TUSCALOOSA, AL – Joining the SL550, SL600, and 604-horsepower V-12 SL65 AMG for the 2009-model year is the SL63 AMG, which adopts a refreshed body style, according to www.motortrend.com.

While the SL65 AMG’s 738 lb-ft of torque is handled by a modified five-speed automatic, the 2009 SL63 AMG bows with Mercedes-Benz’s MCT transmission. The seven-speed transmission, exclusive to the SL63 AMG, has four shift modes: comfort, sport, sport plus, and manual.

Shifting times in Manual mode — at 100 milliseconds a shift — are 50 percent quicker than in Comfort mode. A new start-up clutch takes the place of a conventional torque converter, improving the transmission’s responsiveness. According to Mercedes-Benz, European-spec acceleration times from 0 to 62 mph are listed at 4.6 seconds for the SL 63 and 4.2 seconds for the SL 65.

There are some sporty touches in the styling department versus the standard SL. New are the AMG-issue bonnet with a significant hood bulge, spoiler lip, body-color air outlets and a transverse fin in the front apron, matt silver AMG trim panels and gloss black radiator grille, darkened bi-xenon headlamps and tail lights, and 19-inch AMG triple-spoke alloy wheels.

The AMG-tuned 6.3L V-8 features 525 horsepower. Cogs are swapped courtesy of an AMG Speedshift MCT seven-speed sports transmission, and an AMG sports exhaust is fitted with twin chrome tips, according to www.motortrend.com.