So the day is here already, when we're comparing a brand new, warrantied C-Class with SL63 that's just 10 years old. Mercedes, no doubt, want you to but their new car; whereas we are much more interested in daydreaming about making our money go further on something fast and with a large number of cylinders. And we'll conveniently ignore the potentially ruinous running costs, thanks very much.
With that in mind, here's a tidy Mercedes SL63 AMG that you could buy today for £29,000. That's very reasonable when you consider the low 28,000 miles it's covered and the fact it's presently with a large, franchised BMW dealer in Coventry - just opposite the old London Taxi factory.
The SL63 was the replacement for the SL55 AMG, that was known and loved for its brutal power, fabulous engine note and its relaxing demeanour when you weren't on the loud pedal. Another significant change from '55 to '63 was the introduction of the then-new seven-speed AMG Speedshift gearbox that replaced that torque converter with a "clutch pack" with multiple clutches inside. Back then, dual-clutch gearboxes were all the rage for their quick response times, but couldn't handle the high torque of big engines, so Speedshift was AMG's solution.
It also fitted in quite well with the car, which had been tuned to give a sharper drive, or as sharp as you can get for something that weighs over two tons! The newer engine wasn't as torquey as the old supercharged V8, but it did produce a little more power, so, combined with the faster shifts it was similarly quick. But this time, you had to thrash it more.
And when you did explore the higher reaches of its rev range, you could enjoy that AMG growl; the same deep growl you probably heard over the shrieking V8 F1 cars because, yes, an SL63 was used as a pace car in F1 during the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Which was an appropriate use of the SL because it came with multiple driving modes to alter throttle response and shift speed, ideal for track work. There was even an aptly named 'Race Start' mode for quick getaways.
So, £29,000 for a fast AMG Mercedes that looks like an F1 pace car and is much more interesting than a dull executive saloon. Job done. Well, not quite. That gearbox is great when it works, but there have been complaints on forums from owners having some reliability issues with it. Plus, being an ultra-posh Mercedes means that there will always be a concern that all those electrics work. But, if you do your homework and find a good one from a reputable seller, there's no reason why it couldn't be a great purchase. So, keep daydreaming. It could be you holding up Hamilton on the front row of the F1 grid in your bargain SL63.
SPECIFICATION - MERCEDES-BENZ SL63 AMG
Engine: 6208cc, V8
Transmission: 7-speed multi clutch auto, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 525@6,800rpm
Torque (lb ft): 465@5,200rpm
First registered: 2008
Recorded mileage: 28,000
Price new: £101,975
Yours for: £29,000
See the original advert here.