Mercedes launched the six-generation SL-Class for the 2012 model year. Compared to the previous generation, the 2012 was advanced in a number of ways, with the most important being the near all-aluminum body. It came with a design that screamed sport in comparison, the engine was more powerful, and that near all-aluminum body dropped the SL’s curb weight by more than 240 pounds. This was great for the powerful roadster, but now that the 2015 L.A. Auto Show has kicked off, Mercedes has introduced a facelifted roadster. This facelift was also carried over to the AMG branded models, which should be available sometime in 2016 for the 2017 model year. When the 2017 models hit showrooms, we’ll get two AMG variants here in the States – the SL63 and SL65.

Outside of the facelift that brings an updated interior and exterior to the SL, the AMG branded variants will also see a name change as well. They will both be branded under Mercedes’ new AMG nomenclature – make them the Mercedes-AMG SL63 and SL65. With that said, I’m here to talk about the SL63 – little brother to the SL65.

The SL63 is the entry level AMG for the SL-Class. Even with the updates to the rest of the vehicle, Mercedes has already found the perfect engine to motivate the SL63, so you’ll still find that 5.5-liter Biturbo V-8 under the hood. With all that said, keep reading to see what the updated SL63 brings for the 2017 model year.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Mercedes-AMG SL 63.

  • 2017 Mercedes-AMG SL 63
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    577 @ 5500
  • Torque @ RPM:
    664 @ 2250
  • Displacement:
    5.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.1 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    186 mph
  • Price:
    150000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 Mercedes-AMG SL 63 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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2017 Mercedes-AMG SL 63 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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2017 Mercedes-AMG SL 63 High Resolution Exterior
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The entire SL line took on the 2017 model year refresh, but the SL63 has the AMG-spec body parts that makes it stand out against its standard siblings. Up front, the grille on the front fascia is wider at the bottom, and features a twin-blade design. You’ll also notice Chrome trim garnishing the outside lip of the air vents and arching over to terminate just above the front splitter. You’ll also notice that those air vents are more rounded out compared to previous model years.

The updated SL63 features the same muscular hood, but you’ll notice the V-8 Biturbo badges gracing the fenders.

The updated SL63 features the same muscular hood, but you’ll notice the V-8 Biturbo badges gracing the fenders. Other changes to the side include updated side skirts that new inserts dependent on which model you’re looking at – the SL63 has Silver Chrome inserts, while the SL65 has high-gloss chrome. The other main difference between its non-AMG counterparts are the 10-spoke, light-alloy wheels, which are painted titanium grey with a high-sheen finish. On the SL63, the wheels measure 9x19 in the front and 10x20 in the rear, wrapped in 255/35-series and 285/30-series tires respectively.

To the rear, you’ll notice that the taillights on the SL63 are all red (the standard SL has a clear strip toward the top for the reverse lights) and the rear diffuser is different as well. To the outsides of the diffuser we get the twin-dual exhaust pipes, and right in the middle rests an LED reverse light.

It should also be noted that the “Night Package” is now an option, which adds a sinister look to the exterior with darkened trim elements. The “Carbon-Fiber” package now includes inserts for the rear apron and side-skirts.

Interior

2017 Mercedes-AMG SL 63 High Resolution Interior AutoShow
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2017 Mercedes-AMG SL 63 High Resolution Interior AutoShow
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2017 Mercedes-AMG SL 63 High Resolution Interior
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Not a whole lot has changed on the inside from previous years, but the sports seats are wrapped in Nappa Leather, and now have optimized lateral support. The AMG SL63 also gets a new three-spoke steering wheel that is wrapped in Nappa Leather and has a flat bottom – something that isn’t available on the standard SL trim. Silver, aluminum shift paddles are also standard. The steering wheel can be customized with DINAMICA inserts that will provide additional grip during performance maneuvers. The inside is also garnished with carbon fiber trim and an IWC designed analog clock. For even more customization the AMG SL63 can be fitted with carbon-grain aluminum trim as an option. It doesn’t sound like much on paper, but when you look at it, it’s more than enough to set the AMG SL63 apart from the standard SL trim.

Drivetrain

2017 Mercedes-AMG SL 63 High Resolution Drivetrain AutoShow
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As mentioned previously, the SL63 didn’t receive and new engine, but that 5.5-liter, Biturbo V-8 is more than enough to keep you happy. It pumps out 577 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, which pushes the SL63 to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds with a limited top speed of 186 mph – this is what makes the AMG SL63 what it is. For the sake of comparison, the SL400 has a 3.0-liter Biturbo V-6 that is good for 329 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque, while the SL550 pumps out 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet from its 4.7-liter Biturbo V-8. They hit 60 mph in 5.1 seconds and 4.5 seconds respectively.

The SL63 goes from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds with a limited top speed of 186 mph

That 5.5-liter V-8 in the SL63 is mated to an improved version of the seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission, which Mercedes says is more responsive thanks to optimized software programming. Those aforementioned shift paddles improve the feel and dynamics of gearbox operation when the car is operated in manual mode. Keep in mind that this improved seven-speed is exclusive only to the AMG SL63 and 65, as the standard SL models received Mercedes’ new nine-speed automatic.

For better traction from the increased output of the 5.5-liter in the SL63, it comes standard with a mechanical rear differential lock that reduces slip when cornering and improves traction for powerful takeoffs. Five different driving modes are available to accommodate various styles of driving. Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus, Individual, and Race modes all change the way the car drives and can be customized as you see fit. Things like throttle response and engine sound can be set to your liking, and depending on which mode you’re in, the transmission will accommodate with second-gear starts or faster shifting. On days when you just want to cruise and relax, Comfort mode brings smooth and mellow shifting.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine/cylinders V8 Biturbo
Displacement 5.5-liter
Output 577 HP @ 5,500 RPM
Peak torque 664 LB-FT @ 2,250-3,750 RPM
Acceleration 0-60mph 4.1 s
Top speed 186 MPH

Prices

Mercedes has yet to release pricing information on the SL63, but the current model will set you back $149,700, which is $41,650 more than the SL550 and $64,050 more than the SL400. Given most of the changes for the 2017 model year are minor, I don’t expect to see the price point change much.

Competition

2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR

2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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The F-Type SVR is one of the best competitors to the SL63 in my book. The 2017 model is expected to use the same 5.0-liter V-8 as previous years, and should put out somewhere in the neighborhood of 567 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. 0-to-60 mph should take place in about 3.5 seconds and the car should have a top speed in the area of 190 mph. Pricing for the 2017 model is expected to be somewhere in the $125,000 range, so it will be about $25,000 cheaper than the SL63.

Read our full review on the 2017 Jaguar F-Type SVR here.

Conclusion

2017 Mercedes-AMG SL 63 High Resolution Exterior
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It’s nice to see that Mercedes in keep the SL-class as fresh as possible, and it’s even better to see that the SL63 (and SL65 for that matter) is also being updated in its own respective way. I’m still not a fan of the price point of the AMG SL63 – at close to $150,000, you’re at more than a $60,000 premium over the base SL. Granted, for that premium, you pick up a little more than 240 horsepower over that SL400 – a real nice gain, but one really has to ask if that is worth an extra 60K considering the minor changes to the interior and exterior. At the end of the day, I’m still a fan of anything AMG, but I would have to do some serious thinking before spending the extra money to step up to the AMG badge.

  • Leave it
    • * Only minor updates all around
    • * Should have more extreme styling

Press Release

Mercedes-AMG is further enhancing its SL63 and SL65 high-performance roadsters with updated technology and expressive design. The front-end features a completely new design, with a radiator grille which broadens out towards the bottom and the A-wing front spoiler. The stylish light signature and the highly comprehensive scope of standard equipment and appointments underscore the high-quality impression. The engines set the benchmark in the high-performance roadster segment: the 5.5-liter V8 Biturbo engine equipped on the SL63 generates an output of 577 hp and peak torque of 664 lb-ft. The SL65 is powered by a 6.0-liter V12 Biturbo engine rated at 621 hp and delivering 738 lb-ft of peak torque.

2017 Mercedes-AMG SL 63 High Resolution Exterior
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Outstanding performance, impressive driving characteristics and the expressive, stylishly honed design are hallmarks of the new Mercedes-AMG SL63 and Mercedes-AMG SL65. The technical highlights include the AMG-developed sports suspension based on Active Body Control, the rear-axle differential lock which is now standard, the even more responsive AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission (SL63) and the five updated AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving programs.

"Our updated SL63 and SL65 high-performance roadsters offer a unique driving experience, combining hallmark AMG ‘Driving Performance’ with the pleasures of open-air motoring and superior comfort on long journeys,” notes Tobias Moers, Chairman of the Board of Management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. The SL63 and SL65 will have their world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show; the U.S. market launch will begin in late spring 2016.

Both roadsters offer more power and torque than their respective competitors in this segment. These engines result in high-caliber performance, as illustrated by figures for acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 and 3.9 seconds for the SL63 and SL65 respectively. The top speed is 186mph (electronically limited).

The powerhouses incorporate numerous high-tech components for high power output combined with low fuel consumption: in addition to spray-guided Piezo direct fuel injection, further features include an all-aluminum crankcase, twin turbocharging, four valves per cylinder with camshaft adjustment and an air/water intercooler. The AMG sport exhaust system provides a striking engine sound with an individual character. Enlarged radiators in the front and special vents in the hood add an aggressive appearance for the AMG variants and feed the intercoolers with air to ensure the required heat balance for the engines.

Performance is also boosted by the sports suspension based on Active Body Control, the AMG high-performance composite brake system (and optional AMG high performance composite ceramic braking system) and the redeveloped AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission (AMG SL63) or AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC (AMG SL65).

2017 Mercedes Benz SL-Class High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The intelligent lightweight design is also a major contributing factor to the high driving dynamics. On the SL models the light all-aluminum bodyshell provides the basis for high rigidity, safety and comfort combined with the lowest possible weight. The designers have used the even lighter material magnesium for the panel behind the tank. The trunk lid contributes to a further reduction in weight. The interior support consists of a light carbon-fiber composite material. The extremely rigid carbon-fiber component benefits from AMG’s motorsport expertise and is bonded to the equally very light plastic outer shell. This results in weight savings of 11 pounds in comparison to a conventional trunk lid.

Sports suspension based on Active Body Control

The steering knuckles and spring links of the 4-link front axle and almost all the wheel control parts of the multi-link rear suspension are also produced in weight-optimized aluminum. The reduction in unsprung masses benefits not only agility, but also the response of the spring-damper elements.

Mercedes-AMG remains faithful to the Active Body Control (ABC) active spring and damper system. For even greater agility and high cornering speeds, the AMG SL models have more negative camber all round and fully revised, substantially stiffer elastokinematics. At the touch of a button, the optional Performance suspension (available for AMG SL63 only) offers an emphatically sporty characteristic with reduced roll angles and taut body damping at the touch of a button ("Sport") or a more comfort-oriented set-up for a high level of comfort on longer journeys ("Comfort").

2017 Mercedes-AMG SL 63 High Resolution Exterior
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In conjunction with the new electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering, the AMG roadsters offer agile cornering and clear feedback to the driver when the car is approaching its critical limits. The steering features a constant and more direct ratio and variable power assistance which adapts according to the selected suspension set-up. The standard scope of equipment also includes a 3-stage ESP® traction control system with a "SPORT Handling" mode for particularly ambitious drivers.

Even more responsive: AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission on the AMG SL63 boasts tailor-made dynamics and high variability. Whether automatic or initiated by the driver using the steering wheel shift paddles, upshifts and downshifts are executed noticeably faster than on the previous model. Especially in "Sport Plus" and in manual mode, the transmission response is now even more prompt. This enhanced spontaneity was made possible by optimizing the engine and transmission software. Furthermore, the new aluminum shift paddles are now able to transmit the driver’s commands to change gears even faster. Overall the driving feel and dynamics have therefore been sharpened for the new model.

Optimum traction: rear-axle differential lock as standard

For improved traction and driving dynamics, the AMG SL63 and AMG SL65 are equipped with a mechanical rear-axle differential lock as standard. This reduces the slip on the inside wheel when cornering without any control intervention in the braking system, allowing the driver to accelerate out of corners earlier thanks to the improved traction offered by the differential. The car remains more stable when braking from high speeds, and the limited-slip differential also improves traction when accelerating fast from a standing start.

AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes

The five different driving programs "Comfort," "Sport,” "Sport Plus," "Individual" and "RACE" provide the driver with a broad scope for influencing the characteristics of the SL63 and SL65. Numerous parameters can be modified, from throttle response to engine sound, enabling the utmost in individualization. In the "Comfort" program the driver experiences a gentle transmission characteristic with comfortable and early gear changes. In "C" mode the car always starts in second gear for a fluid start. In the other driving modes the engine and transmission demonstrate substantially greater agility, in addition to which gear changes are faster. On the SL63, an automatic double-declutching function when downshifting and the RACE START function also form part of the standard scope of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission.

2017 Mercedes-AMG SL 63 High Resolution Exterior
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Expressive and distinctive: the exterior design

The striking design emphasizes the two high-performance roadsters’ self-assured character. The front section is totally new and markedly more expressive. It is characterized by the newly designed twin-blade radiator grille, which is now wider at the bottom. The A-wing front apron, the large cooling air intakes with flics as an additional means of guiding air flows and the front splitter emphasize the vehicle’s width. The newly designed hood combines design and function in the guise of classic powerdomes and the vents which are required for technical reasons.

The apron in a new diffuser look immediately catches the eye at the rear. All-red tail lights underscore the stylish character. The side skirts also feature a new design and incorporate different inserts according to the model concerned - in silver chrome on the SL63, while the SL65 is set apart by applications in
high-gloss chrome. The Night package is optionally available for the first time, adding darkened trim elements around the body for a more sinister appearance. The Exterior Carbon-Fiber package has been extended to include inserts in the rear apron and in the side skirts.

The SL63 leaves the factory with standard 10-spoke light-alloy wheels, painted in titanium grey and with a high-sheen finish, with a staggered fitment of 9 J x 19-inch wheels with 255/35 R 19 tires at the front and 10 J x 20-inch wheels with 285/30 R 20 tires at the rear. The SL65 is fitted as standard with multi-spoke ceramic polished forged wheels. The front wheels come in size 9 J x 19 and are fitted with 255/35 R 19 tires, while the rear wheels in size 10 J x 20 are fitted with 285/30 R 20 tires.

Class materials, comprehensive scope of standard appointments: the interior

The lavishly appointed interior covers every wish: the standard scope includes sports seats in Nappa leather with optimized lateral support and model-specific upholstery layout, multicontour function and seat heating. The driver has a good grip on the AMG SL at all times with the new 3-spoke Performance steering wheel in Nappa leather featuring a flattened bottom rim and silver-colored aluminum shift paddles. An AMG performance steering wheel is also offered with DINAMICA inserts for additional grip during performance driving. Carbon-fiber trim and the analogue clock in IWC design (exclusive to the AMG variants) highlight the high-performance roadster’s special standing. Optional AMG carbon-grain aluminum trim lends the open-top two-seaters an even more personal touch.

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