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2022 Mercedes AMG SL63, All you want to know & watch about a Great Car


2022 Mercedes-AMG SL63 First Test: Fusion Reactor

In the new SL-Class, AMG takes the wheel—as Mercedes-Benz hangs on for dear life.

2023 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG
mercedes-benz sl-class Full Overview


  • Seductive exterior styling
  • Extravagant, feature-filled interior
  • Scorching sports car performance


  • Fastidious digital controls
  • Wealth-testing price tag
  • Stiff ride

Mercedes Jellinek and Carl Benz existed in a different era than Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher, but the 2022 Mercedes AMG SL63 is a car they would all very much enjoy. Had their lives overlapped, these key characters in the Silver Arrow story would have loved a drive together in this new droptop 2+2—Mercedes and Benz stuffed in back, fathers of AMG up front.

This hypothetical seating arrangement represents the new attitude of the redesigned SL-Class. Prior iterations of the Sport Leicht were cushy grand tourers that occasionally got sent off to AMG boot camp. But for the latest SL63, the AMG training came first, and it has proved transformative. It bristles with a frenzied edge, sacrificing some of its traditional comfort on the altar of dynamism. The result is a roadster that feels more AMG than Mercedes-Benz and is indisputably the highest-performing SL ever.

2023 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG 26

Affalterbach’s Brawn

SLS, GT, One, and now, SL: That it joins the hallowed ranks of AMG-exclusive models underscores the sporting intentions of the new R232-generation model. The lineup’s entry-level SL43 also serves as a bellwether of AMG’s march toward electrification, utilizing a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder engine that’s been enhanced by Formula 1 tech.

But it’s the M177 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 that remains the most enticing and, for now, only engine option available for SL AMG models sold in the U.S. It makes 469 hp and 517 lb-ft of torque in the SL55, which is further boosted to 577 hp and 590 lb-ft in the SL63 thanks to the addition of larger turbochargers and upgraded software.

A nine-speed MCT (wet-clutch launch) automatic transmission routes this output to an AMG-massaged version of the Mercedes 4Matic all-wheel-drive system—a combination never before seen in an SL. These elements unite to deliver ferocious launches with devious simplicity.

Engage one of the Sport drive modes and stand on both pedals. The tachometer holds 3,500 rpm amidst a foreboding exhaust growl. Release the brake, the wet clutch drops, and the SL63 rips to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds, 100 mph in 7.3 seconds, and the quarter mile in 11.3 seconds at 124.0 mph. Acceleration continues past 200 mph, joined by a distinctly AMG roar all the way.

Though more powerful and torque-rich SL models have existed in the past, none of them was quicker than the new SL63. The closest any of them came to matching its 60-mph time in our testing was the 3.5-second sprint from an SL63 equipped with the bygone 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8 packing 664 lb-ft. The previous SL title holder to 100 mph and the quarter mile was the legendary SL65 Black Series, which hit those marks in 7.8 seconds and 11.6 seconds at 123.9 mph, respectively.

Flawless traction enabled by the new SL63’s 4Matic system is a crucial factor here. However, when easing away from a stop, the transmission can stutter slightly as its clutches mesh. Beyond that, its shifts are immediate with an affirming shove under power, although sometimes inconsistent automatic gear selection makes manual mode preferable for performance driving.

The 2022 SL63’s enormous optional carbon-ceramic brakes function as a worthy counterforce to its raging acceleration. Measuring some 16 inches in front and 14 inches at the rear, their 105-foot 60-0-mph stopping distance is duly impressive, though not record-setting for the SL or AMG; a previous-generation R231-series SL63 we tested stopped in 102 feet, and the GT Black Series did it in an astounding 93.

Still, these brakes feel fantastic. Pedal travel is short, sensitive, and remarkably progressive, returning stops that correspond precisely to the driver’s input—serving chauffeurs and racers equally well.

2023 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG 13

Bones To Pick

Wrought from aluminum, steel, magnesium, and carbon composite, the new SL’s body structure resists twisting and bending forces far better than the outgoing model. So capable is this architecture that it will be shared by the next-gen AMG GT—and even without a roof, the SL63 posts handling numbers not far off from our 2015 Best Driver’s Car-winning AMG GT S.

On the skidpad, the SL63 gripped to 1.03 g average, becoming the first-ever SL to rise out of the naughts; an R231 was the next closest at 0.99 g. Various tests of the AMG GT S ranged from 1.03 to 1.09 g. Likewise, the 2022 SL63 shadows the GT S around the figure eight, completing the lap in 23.6 seconds at 0.87 g average. That’s within four-tenths of a second of the GT S—and a full second ahead of the SL65 Black Series.

Beyond the ZR-rated 275/35 front and 305/30 rear Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires wrapping our test car’s 21-inch wheels, new hardware aims to enhance this SL63’s handling acumen. Rear-wheel steering is felt most in two scenarios: when it seems to magically bend around tight corners at low speeds, and when it can’t quite match the front wheels in rapid side-to-side transitions, such as through a racetrack chicane.

AMG’s Active Ride Control suspension, which replaces anti-roll bars with interlinked hydraulic lines, keeps the SL63 eminently composed—and impacts its ride quality. Gone is the smooth glide that made past SL models supreme cruisers. A decided stiffness takes its place, incompliant in a way that’s livable yet not plush.

Sportier Than Ever—But A Proper Sports Car?

Objectionable as that may be for Mercedes-Benz traditionalists, the SL63’s handling outcome will delight enthusiasts whose grand touring routes are optimized for twists and turns. Even so, the SL63 can’t quite be classified among elite sports cars—despite its AMG zeal, a dulling layer of Mercedes remains. Advanced as the chassis is, nothing hides its size or 4,239-pound curb weight. Nor is its steering as sensitive, engine as responsive, or transmission adroit as the sharpest track weaponry.

With 4Matic now on board, deliberate provocation is needed to rotate the SL63; otherwise it takes curves with predictable balance. Sport, Sport+, and Race modes unlock increasing levels of rowdiness, and an Individual mode allows for a tailored selection of powertrain and chassis responses. If the Basic stability control mode is too staid, AMG goads the brave with Advanced, Pro, and Master settings. Even in those, though, true synergy between driver and machine is incomplete.

None of this prevents the SL63 from being an absolute thrill. Attributes that compromise its ultimate poise nevertheless deepen its involvement. The SL63 challenges its driver to match its aggression, to fight its imperfections.

Those who do will find themselves pummeling corners and obliterating the stretches between them. Its disposition demands intensity and focus, making any squiggle of tarmac a pathway to exhilaration. Top-down driving is a must if for no other reason than to revel in the V-8’s bassy crackles and turbocharger chirps—a noise that adds to the impression this is a four-wheeled chainsaw built to cut a road to shreds.

2023 Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG 1

Part Cruiser, Part Killer

Savage as it is, the SL63 carries materials, technologies, and amenities that range from dazzling to ornate. That’s reflected in its price, which is significantly higher than before: Starting at $180,450, the SL63 tested here was richly equipped with options like alluring $1,750 Hyper Blue paint, a $2,850 aerodynamics package, a $4,500 Burmester audio system, and the aforementioned $8,950 carbon-ceramic brakes, bringing its total to $212,585.

Yet even that searing sum can’t buy a few buttons that would curtail digging through digital menus to find basic operations, not least of which is raising and lowering the folding soft top.

A trifle, perhaps, as items like its genius head-up display, steadfast semi-autonomous assists, and trick tilt-adjustable touchscreen combine functionality with delight. Never have there been front seats like these, that support so resolutely and massage so vigorously while blowing warm air around the necks of their occupants. These luxuries uphold what’s expected from something so lofty in the constellation of three-pointed stars.

And indeed, the new Mercedes-AMG SL-Class still does what the longest-running nameplate in Mercedes history has become famous for: treat its occupants to open-air opulence. It will settle down and jaunt about, but even light prodding evinces its irascible nature. Now fitted with two tiny back seats, more can marvel in its capabilities. Granted, the four aboard will be extremely close together, as would the quartet whose names adorn this car. In the 2022 SL63, AMG drives as Mercedes-Benz rejoices, integrating the utmost of both brands like few vehicles have before.

Looks good! More details?

2022 Mercedes-AMG SL 63 4Matic+ Specifications
BASE PRICE $180,450
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 2-pass, 2-door convertible
ENGINE 4.0L Twin-turbo direct-injected DOHC 32-valve 90-degree V-8
POWER (SAE NET) 577 hp @ 5,500 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET) 590 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm
TRANSMISSION 9-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 4,239 lb (54/46%)
WHEELBASE 106.3 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 185.2 x 75.4 x 53.5 in
0-60 MPH 3.1 sec
QUARTER MILE 11.3 sec @ 124.0 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 105 ft
MT FIGURE EIGHT 23.6 sec @ 0.87 g (avg)
EPA RANGE, COMB 296 miles (est)

2022 Mercedes-AMG SL-Class Starting at $138,450

8.5/10C/D RATING
2022 mercedesamg sl55
  • HIGHS: Punchy V-8 power, eye-catching styling, cozy and luxury-lined cabin.
  • LOWS: Handling isn’t as agile as key rivals, snug rear seat space, high starting price tag.
  • VERDICT: The reimagined SL-class offers enough sportiness to be an AMG and enough comfort to be a Benz, but its split personality means it lacks focus.


With a legacy that stretches back all the way to the original 300SL Gullwing, the 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL-class is an automotive icon. Recent examples haven’t been as impressive as expected and a host of newer two-door, four-seat grand touring convertibles have rendered it obsolete, but the new generation SL is taking a sportier tack and will be offered only with an AMG badge. The entry-level SL55 is powered by a 469-hp twin-turbo V-8 while the racier SL63 gets a 577-hp version of that same motor.

All-wheel drive and four-wheel steering are both standard and are intended to improve both handling and performance. Although it’s being reimagined as a more focused sports car, the new SL also sports a luxurious and tech-heavy cabin. And in a nod to previous generations, the new SL features a folding fabric roof in place of the outgoing models’ power-folding hardtop, thereby retaining its open-air persona while also saving weight.

Pricing and Which One to Buy


A host of luxury features come standard on all SL models, including massaging seats, a head-up display, and a Burmester stereo system. We’d go with the more expensive SL63 to unlock the twin-turbo V-8’s maximum power figure. Both the SL55 and SL63 are offered in either Touring or Performance specifications, with the latter coming with a front axle lift feature (to help it clear speed bumps) and darkened exterior trim.


Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Both SL models are powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 borrowed from the GT sports car. In the SL55 the engine makes a stout 469 horsepower but upgrading to the SL63 boosts that figure to a thundering 577 ponies. A nine-speed automatic is the only transmission, and an all-wheel drive system and four-wheel steering are standard on all SL models.

Such powertrains will allow the revived SL-class to take on convertible versions of the BMW 8-series and the Lexus LC—both of which are offered with powerful V-8 engines—as well as more sporting rivals, such as the Porsche 911. During our initial test drive, we found the SL to be just off from its new, sportier mission. The car offers several adjustable drive modes, which makes it hard to dial in just the right amount of agility and comfort, giving the impression that it’s not quite focused enough on one or the other.

Acceleration is prompt, especially with the more powerful version of the V-8 on board and we estimate that the SL63 will reach 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds.

2022 mercedesamg sl55

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The SL earned an EPA rating of 14 and 21 mpg for city and highway driving for both the SL55 and SL63 models. Both V-8–powered versions of the 8-series and the LC are rated at 25 mpg highway, which best the SL by a few mpg. When we get a chance to put the new SL-class through our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, we can evaluate its real-world mpg. For more information about the SL’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.


Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

The SL-class remains solely a two-door convertible. But rather than last generation’s complicated folding hardtop, a fabric roof has been used on the new model to save weight and maximize cargo space. Still, don’t expect an expansive trunk. A pair of small rear seats provides a place to park an occasional passenger, but that area is better suited to cargo than people. The interior is plenty luxurious and Mercedes’s novel Airscarf feature, which gently blows warm air on the driver and front passenger’s neck during cold weather drives, is standard.

2022 mercedesamg sl55

Infotainment and Connectivity

All SL models come with Mercedes’s new MBUX infotainment system, complete with the system’s “Hey Mercedes” virtual assistant, and a large 11.9-inch touchscreen infotainment display that can be adjusted for viewing angle depending on a driver’s preference. A 12.3-inch digital gauge display is also standard. Navigation and both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included as well. All SLs come with a Burmester stereo system, but the SL63 can be optioned with an upgraded surround-sound version.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

A host of driver-assistance features will be offered, but it’s unclear which will be standard and which will be optional. For more information about the SL’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features are likely to include:

  • Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
  • Available adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode


Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Mercedes-AMG’s standard warranty package is the least special thing about its cars and covers a basic four year/50,000-mile period with no frills or extras. Both the 8-series and the LC offer significant complimentary scheduled maintenance programs, which may make those cars more attractive to those who seek to lease.

  • Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
  • No complimentary scheduled maintenance



2022 Mercedes-AMG SL
Vehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 2+2-passenger, 2-door convertible

Estimated base: SL55, $135,000; SL63, $175,000

twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, 469 hp, 516 lb-ft; twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, 577 hp, 590 lb-ft

9-speed automatic

Wheelbase: 106.3 in
Length: 185.2 in
Width: 75.4 in
Height: 53.5 in
Trunk Volume: 8 ft3
Curb Weight (C/D est): 4000 lb

60 mph: 3.1–3.4 sec
100 mph: 6.8–7.3 sec
1/4-Mile: 11.1–11.5 sec
Top Speed: 183–196 mph

Combined/City/Highway: 17–18/15–16/20–21 mpg


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NEW 2022 Mercedes SL 63 AMG | Full NIGHT Drive Review Interior Exterior Sound

all-new 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL 63 driving REVIEW – now a Porsche 911 killer?

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