by Adam Lynton
There's a few convertible options under the Mercedes-Benz banner that have been touched by the AMG tuning house, and while the GT and the GT C are probably the most talked about and the best looking, there's another drop-top in the range that's more powerful and more refined making it arguably one of the best hard-top convertibles ever. The Mercedes-AMG SL65 Roadster is the best of the best, and with the price starting at over $60,000 more than the GT C; you know things are going to be on another level. The best part might just be the massive 6.0-liter V12 powerplant that's rated at 621 hp thanks to a pair of turbochargers making magic.
See trim levels and configurations:
|AMG SL 65 Roadster||
6.0L Twin-Turbo V12 Gas
When a cabin can be optioned with materials like Nappa leather, carbon fiber and a new kind of brushed aluminum material that features a light carbon grain, you know it will set the bar. A leather-bound flat-bottomed multifunction steering wheel does duty, it's thick to hold and feels good in hand, and the function buttons are intuitive to use. Behind the wheel the Mercedes-AMG SL65 Roadster is fitted with an instrument cluster that has two separate dials for the speedometer and the tachometer instead of the 12.3-inch screen seen in other range-topping Mercedes models – it gives the feels of a classic roadster. A touchscreen is found above the controls for the climate control to head up the infotainment system, and that links to a brilliant B&O BeoSound sound system. Seating takes place on bucket seats that have to be among the best out there, and there's only space for two being a true roadster. Trunk space is limited as expected, there's 13.5 cu.ft. when the top is up and 8.5 when it's down.
While the Mercedes-AMG SL65 Roadster is fitted with that monstrous V12 powerplant, it's not all about speed and performance, but rather refinement and power. If course if you want amazing performance you just need to drop the hammer and hold on, but this will put all the driver aids on high alert just in case you happen to exceed your own driving skill. Unlike many other new Mercedes-Benz models, this roadster sees power sent to the rear wheels only and that means you can easily shred tires when the nanny controls are turned off, but it's not a hooligan car so that would be a rare sight indeed. The AMG Performance Suspension uses Active Body Control and affords the roadster some amazing handling capabilities thanks to always giving the best settings for the driving conditions. Steering is sharp, if a little devoid of feel, but you always know what the car wants to do and so confidence levels while driving are always high – but this is a consummate cruiser, not a robot racer.
The Mercedes-AMG SL65 Roadster is fitted with one of the biggest engines found in a modern roadster, the capacity comes in at 6.0-liters and engineers have managed to cram in twelve cylinders in a V configuration. As if that's not enough, there's a pair of turbochargers in the mix, and this means the power is rated at 612 hp with a massive 738 lb-ft of torque. A 7-speed automatic transmission with manual shifting feeds that power to the rear wheels, and the resulting performance is amazing. A 0-60 mph dash is claimed at just 3.9-seconds and the roadster tops out at a governed 155mph after running the quarter mile in less than 12-seconds.
The 12-way power seats (complete with massage function) in the Mercedes-AMG SL65 Roadster can be had in a host of Nappa leather finishes and the doors and dash will match. Brushed aluminum, carbon fiber, brushed aluminum with a light carbon grain, a choice of wood finishes and piano black are all available options to tailor the cabin to specific tastes. The 900-watt, 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium sound system is brilliant, as is the infotainment system that features Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and the navigation. Safety features include active brake assist, attention assist, a blind spot monitoring system with lane keep assist, 8-way airbag protection and pop up roll bars in case of a rollover.
When you want a roadster and money is no option, the Mercedes-AMG SL65 Roadster must certainly rise to the top of your list. The sleek open top car is the ultimate in refinement and performance but it does have a price tag to match. It's ridiculously fast and powerful and is packed with the latest and greatest active and passive safety systems, a brilliant audio system and all the comfort and convenience system anyone could want. At this level of car the only way to find fault is if things don't align with personal preferences – it's that good.
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