In terms of convertibles, you’re spoiled for choice by Mercedes-Benz and the mad professors in Affalterbach. But towards the end of May 2019, the SL 63 will cease to exist until the next generation comes along with know-how from the GT.
The R231 can trace its roots back to 2012 for the 2013 model year. Designed in 2007 and produced in Bremen, the current generation of the SL-Class received a mid-cycle refresh in 2016 for the 2017 model year. Even though Mercedes-AMG prepares to bid farewell to V12-powered models, the V8 soldiers on with 4.0 liters of displacement.
Mercedes-Benz Passion understands from Affalterbach that Mercedes-AMG is pulling out the SL 63 to focus on the successor of the R231. Speaking of which, the SL 63 didn’t receive the 4.0-liter V8 from the GT but relies on the M157 with 5.5 liters of displacement.
Not as powerful nor as torquey as the M177, the M157 is matched to the AMG Speedshift MCT 7 instead of the nine-speed transmission in M177-engined models. These being said, the truth is that AMG was too focused on the GT and A 45 to keep the SL-Class as fresh as a daisy.
There are far better open-top grand tourers out there right now, including the Bentley Continental GT Convertible and Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante. Worse still, today’s SL-Class doesn’t hold a candle to the trailblazing W198 from the 1950s. At that point in time, the Sport-Leicht in 300 SL flavor was the fastest production car in the world (260 km/h or 160 mph).
“Advanced today” and “admired forever” according to Mercedes-Benz, the most affordable SL in the United States is the 450 at $89,150 excluding destination. Level up to the 550 and you’re looking at $113,550 while the 63 retails at $154,450 excluding destination.
As mentioned beforehand, the SL 65 is no longer available because both AMG and Mercedes-Benz aren't willing to go ahead with the M279. The twin-turbo V12 is based on the M275 from the previous decade, and that one also happens to be based on the M137 from the 1990s. Without further beating around the bush, Daimler AG has no incentive to bring an antiquated design up to date.