2018 Mercedes-AMG SL63 Roadster Review

Model Overview

Few luxury roadsters on the market today offer the broad range of talents that is inherent in each Mercedes-Benz SL roadster. When it comes to the Mercedes-AMG variants, then the added power elevates them to an even higher level.

Having received a comprehensive update in 2017, the AMG SL63 Roadster continues with minor changes for the 2018 model year.

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What’s it like inside?

Few rivals can match the opulent interior of the AMG SL63, priced significantly higher than say a BMW M6, the quality of the materials and fittings is more in line with the Bentleys and Porsches.

Although, while there are plenty of AMG specific design touches throughout the cabin, the majority of the fittings are shared with the rest of the SL range.

The multi-adjustable seats allow for just about every shape and size to find a comfortable setting and there is no lack of head and leg room either. There is a storage area behind the front seats and the door pockets and central console also offer plenty of space for your odds and ends.

The power folding roof works at up to speeds of about 25 mph and offers coupe-like levels of insulation when up. The trunk is generous enough to accommodate luggage for two and while the roof partition does use up some of the available space, the SL is about as practical as a two-seater roadster gets.

How does it drive?

The AMG SL63 straddles the line between all-out performance car and luxurious cruiser better than most, it offers a suitably absorbent ride over most surfaces while still capable of providing shocking levels of grip and acceleration when required.

This duality does tend to compromise it at the extremes of both scales though, and a base SL will be a more adept cruiser while rivals like the Audi R8 and Porsche 911 offer a sharper drive at the limit. The active body control, AMG specification suspension and massive brakes do imbue the roadster with impressive cross-country pace though.

The trade-off should be familiar to existing AMG SL customers and unless you intend to regularly attend track days, it should suit most shoppers needs.

What about the performance?

When it comes to performance, the AMG SL63 comes packed with a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 which produces 577 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque, mated to a 7-speed automatic transmission that attempts to transfer all this power to the rear wheels. A limited-slip differential is standard.

0-60 mph takes a class-leading 4.0-seconds, it would probably be quicker with all-wheel drive but as it stands few roadsters at any price are quicker. The SL63 piles on the speed at higher velocities with startling ferocity too, that massive torque output making any overtaking maneuver the work of a moment.

Official fuel consumption figures are not listed by the manufacturer, although you should expect around 19 mpg in combined city/highway driving.

What are my options?

Despite its lofty performance, luxury and pricing level, the AMG SL63 is actually second from the top in the Mercedes roadster hierarchy, although scanning the options list you would be hard pressed to see what more it could offer.

Some notable standard features include a panoramic folding roof, LED exterior lighting, 19-inch alloy wheels, 12-way power seats with memory, ventilation and massage function, keyless access, Harman/Kardon audio system with smartphone connectivity and sun-reflecting AMG Nappa leather interior. Upgraded leather, ceramic composite brakes and a two-stage suspension adjustment are also on offer.

Safety features include adaptive high beam assist, active brake assist, parking assist with parking pilot as well as a range of active driver assist technologies. Available features include pre-safe plus, active lane keeping assist, active blind spot assist and adaptive cruise control and steering pilot.

A powerful Bang & Olufsen premium audio system, in-car WiFi hotspot, infrared-remote window and hardtop operation, soft-close doors and a large variety of interior and exterior trims can be specified.

The Verdict

The AMG SL63 roadster is a sublime mix of performance and luxury, it offers serious pace with safe and predictable handling characteristics as well as a comfortable ride quality.

Fitted with just about every conceivable luxury and convenience item and built to a level that few rivals can emulate, the SL63 is worth serious consideration if you are in the market for a luxury grand tourer with style.

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