by Johnny Lucas
These are top of the line toys for boys. These are what Mercedes engineers obsess about in their bunkers and emerge once in four years to announce that they have found a way to make such superlative cars from a great company just a little better.
I could listen all day to them talk about the steering, the traction, the machinations they go through to deliver 1% more torque, and the options for the human interface with such powerful and refined machines. Drive 100 yards in wither of these beauties and you instinctively know that all technical details are “covered.”
The SL 63 goes for $152,600 generates 518 hp at 6800 RPM from 8 cylinders.
The SL 65 is pricier and follows the rule that you’ve seen in wine: a $100 bottle is better, but not twice as good as a $50 bottle. These four wheels will cost you $240,100 Its 12 cylinders generate 603 hp at 4800 RPM. The SL 63 is more than anyone needs or deserves, the SL 65 is way more.
I had a sensation that was new to me while test driving these powerhouses. Naturally, I had to try them from a standing stop (Zero to 100 km/hr in 4.6 and 4.2 seconds respectively) but the novelty was that the G force seemed to compress my stomach back against my spine for a few fractions of a second during which time I actually got the not unpleasant feeling of being full. Both are electronically limited to not exceed 250 km/hr. If you think you need more speed, your vehicle has probably already been impounded.
The styling is a little more aggressive than their SL 550 and SL 600 sisters, yet the dominant look and feel is sophistication with not much emphasis on muscle. The seats are absolutely the most comfortable my bum has ever known and the Mercedes “air scarf” that delivers warm air from the head rest for driving in cool weather with the top down is a thoughtful use of engineering and design.
They sell so few of these machines, and there is so much state of the art technology in them that it’s hard to imagine Mercedes makes money on this end of the market. Mercedes also sells trucks and many more practical vehicles in the range in between. Let’s hope that more practical vehicles benefit form the technological developments that are shown off in these lovely, impractical hunks of shiny metal.