When it comes to immediate recognition, few other cars can compare with the SL class. The car started its life as an endurance racer and soon became a symbol of success. The SL class has always been at the pinnacle of Mercedes engineering and that hasn’t changed over the years. What has changed was the car itself, when introduced, the SL stood for Sport Light. This has grown into a car that weighs over 4000 pounds. The tradeoff for that added heft is one well worth it for most buyers. That being that the SL is stuffed full of the best technology and luxurious appointments that Mercedes can offer. The SL class is no slouch either, offering engine choices from fast to even faster.

There are many power options to choose from as well: the SL550 sports a 382 HP 5.5 liter V-8. The SL 63 AMG brings in a 6.2 liter V-8 making 518 HP. The SL 600’s go is defined by its 5.5 liter twin turbo v-12, good for 510 HP. Then there are the monsters, the SL 65 AMG and the SL 65 AMG Black, with 604 and 670 HP respectively.

Bodystyles: Convertible
Engines: 5.5L V-8, 6.2L V-8, 6.0L V-12
Transmissions: 7-speed automatic, 5-speed automatic
Models: SL550, SL63 AMG, SL65 AMG

There is a new limited edition for 2011 — the SL550 Night Edition, of which 100 will be produced. It comes with matte black paint, premium black leather, 19-inch AMG wheels, and silver painted brake calipers. All models get tire-pressure monitoring, HD Radio, and Sirius Traffic. Quartz Blue is new paint color. The SL600 model and amazing SL65 Black do not return.

The modern-day SL is streamlined, low-slung, and large. Whether you prefer coupe or convertible, the SL can satisfy both, as the retractable power hardtop keeps the lines attractive whether the top is up or down.

The cabin is awash in luxury leather and wood, and all of the creature comforts you would expect at this price range. Both seats are 12-way adjustable and heated, and navigation and a 10-speaker audio system are standard.

Even though the SL-Class may be perceived as more boulevard cruiser than track performer, the convertible gets up to speed in a hurry. The S550, by Mercedes’ estimates, takes only 5.3 seconds to get to 60 mph. That number goes down to 4.5 seconds in the SL63 and 4.2 in the SL65. The AMG models offer three-stage traction control and Speedshift transmission.

Four-wheel discs with four-channel ABS and brake assist are standard, as are stability control and traction control. Dual front airbags, head-thorax side-impact airbags, and a driver knee airbag also come standard.

SL550: 14 mpg city/21 mpg highway
SL63 AMG: 12 mpg city/19 mpg highway
SL65 AMG: 12 mpg city/18 mpg highway

  • Elegant styling
  • Smooth, powerful engines
  • Beautiful interior
  • High pricetag
  • High curb weight

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