We have already seen several artistic renderings of the next Mercedes-Benz. The German automaker used the second Formula One test at the Barcelona circuit as the backdrop for the unveiling of its latest performance car, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG.
Barely two months back the 2013 SL-Class made its world premiere at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. But this new roadster was revealed by the Mercedes AMG Petronos drivers, Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, fresh from unveiling their team’s new F1 car, the MGP W03.
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63 has adopted a new technique for its construction with abundant use of aluminum and magnesium. The structure includes carbon-fiber trunk lid and vacuum die castings within the chassis, bringing down its weight to 1845kg, a staggering 125kg reduction.
The new generation is differentiated from the sibling by an extensive body kit developed by AMG. This takes away the elegant yet speedy appeal of the previous gen SL, and makes the new look rather aggressive. On the front is a newly developed deeper bumper with larger cooling ducts, AMG-specific LED daytime running lights, a restyled double-louver grille and V8 bitrubo badges along the flanks. The side skirt is almost similar to the predecessor, but it now features deck spoiler and altered rear bumper housing an integral diffuser and four chrome tailpipes. Coming from a family of AMG’ performance roadster, the new SL63 AMG, gets a folding hardtop roof. It retracts and stows within the top of the trunk within 20secs.
Under the hood, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63 has a new powerhouse, twin-turbocharged 5.5-litre V8. However, it is tuned for two different states. In standard is the familiar 32-valve M157, which produces 529hp at 5,500rpm, which is 11 horses more than the outgoing 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63.
On the torque end, the new engine produces 590 lb-ft between 2,000 and 4,500rpm against the 465 lb-ft at 5,200rpm of the previous gen.
As for the addition of performance package, the power increases to 556 hp at the same rev figures, while the torque rises to 663 lb-ft between 2,250 and 3,750rpm. Mated with this V8 is AMG’s Speedshift seven-speed gearbox, which uses automatic clutch instead of a torque converter. Assisting the driver to control all this power flowing to the wheels are steering mounted pedal-shifts and launch-control function called race start.
With the performance package upgraded, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63 does a dead to 100kmph in 4.3 seconds flat. The SL’s new chassis is platformed on a new four-link front and multilink rear suspension, including smartly tuned active air springs and dampers as a part of Mercedes ABC (active body control) system. Also a part of the new safety features is the new electromechanical steering system boasting variable assistance. This new combination claims to bring greater overall agility, reduced roll angles and improved ride quality, all at the push of a button. Other safety features include ESP (electronic stability program) and a locking rear differential, which is part of AMG’s performance suspension.
The standard wheels are 19-inch, combined with 255/35 front and 285/30 rear tyres. As for the optional AMG performance studio option, 19-inch wheels are mated with 255/35 rubber up front and 20-inch wheels with 285/30 rubber at the rear.
It takes strong braking force to slow down all those horses. AMG developed brake system that uses vented and cross-drilled 15.6-inch steel discs combined with six-piston calipers up front and cross-drilled 14.2-inch steel discs with single-piston floating calipers at the rear. For sales, an optional carbon-ceramic brake package uses giant 15.8-inch front with six piston calipers and 14.2-inch rear discs with single floating piston calipers.