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2013 Mercedes SL63: Bring On All Challengers!

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On: Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 2:47PM | By: Lou Ruggieri

2013 Mercedes SL63: Bring On All Challengers!

The history of Mercedes SL has been a long and storied line of automobiles that have brought joy and envy to millions over the last two decades. When Mercedes decided to let its performance division have a crack at the SL, things only got better and worse, depending on which side of the tax bracket you happen to be on. For 2013, there is even more good or bad news. Mercedes-Benz is introducing a new SL63, and it is a car that takes luxury performance to a whole new level.  

Although most people would automatically assume that BMW is Mercedes' biggest competitor, when it comes to a car like the SL63, it's more apples to oranges. The main competition the SL63 faces comes from companies like Aston Martin or Jaguar. These are big cars that focus on equal parts luxury and power, and the SL63 is packing plenty of both.

Although AMG shied away from forced induction for a few years in favor of bigger displacement naturally aspirated engines, it seems they have come back to their roots (no, not the supercharging kind), and settled on forced induction of another kind. The newest SL (and several other AMG models) is slated to receive a hand-built M157 twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8 that makes a very impressive 530 ponies and 590 lb.-ft. of torque. Of course in the realm of super-luxury, for some too much is just never enough, and for that reason AMG has offered and optional Performance Package (insinuating somehow 530 horsepower is lacking in some way one can only presume) which is good a bit more boost to the tune of 557-horsepower and a locomotive-esq 664 lb.-ft. of torque!

Combine that increase in power with a drop in weight to the tune of 275 pounds versus the outgoing SL thanks to copious amounts of aluminum and carbon-fiber and you have a car that moves out in a hurry. Although it still won't be confused for a Lotus Elise tipping the scales at just over 4,000 pounds, the SL63 equipped with the Performance Package can run to 60 mph in a claimed 4.1 seconds and on to 100 mph in just about 8.5 seconds. Top speed is 186 mph and 155 mph for the "regular" SL63.

The engine is not the only aspect of the 2013 car that looks new -- chrome side vents, LED running lights, a rear spoiler lip, and big double louvered grille make this edition of the SL look decidedly less luxury and more powerful than SL models of yesteryear. Mercedes offers owners the choice of either seven-speed AMG Speedshift transmission, or the option to go find another car. The trans offers four shift modes and incorporates a stop-start function that is becoming all the rage to help conserve fuel. Fuel economy is up 30 percent over the outgoing model to 12/19 city/highway, which is nothing to plant a tree over, but is still better nonetheless.

No matter who the SL63 is aimed at competing with, anything from a Bentley to a Corvette 427 Convertible will have a hard time combining the SL63's level of passenger-loving luxury, and eye-flattening performance.

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