PRESS RELEASE: MERCEDES-BENZ SL AMG (2008)
(from Daimler Press Release) SL 63 AMG: exclusive with AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission: The sportiest SL-Class ever – AMG dream machine with revolutionary transmission and 386 kW/525 hp V8 engine
Affalterbach – Emotional performance courtesy of cutting-edge engineering: the new Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG in a nutshell. The roadster is powered by an AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine developing 386 kW/525 hp and 630 Newton metres – which makes it today’s most powerful model with a V8 naturally aspirated engine in its class. The SL 63 AMG comes exclusively with the all-new, innovative AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission. The newly developed power transfer concept features a compact, wet start-up clutch that replaces the conventional torque converter. The resulting direct connection to the powertrain, together with the double-declutching and Race Start functions, guarantees an extremely emotional, supremely dynamic driving experience. The SL 63 AMG sets new standards in the open-top sports car segment thanks to this outstanding drive combination and the retuned, even more agile AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control – turning it into the sportiest SL-Class ever.
The new SL 65 AMG will also be launched alongside the SL 63 AMG. Thanks to its 450 kW/612 hp AMG 6.0-litre biturbo engine developing 1000 Newton metres of torque, the V12 top-of-the-line model delivers effortlessly superior refinement in its purest form. Both Mercedes-AMG SL-Class Roadsters also hold in store extraordinary thrills and breathtaking dynamism thanks to the hallmark AMG equipment features. The vario-roof, which opens in 16 seconds and is also available in an optional glass version, continues to ensure an unrivalled driving experience.
The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission is an all-new, unique concept, available exclusively in the new Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG. It combines the best of two worlds: the sporty, direct and agile feedback of a manual transmission and the maximum convenience of an automatic transmission.
Fitted with seven speeds, four drive modes, a double-declutching and Race Start function, the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission offers unprecedented versatility. MCT stands for Multi-Clutch Technology and only employs clutch elements to perform gearshifts.
The high-tech transmission is designed for high torque and maximum revs up to 7200 rpm. It also comes with sufficient reserves even under the highest loads thanks to its high-performance oil cooling system. An all-new, sophisticated electronic transmission control unit fully controls and monitors all processes.
A new two-stage torsion damper effectively eliminates vibrations. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission has been developed jointly by Mercedes-AMG GmbH and Daimler AG, although it will be used exclusively in AMG high-performance vehicles. It is produced at the Mercedes-Benz Esslingen-Hedelfingen production facility, Europe’s largest manufacturer of planetary gear sets.
Four drive modes for tailor-made driving pleasure
At the heart of the new AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission lies the wet start-up clutch, which runs in an oil bath and replaces the previous torque converter. Thanks to its low rotational inertia, the transmission responds instantaneously and dynamically with no slip. Accelerator pedal movements trigger an instant traction response. Fitted with four drive modes: “C” (Comfort), “S” (Sport), “S+” (Sport plus) and “M” (Manual), the transmission provides gearshifting with no loss of tractive force and supports customised control strategies for maximum driving pleasure. In “C” mode the gearshifts are comfortable, coupled with a “soft” accelerator response set-up for outstandingly smooth power transfer. In “S” mode the engine and transmission interact with more "bite": the engine speed is allowed to reach a higher level in each gear; the downshifts also feel more spontaneous. The gearshifts are around 20 percent faster than in “C” mode. Switching to “S+” mode cuts another 20 percent off shift times, while “M” is the sportiest mode: here the AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine has even more bite, added to which the transmission shifts gear another 10 percent faster – a reduction of 50 percent compared with “C” mode. In “M” mode the gearshifts take just 100 milliseconds.
Ultra-fast, spontaneous multiple downshifts are another forte of the new MCT sports transmission. For instance, kickdown lets you move straight from seventh down to fourth gear or from fifth to second. In the “S” (Sport), “S+” (Sport plus) and “M” (Manual) modes the automatic double-declutching function is active. Every manual or automatic downshift is accompanied by precisely metered double-declutching – from “S” through “S+” to “M” incrementally. And this not only adds to the driver's emotional experience: the virtually load-free downshift minimises load-change reactions, which pays dividends particularly when braking into a bend on the racetrack.
New AMG DRIVE UNIT with innovative Race Start function
The new AMG DRIVE UNIT is the central control unit for the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission and all driving dynamics functions. The driver can change gears either using the new AMG selector lever with its leather/ carbon-fibre finish, or by nudging the AMG steering-wheel shift paddles. On the left next to the selector lever is the electronic rotary switch to select the four drive modes including activation of the new Race Start function. Underneath are three buttons for additional functions: the first controls the ESP Ò function, the second the ABC suspension system. The third adorned with AMG lettering is used to store the selected transmission drive mode and the suspension set-up. Briefly pressing the AMG button brings up the configuration options, while holding down the button allows you to program the required set-ups.
The Race Start function takes driving dynamics to an entirely new level: it enables the SL 63 AMG driver to call on maximum acceleration, while ensuring optimum traction of the driven wheels. While the vehicle is at a standstill, the driver needs to activate the ESPÒ sports function and press the brake pedal with their left foot. Having preselected the Race Start program using the rotary switch, a confirmation message comes up on the AMG central display. The driver then simply needs to confirm the Race Start function by pulling the “Up” shift paddle once, fully depressing the accelerator and taking their foot off the brakes. The optimum start-up engine speed is set fully automatically and the SL 63 AMG accelerates away in an instant – as an option even up to the top speed. The driver does not need to shift gear manually; the AMG transmission changes gear with lightning-fast shift times.
AMG 6.3-litre V8 naturally aspirated engine with 386 kW/525 hp
The AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine teams up with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission to form a perfect partnership for dynamic driving pleasure and outstanding performance. The SL 63 AMG accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds before quickly going on to a top speed of 250 km/h (electronically limited). The high-revving naturally aspirated engine generates 386 kW/525 hp at 6800 rpm from a displacement of 6208 cubic centimetres, delivering maximum torque of 630 Newton metres at 5200 rpm. The unique combination of high-revving concept and large displacement achieves the best of both worlds: high pulling power at low engine speeds coupled with exhilarating high-revving flexibility – right up to 7200 rpm.
The AMG V8 is packed with a wealth of fascinating racetrack technology, including the lightweight, extra-rigid closed-deck crankcase and cylinder walls with a revolutionary TWAS coating as well as the valve train designed for high engine speeds with bucket tappets in the cylinder heads. The vertical arrangement of the intake and exhaust ports together with the variable intake manifold featuring two integral throttle flaps results in superlative cylinder charging and high power output.
The sophisticated electronically controlled fuel supply provides a consummately spontaneous response to accelerator movements in all driving situation; the AMG sports exhaust with two oval, chromed twin tailpipes guarantees the characteristic AMG V8 vocals. The tri-metallic coating used in the catalytic converters results in a faster response from a cold start, more efficient emission control as well as superior long-term durability. The SL 63 AMG fulfils all standard exhaust emissions limits such as EU 4 and the specific requirements of the U.S. market (LEV-II, On-Board Diagnosis II and oxygen sensor diagnosis).
AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control and 3-stage ESPÒ
The dynamic drive unit finds its perfect match in the SL 63 AMG suspension. The AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control has been further enhanced and not only comes with new spring and damper tuning but also completely modified elastokinematics. The front axle bearings, the spring links and the torque strut along with individual strut bearings at the rear have been retuned to deliver greater agility and shorter stopping distances. In partnership with the optimised speed-sensitive power steering the SL 63 AMG now feels even more direct and livelier – enabling the driver to fully utilise the linear steering and oversteer/understeer characteristics typical of a sports car, especially on winding roads or a private racetrack. The AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control also enables the suspension set-up to be customised. At the push of a button, the driver can select a sporty, firm response with reduced roll angles, or go for a comfort-focussed setting for excellent comfort on long journeys.
Also new is the 3-stage ESP Ò with sports function. This system provides three different settings and is the logical development of the AMG ESPÒ philosophy. The driver can choose between the settings “ESP ON”, “ESP SPORT” and “ESP OFF” by pressing the ESP Ò button in the AMG DRIVE UNIT – the activated setting is shown in the central display in the AMG instrument cluster.
AMG high-performance braking system and 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels
The AMG high-performance braking system rises to the exacting requirements associated with consummate driving dynamics. The front wheels are equipped with internally ventilated, perforated 360 x 36-millimetre composite disc brakes with six-piston aluminium fixed callipers, while deceleration at the rear comes courtesy of internally ventilated, perforated 330 x 26-millimetre brake discs with four-piston fixed callipers. The result is the shortest stopping distances, outstanding sensitivity and remarkable resistance to fading.
The 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels with their alluring triple-spoke styling and titanium grey finish plus high-sheen star on the centre of the wheel are also new. 255/35 R 19 (front) and 285/30 R 19 (rear) tyres are fitted to the 8.5 and 9.5-inch-wide wheels. The 19-inch AMG light-alloy wheels with their striking design blend in harmoniously with the new AMG bodystyling.
New AMG bodystyling ensures clear differentiation
The appearance of the SL 63 AMG now gives away its exceptional status more than ever before. The new-look front apron with a more pronounced wedge shape, black-painted radiator grille, larger cooling air intakes and lower transverse fin painted in black harmonises perfectly with the redesigned front end of the SL-Class, giving it a decidedly masculine aura. The distinctive AMG bonnet more than hints at the unique power unit underneath. Bi-xenon headlamps with their dark surrounds, and large round fog lamps set well to the side in chrome surrounds also emphasise the vehicle's width. The hot air from the additional engine oil cooler in the front wheel arch escapes through side air outlets in the front apron. New exterior mirrors featuring LED indicators with a pronounced arrow shape catch the eye as do the matt-silver-painted AMG trim panels on the front wings with “6.3 AMG” lettering.
The AMG bodystyling also includes the AMG side skirts and the powerful AMG rear apron with its large black diffusor insert. A visual and acoustic feast comes in the guise of the AMG sports exhaust with two chromed twin tailpipes. The AMG spoiler lip on the boot lid reduces lift especially at high speeds.
Interior featuring new AMG sports steering wheel with three-spoke design
The interior of the new SL 63 AMG offers an alluring combination of exclusive equipment details and a dynamic, practical look. The eye is drawn to the new AMG ergonomic sports steering wheel with its three-spoke design and aluminium AMG shift paddles. The grip area is specially shaped and covered in perforated leather, while the vertical spoke is embellished by a silver-coloured insert. Behind sits the new AMG instrument cluster with “6.3 V8” lettering on the rev counter and the new-look instrument cluster trimmed in nappa leather with double topstitching above the round gauges. As soon as the ignition is switched on, the speedometer and rev counter needles rotate in unison around the dials to their maximum values and then instantly revert to their original positions.
The AMG main menu integrated in the AMG instrument cluster displays the currently engaged gear including recommended upshifts, the “RACETIMER” with lap times, information on the engine oil temperature and battery voltage, along with the activated transmission drive mode including Race Start and the selected ESP Ò mode. New, exclusive equipment for the SL 63 AMG with AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission includes the AMG selector lever in a leather/carbon-fibre finish and the stylishly integrated AMG DRIVE UNIT with rotary switch for the four drive modes and buttons for ESP Ò , suspension set-up and the AMG mode.
Standard-fit AMG sports seats with optional AIRSCARF
The standard specification also includes fine nappa leather upholstery, genuine carbon-fibre trim and the multi-way electrically adjustable AMG sports seats with multicontour and memory functions, seat heating, AMG-specific perforation pattern and seat design, and AMG badge. The optional AIRSCARF neck-level heating system is a new addition. At the push of a button, it blows warm air through the head restraints – providing open-air motoring pleasure even if there is a chill in the air.
The new SL-Class also features the new-generation telematics NTG 2.5. The sophisticated units combine ease of use, logical menu structure and consummate entertainment. Features include speed-sensitive volume control, a keypad for entering telephone numbers and radio frequencies, an MP3-compatible CD or DVD player as well as a Bluetooth interface that wirelessly links a mobile phone to the hands-free system. Audio 20, Audi 20 CD with CD changer, Audio 50 and Audio 50 APS with DVD changer also now come with a 5-inch colour screen. The COMAND APS features a high-resolution 6.5-inch colour display, LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system for audio, navigation and telephony, a music library function to store audio files and an SD memory card slot.
SL 65 AMG with biturbo V12 producing 450 kW/612 hp and 1000 Newton metres
Top of the line in the exclusive 12-cylinder roadster segment is the SL 65 AMG. Its AMG 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine produces 450 kW/612 hp with maximum torque of 1000 Newtonmetres – unrivalled figures even four years after the market launch. The SL 65 AMG accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.2 seconds, impressive testimony to the outstanding power of the AMG V12 engine; top speed is 250 km/h (electronically limited). Power in the SL 65 AMG is transferred by the AMG SPEEDSHIFT five-speed automatic transmission with three drive modes; a multi-disc limited-slip differential with a lock factor of up to 30 percent also guarantees optimum traction.
Visual features which distinguish the V12 top-of-the-line model from the SL 63 AMG include a lower transverse fin painted matt silver in the front apron, “V12 BITURBO” lettering on the matt-silver-painted trim panels on the front wings and the AMG sports exhaust with two chromed twin tailpipes featuring the V12 styling. The new AMG bodystyling including AMG bonnet and AMG spoiler lip is also part of the standard specification for the V12 top-of-the-line model. 255/35 R 19 (front) and 285/30 R 19 (rear) tyres are fitted to the new 19-inch AMG twin-spoke forged light-alloy wheels painted titanium grey with a mirror finish . In tune with its incomparable driving dynamics the SL 65 AMG comes with a large AMG high-performance braking system using ultra-high-performance composite brakes at the front and rear. The front wheels are equipped with 390 x 36-millimetre brake discs while 360 x 26-millimetre discs provide the deceleration at the rear.
Nappa leather upholstery in the new AMG V12 diamond-pattern design
The exclusive nappa leather upholstery on the AMG sports seats and door centre panels with its new AMG V12 diamond-pattern design catches the eye in the interior of the SL 65 AMG. “V12 BITURBO” lettering on the rev counter adorns the new AMG instrument cluster. As with the SL 63 AMG, the new AMG ergonomic sports steering wheel with its three-spoke design and aluminium AMG shift paddles is also included.
Optional extras from the AMG PERFORMANCE STUDIO
Both the SL 63 AMG and the SL 65 AMG can be further enhanced with exclusive optional extras from the AMG Performance STUDIO. These include:
AMG exterior carbon-fibre package with side air outlets in front apron, exterior mirror housing, spoiler lip and genuine carbon-fibre diffusor insert in rear apron
AMG performance steering wheel, flattened underside and smaller diameter
AMG door sill panels, illuminated in white light
19-inch AMG twin-spoke forged light-alloy wheels with mixed-size tyres, 255/35 R 19 and 285/30 R 19 (only for SL 63 AMG)
The Performance Package developed in the AMG Performance STUDIO is also available for the SL 63 AMG; it includes even more powerful components and is ideally suited for drivers with sporty inclinations:
Internally ventilated composite brake discs, size 390 x 36 mm, on the front axle
Multiple-disc limited-slip rear differential with a locking factor of 40 percent for enhanced traction
19-inch AMG twin-spoke forged light-alloy wheels with mixed-size tyres, 255/35 R 19 and 285/30 R 19
AMG performance suspension based on Active Body Control
AMG performance steering wheel with smaller diameter, flattened underside, silver-coloured aluminium shift paddles
Interested customers can now order the SL 63 AMG and SL 65 AMG; the new AMG Roadsters will be launched in April 2008. Sales prices are:
SL 63 AMG: €145,239.50 (incl. 19% VAT)
SL 65 AMG: €221,518.50 (incl. 19% VAT)
Performance Package SL 63 AMG: €11,305 (incl. 19% VAT)