hotel suite, Asceticism or assistance systems - if you love ultra-light roadsters without comfort equipment, you don't have to read any further. The current test subject weighs as much as two Lotus Elise and divides the opinion of the editors. While some want it as a private dream car, hardcore fans smile at it as a comfortable golf course companion.

Mercedes SL 63 AMG has lost weight

'I will convince you all' , the Mercedes SL 63 AMG seems to snort confidently through its cooling air nostrils. He has slimmed down since the last generation. The predecessor weighed 1,986 kilos. Thanks to the aluminum shell (predecessor: steel), aluminum use in the chassis area, a trunk lid in sandwich construction made of plastic and carbon fiber (minus 5 kg), a 12.3 kg lighter exhaust system and the use of magnesium, the developers saved 91 kilos . The reduction in weight is good, but the Mercedes SL 63, for example, still weighs significantly more than the larger Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster (1,748 kg).

Just looking at the multicontour seats with numerous adjustment options, massage function, seat heating and seat air conditioning (surcharge 844 euros) reveals why: comfort is also the trump card in the current Mercedes SL. But even lightweight construction fanatics have to admit that the SL armchairs are as comfortable as your favorite couch. Anyone who comes home from sport in summer with a sweaty shirt will appreciate the seat air conditioning. The Airscarf neck-level heating ... no, stop, stop - we're here at sport auto , enough comfort details.

Turn the ignition key, we'd rather listen to the V8 melody: The 5.5-liter twin-turbo clears its throat in a distinguished but heart-rending manner through the four-pipe exhaust system. For some, the too robust exhaust bulge of the SL63 predecessor with 6.2 liter suction cup is history. In addition to the enjoyable sound, the unit known internally as the M 157 and already known from other AMG derivatives shines with its draft. Draft? Oh, knockout punch or detonation is a better fit.

Mercedes SL 63 AMG in 12.5 s to 200 km /h With boost pressure increased by 0.3 to 1.3 bar, the double-charged V8 delivers a full 564 hp instead of 537. Between 2,250 and 3,750 tours there is a constant 900 Nm torque (without PP: 800Nm). With 4.2 seconds to 100 km /h and 12.5 seconds over the 200 km /h mark, it pulverizes the sprint values ​​of its predecessor casually (0 - 100: 4.8 s, 0 - 200: 15.3 s).

In everyday life the Mercedes SL 63 AMG brings its power to the asphalt better than its smaller brother SL 500 thanks to the rear-axle limited-slip differential, among other things. H. The 63er whistles along the route with a quiet straight line like the Transrapid once did. The stiffer performance sports suspension (additional charge 1,785 euros) with Active Body Control impresses in both damper modes with suspension comfort that is compatible for all age groups.

Roadster should also survive on the racetrack

Up to this point the test result for the new Mercedes SL 63 AMG would have been positive. Since the marketing strategists position the roadster not only as a power cruiser, but also certify that it has “incomparable dynamism” on “ambitious laps on a closed race track”, the muscle SL now has to show what it can do in Hockenheim: three-stage ESP Deactivate completely, drive program dial to 'M' as if manual, press the damper button for firm damper coordination - out of the pit lane, up on the small course.

While the Mercedes SL can cleverly cover up its 1,875 kilos in everyday life , the weight becomes immediately noticeable when braking in the limit area. Throwing the anchor on the last groove is impossible, otherwise the star warrior will push bluntly over the front axle. Braking early is important, only then does the 63er willingly and halfway directly. More convincingly than the tendency to understeer at the entrance to the curve, the SL succeeds in converting its 564 hp into traction when accelerating out of the curve. Under load, the rear only lubricates with slight power oversteer from the curve. Sneaky load change reactions are not his thing.

The seven-speed Speedshift MCT transmission receives deductions for racetrack performance. In manual shift mode M, it holds the gears and does not shift up autonomously, but anyone who wants to change gear quickly with the steering wheel paddle shortly before the rev limiter will be disappointed. Suddenly the transmission refuses the upshift impulse and the gear acceptance and turns into the rev limiter under full load. Pulling the right rocker several times does not help either - the transmission only changes gear after what feels like an eternity. Shift delays that are already known from other AMG models in manual mode.

Those who do not want to concentrate on the race track on manually upshifting at least 500 tours before the red zone so that the transmission shifts gears as desired it is better to choose the drive program 'S +'. Sport Plus shifts up automatically when the engine speed limit is reached, but theSwitching delays do not occur. Overall, despite the high outside temperatures, the Mercedes SL 63 AMG's appearance on the racetrack is impressive with a lap time of 1,13.2 minutes (predecessor: 1,15.0 minutes).

The athlete's braking performance is unacceptable

Regardless of the rapid longitudinal and lateral dynamics: the Mercedes SL 63 AMG has significant potential for improvement in terms of deceleration. It is less the slightly degrading braking performance on the fast Hockenheim laps than the braking values ​​in the standard measurement that are inadequate. After the warm braking procedure with ten braking maneuvers in succession from 100 km /h to a standstill, the braking system was noticeable due to severe fading. Accompanied by the development of smoke and small flames on the front axle brake, the braking distance from 100 km /h was 39.4 meters - simply unacceptable for an athlete costing over 200,000 euros.

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