It’s Black power
Mercedes unveils its quickest and costliest car to hit Australian shores, writes PAUL GOVER
THE most expensive car to wear a Mercedes-Benz star in Australia has been unveiled in Germany. It will also be the quickest and one of the most exclusive.
The SL 65 AMG Black Series will cost close to $600,000 when it hits the road, with a top of 320km/h and a 0-100km/h time of 3.9 seconds.
In a lot of ways the SL Black is the successor to the Mercedes-McLaren SLR, an F1-inspired carbon-fibre road rocket which was never brought to Australia.
Benz is working on a genuine supercar contender for 2010, after letting its road car deal with its McLaren grand prix team lapse, but until then the SL is its showpiece.
‘‘This is a dream car. It is a car which would be ideal for the racetrack, but can also be driven on the road,’’ Mercedes-Benz Australia managing director Horst von Sanden says.
It is the second Black Series car for Australia, after the CLK 63 coupe was introduced earlier this year. The original Black, an SLK, was never imported.
AMG, the performance division of Mercedes-Benz, began building Black Series cars to meet customer demands for something beyond its regular V8 hotrods.
For the SL 65 Black, it has fitted a tweaked twin-turbo V12 engine with 493kW and 1000Nm. There are suspension and body ugrades, as well as massive 20-inch rear wheels and specially tweaked traction control and electronic stability control.
The high-tech stuff runs to carbon-fibre-reinforced panels for the roof, boot, bonnet and front mudguards. They contribute to a 25kg weight saving from the previous SL hero car, the 65.
Other improvements include a wider track, adjustable sports suspension and uprated brakes.
The big questions now are the price and numbers.
‘‘We haven’t even got the information on how many we will get. We have got our hands firmly up and we’re hoping to get 10 cars,’’ von Sanden says.
‘‘If you look at our current price structure, it will be between $500,000 and $600,000. But when you see the car it blows you away.’’
The SL Black is expected around the middle of next year.
Road rager: the Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG Black Series has a twin-turbo V12 engine producing 493kW and 1000Nm, and massive 20-inch rear wheels.