SANTA MONICA, CA – It won’t make its official debut until this summer, but the Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series features a 6.0L twin turbo V-12 engine. In the standard SL65 AMG, it pumps out 604 horsepower. In the Black Series, the same engine gets cranked up to 670 hp. The five-speed automatic transmission, torque converter and all, will remain, but it will get two Sport shift programs, with the second delivering quicker gearchanges timed at just 250 milliseconds, according to www.edmunds.com.
In addition to the added power, the engineers at Mercedes-Benz concentrated on reducing the car’s weight. AMG’s engineers replaced the heavy airbag suspension setup on the standard SL65 for steel coil springs, lost the Active Body Control system, and made the Black’s trunk, vented hood, roof, vented front fenders, and bumpers out of carbon fiber.
Weight savings also turned the car into a coupe. Instead of a heavy folding hardtop, the Black Series gets a fixed roof fortified with a fully integrated roll cage. The changes reduce the car’s overall weight by 570 pounds and give it a power-to-weight ratio of 1 horsepower per 6.1 pounds.
The coupe will be able to go from zero to 60 mph in less than 4.0 seconds and have a top speed of 198 mph. A retractable spoiler will help to generate 77 pounds of downforce above 60 mph, which is the speed it magically rises from the deck lid.
Interior changes are minimal. It will get the same AMG seats as the standard model (the carbon seats have no side airbags so they won’t make it into U.S.-spec cars) along with a flat-bottom steering wheel, an Alcantara headliner, and a navigation system. Black will be the only interior color offered. The projected price is more than $225,000, and there will be no options. Expect to see the official unveil this summer with sales starting this fall. Only 350 units will be built.