Feature

New cars: 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series

What the critics say about the $300,000 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series

Automobile
Priced a full $100,000 more than a regular SL65 AMG, the Black Series looks like an escapee from a no-holds-barred grand touring race. That extra hundred grand pays for carbon-fiber body panels and fixed roof, beefed-up turbos, and a monster 6.0-liter, 661-hp V12 that will hit 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. Top speed is “electronically restrained to 199 mph.” Only 350 of them will be made.

Motor Trend
“Recession? What recession?” A driver seated in a sumo crouch at the wheel of this two-seater can ward off talk of hard times “like a mirror reflecting sunlight.” The five-speed automatic acts like a professional driver to tame the engine, performing double-clutch downshifts and preventing destabilizing load-shifts on fast corners or on a slick surface.

Car and Driver
Call it “$300,000 worth of pure wickedness.” The interior is virtually stock for an SL65 AMG, but everything else is “significantly different.” Gigantic wheel arches, vents behind the wheels, and “other sundry scoops and holes” give this car an appearance of “true menace.” The biggest flaws are the conventional, vacuum-assisted hydraulic brakes, which went “spongy” at high speeds.

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