Mercedes-AMG is known for producing some of Germany’s mightiest sports cars that never fail to exude a certain kind of class about them. Continuing that trend is the new SL 63 S E Performance, the brand’s most powerful iteration of the two-seat roadster ever.
‘E Performance’ of course stands for hybrid, or in this case plug-in hybrid, a system from which the new SL derives a good chunk of its newfound power. And boy is it impressive.
Packed under the bonnet is a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 that works in conjunction with a 150kW electric motor mounted to the rear axle. Together, they produce a ludicrous 600kW and 1420Nm of torque which make the non-hybrid SL 63’s 430kW/799Nm output look puny.
Said power is sent to all four wheels via Mercedes’ 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system, enabling the two-seat roadster to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 2.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 317km/h.
There are now eight driving modes to choose from, including ‘Electric’, ‘Battery Hold’, ‘Comfort’, ‘Smoothness’, ‘Sport’, ‘Sport+’, ‘Race’, and ‘Individual’, each offering its own unique benefits. With regard to the aptly named fully electric mode, it allows the car to drive away in pure silence for up to 13km by taking power from the onboard 6.1kWh battery.
While the SL can be charged up with a plug, it can also be recharged by energy recuperated from the e-motor when the driver takes their foot off the accelerator.
Other features include the standard fitment of rear-wheel steering, active suspension, and ceramic composite brake discs can also be found on the new top-of-the-range SL.
The highly-powered model doesn’t make much of a fuss in terms of its design, with the only distinctions being a plug-in door flap on the rear bumper, trapezoidal twin tailpipe trims, an ‘E Performance’ fender badge, and a red highlighted model name.
“The SL has always been an icon in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio. The latest version of the legendary roadster transfers this status into the future,” says Michael Schiebe, CEO of Mercedes-AMG.