It costs $100,000 more than a regular SL65 AMG, so buyers of the 2010 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series had better get a little somethin' for their money. And they do-with carbon-fiber body panels, a fixed roof, and styling that makes the Black Series look as though it's an escapee from a DTM race.
We covered the Black Series in depth here, but Mercedes asked us not to perform instrumented tests on it during our initial drive. Tech editor Don Sherman is suspicious that the Black Series' quoted 3.6-second 0-60 mph time is a little ambitious given that the lighter (by half a ton) but similarly powerful Corvette ZR1 hits 60 in the same amount of time.
The truth of the matter is that with a twin-turbocharged torque monster of a V-12 under the hood of the Black Series, 0-60 numbers are less about power than they are about the launch. The Black Series can (and will happily) spin its tires at any point up to 60 mph, so the result of any off-the-line timed run speaks more about available traction than it does about grunt.
To that end, we took a Black Series to a chassis dyno to see what kind of power, exactly, it puts down. We were also looking forward to see the shape of the curve. AMG fitted the 6.0-liter V-12 with larger turbos to help maintain boost at higher engine speeds. If the engineers have done their job well, we should see big gains at the top of the rev range.
But the first thing everyone asks: "What did it put down." Answer: 573 hp @ 5300 rpm and 682 lb-ft @ 3620 rpm in third gear. That's wheel horsepower, remember. And the result is right where it should be given the engine's rating of 651 hp @ 5400 rpm and 738 lb-ft @ 2200 - 4200 rpm.