It's been more than a decade since AMG launched the game-changing supercharged SL55 AMG, bringing near-500hp power to a Mercedes roadster for the first time, and thrusting the Mercedes tuning arm into the public consciousness like never before. Now forced induction is back in an AMG SL.
Under the bonnet is the now near-ubiquitous M157 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8, AMG increasing power a tad over the CLS, CL, ML and E63 in which it also features to make the SL the most powerful V8 AMG this side of the SLS. It now develops 537hp at 5,500rpm and 590lb ft at 2,000-4,500rpm. Should you specify the AMG Performance Package that jumps to a thoroughly healthy 564hp and 664lb ft of torque. With the Performance Package option ticked the SL will accelerate to 62mph in 4.2 seconds (a tenth quicker than standard) and see the standard 155mph limiter raised to 186mph instead.
If you're feeling particularly sporty, you can also specify the optional AMG suspension pack and a locking rear diff.
Transmitting the power to the rear wheels is Merc's Speedshift MCT seven-speed auto. This features four 'driving modes' familiar from all recent AMGs: C (for Controlled Efficiency), S (for Sport), S+ (you can probably work that one out) and M (Manual). This gearbox also includes an automatic double de-clutching function, auto stop-start and, in the racier settings, partial cylinder deactivation to help speed up gearchanges.
Prices have yet to be announced, but the SL63 AMG goes on sale in the UK this June.