Believe it or not, it’s been more than a decade since the hardcore hardtop version of the Black Series of the Mercedes SL made the BMW M6 look tame.
In recent years, AMG has expanded its model range to include almost all classes Mercedes Coupé, convertible, crossover and SUV. A notable exception is the SL range of roadsters. For 2020 the SL 450 with V6 drive or the SL 550 is only available with the 4.7-liter V8 with two turbochargers from yesterday.
That was not always so. For decades we have been pampered with various AMG-modified SLs. None of them were more powerful or more extreme than the SL65 AMG Black Series. Mercedes only produced 350 of these and sent 175 here to the States, one of which is currently up for grabs Bring a trailer.
Like the regular SL65, the Black Series also has a twin turbo V12. AMG revised the 6.0-liter power plant, replaced the turbos for 12 percent larger units, installed a more efficient intercooler and modified the air intake and turbo wastegate passages. These mods boost power to 661 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque. To ensure that all of this firepower doesn’t evaporate the transmission on the way to the rear wheels, AMG improved the five-speed automatic.
AMG also got bigger in other ways with the SL65 Black Series. Larger front intakes direct more precious air to the 12-cylinder beast behind them. Racing car-like fender flares make this clear SL has wider shoulders and anterior and posterior tracks than its less exotic cousins. These arch over a set of forged wheels and tires of staggered width and Diameter from the front (9.5 “x 19” wheels, 265/35 rubber) to the rear (11.5 “x 20” wheels, 325/30 tires).
Instead of the usual retractable hardtop, the SL65 Black Series has a fixed roof that increases rigidity and makes it more than 500 kg lighter than a normal SL. Like other key body panels, including the front fenders, hood, and trunk lid, it’s made from lightweight carbon fiber. One thing that does Movement is the rear wing popping up at 74 mph to increase rear downforce.
The cockpit is an all-business combo of black and carbon fiber, brightened up by contrast stitching and the occasional highlight. The 220 mile speedometer is a little optimistic because the SL65 Black Series top speed is 198 mph, but it’s another sign that this car is putting the S and L in “special”.
That delivers its message subtly; the gear knob screams: “USA ONE OF 175.”
Five people have experienced the thrill of piloting this SL65 Black Series over the past 11 years. In all that time they put 7,968 miles on the odometer. The sales and service history includes stations in California, Texas, New York and Florida. A special visit to the store dealt with problems with the transmission and rear wing. Interestingly, this German Moloch also spent time in Uruguay and Chile. Now it is being sold by a dealer in Miami.
It’s been more than a decade since Mercedes offered the SL65 AMG Black series. In six days, that particular specimen of the road missile will also go missing.