The half-million dollar Benz roadster has the just-right balance between grand touring and outright grandstanding
GOLDILOCKS is a great name for a car with a rare combination of grace and pace that’s ‘‘ just right’’ despite a price tag that could soar beyond $450,000.
The new high-class Benzmobile would make an ideal Bond girl, thanks to great DNA and some hardcore bootcamp training at AMG.
Goldilocks makes an elegant entrance or runs with the guns. She has the latest two-seater roadster body and all the luxury gear you expect from an SL, with the addition of a twinturbo 5.5-litre V8 that makes up to 800Nm of torque and serves up 0-100km/h sprints in 4.2 seconds with a top speed as outrageous as 280km/h. Why Goldilocks? For a start, the SL is more feminine than blokey despite its muscles. And, for me, the hottie SL is the ‘‘ just-right’’ choice among theamgroadsters.
The baby-bear SLK55AMG is raw and flawed, with too much engine for the chassis and suspension while the big daddy SLSAMGIS too big and too hot, from its look-at-me styling to an engine that’s wasted for anything but frying the rear tyres. Then there’s the $487,500 price tag.
So the SL sits sweetly in the middle with potential appeal to Bentley convertible buyers on one side and even Porsche Boxster enthusiasts on the other.
But let’s get on with the story, as we go exploring in the forests in the south of France.
People who can afford cars such as this one don’t have the usual worries about mortgages and pump prices. But in 2012, everyone wants a bargain.
So there is a lot of good new stuff in the SL, from the basic aluminium body through to the value-added key with the silveramgcrest. Buyers can always ask for more and the obvious choice is the Performance Pack that brings more power and torque (up to 415kw/900nm) as well as red painted brake calipers.
The SL63 currently sells for $418,670 and that’s the target for the newcomer later this year, even though the total changeover has cost plenty.
For people who want even more, and not a Gullwing, there will also be an SL65 AMG— with a twin-turbo V12.
It starts with the alloy body and ends with the giant 19-inch alloy
Signature: The SL63 is the first AMGTO sport the newtwinspar grille