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2009 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG Review

Open Top Rocket Ship

A red 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG along the road near Los Angeles' Griffith Park Observatory

In short: A top-of-the-line sport cabriolet.

Revamped for 2009, Mercedes-Benz’s iconic SL63 AMG roadster is an inviting and handsome ride, complete with sharp aerodynamic angles, 19-inch wheels, a trunk-lid spoiler, and styling accents evoking the 1954 300SL “Gullwing.” Under its hood is a menacing 518-horsepower naturally aspirated V8 engine, capable of launching this two-seater to 60 mph in only 4.5 seconds. Along with its Herculean powerplant is a seven-speed automatic transmission with four shift programs, including Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Manual. Gears can be selected via the steering wheel’s mounted shift paddles. While true the SL63’s price is in the six-figures, it’s hardly surprising for such a high-energy luxury sports car. This lithe convertible is equipped with a quick-folding power hardtop, and can while its top is down, keep its riders comfortable in chilly weather thanks to an available Airscarf feature, an extra heating system that blows warm air from vents in the seating’s head restraints. Inside our test vehicle were twelve-way power-adjustable/heated sport seats along with premium leather upholstery. Other standard creature comforts included a Bluetooth interface, a 40-gigabyte navigation system, and a ten-speaker audio system with Sirius satellite radio, an iPod/MP3 media interface and six-disc CD/DVD changer. Active ventilated seats, an electronic trunk closer, and a panoramic sunroof are all optional.

Warranty/Service: 4-year/50,000-mile new vehicle warranty; 24-hour roadside assistance.

Base Price: $132,875 / As tested: $155,205

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front-engine, rear-wheel drive, 2-passenger, 2-door convertible

Engine: 6.3-liter, 32-valve DOHC AMG naturally aspirated V8
Horsepower: 518 hp @ 6,800 rpm
Torque: 465 lb-ft @ 5,200 rpm
Transmission: AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed automatic

Curb weight: 4,300 lbs (est.)
Wheelbase: 100.8 in
Length/Width/Height: 178.5/71.5/51 in
Turning circle: 36.2 ft

Brakes: all-wheel vented and perforated disc with electronic braking system, 4-channel ABS and brake assist
4-wheel independent with ABC active suspension, automatic 4-wheel level control, driver-selectable ride height and automatic lowering at higher speed
3-stage electronic stability program; electronic traction system

0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds
Top Speed: 155 mph (governed)

EPA City: 12 mpg
EPA Highway:
19 mpg

Safety: tele-aid emergency calling and communication system; high-strength steel-reinforced cabin with front and rear crumple zones; two-stage dual front airbags; head-thorax side-impact airbags; driver's knee airbag; automatic pop-up rollover bar; tire pressure monitoring system

Likes: performance; style; noise signature
Dislikes: if you have to ask

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Photography: AlphaMedia

PSV060308 (Updated 06/22/09 SV)