2009 SL65 AMG Black Series from Mercedes-Benz

2009 SL65 AMG Black Series - AMG Mercedes-Benz | AMG MarketThe following is a recent MBUSA press release for the 2009 SL65 AMG Black Series, an exclusive high-performance coupe for especially discerning customers.

A spectacular look, unique performance data, consistently lightweight design and the highest degree of exclusivity – these attributes sum up the new 65 AMG Black Series from Mercedes-Benz. The high-performance coupé features pure-bred motor sports technology, and introduces sports car fans to a whole new world in terms of dynamic performance. The AMG 6.0-l V12 biturbo engine, developing a maximum output of 661 hp and maximum torque of 738 lb-ft, guarantees the dynamic performance of a super sports car.

This high-performance two-seater was developed in the AMG PERFORMANCE STUDIO by the same experts who were responsible for designing the Official F1™ Safety Car and Official F1™ Medical Car. The SL 65 AMG Black Series is a continuation of the successful Black Series strategy from Mercedes-AMG, the high-performance brand from Mercedes-Benz Cars. As the new AMG top model, the SL 65 AMG Black Series outstrips the other AMG SL models: both the SL 63 AMG with its 518-hp AMG 6.3-l V8 engine and the SL 65 AMG, powered by an AMG 6.0-l V12 biturbo engine, developing 604 hp. 

Wide, solid and low – that is the new Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG Black Series.The dynamic coupé inspires passion even when it is stationary. The distinctive wide wheel arches fenders, extendable spoiler and rear apron with diffuser fins are an unmistakable demonstration of the transfer from the motor sports world that has been part of the company philosophy at Mercedes AMG for over 40 years. In its appearance, the SL 65 AMG Black Series is reminiscent of the successful AMG racing cars, such as the DTM C-Class. 

Large cooling air vents in the front apron and bonnet give a clear indication of the enormous power of the AMG biturbocharged twelve-cylinder engine. From 5,980 cc, the AMG V12 develops a maximum output of 661 hp at 5,400 rpm, and an electronically limited torque of 738 lb-ft between 2,200 and 4,200 rpm. Without limits, the AMG 6.0-l V12 biturbo engine, handmade at the AMG engine plant in accordance with the traditional philosophy “one man – one engine”, would develop a maximum torque of 885 lb-ft. 

Compared with the basic power train of the SL 65 AMG, which develops 604 hp, the turbochargers on the twelve-cylinder engine of the SL 65 AMG Black Series have been redesigned. The spiral cross-section of the turbocharger, which is twelve percent larger, together with the optimised wastegate ducts enable a higher airflow rate and even more impressive power development in all speed ranges. The modified intake air duct produces an even more spontaneous vehicle response. Redesigned mufflers in the AMG sports exhaust system reduce exhaust back pressure and help boost performance. And there is an acoustic side effect: a typically evocative AMG harmony is created by the distinctive twelve-cylinder sound that escapes from the two trapezoidal exhaust pipe ends. 

The low-temperature charge air coolers are about 30 percent more effective, enabling not only a maximum power output under highly dynamic driving conditions, but also the greatest possible stability in high external temperatures. This is also assisted by the optimised water cooling system with a repositioned radiator, high-performance aspirator and large vents in the bonnet. 

Attractive power/weight ratio delivers superb performance 

The extraordinary engine specifications which make the SL 65 AMG Black Series the most powerful AMG model so far enable it to deliver superb performance values. It can reach a speed of 60 mph from a standing start in just 3.6 seconds.  The top speed is 199 mph (electronically limited).  

Also responsible for the high dynamic performance is the attractive power/weight ratio – a result of the comparably low curb weight of 4,345 lbs, which complies with the EU standard. This makes the SL 65 AMG Black Series 210 lbs lighter than the SL 65 AMG – a significant weight reduction derived from specific lightweight design measures. A large number of bodywork components are made from high-strength and especially lightweight carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), a technology which has proved its value in motor sports. The front wheel arches, which are .5 inch wider, the front apron with the visible carbon fibre front splitter, the hood and the trunk lid are all made from CFRP. The “V12 biturbo” lettering on the front wheel arches give an indication of the engine’s potency. 

New CFRP roof with integrated roll bar 

The roof cladding, made completely from CFRP, is presented in an all-new design. Not only does it feature an integrated roll bar, but by foregoing the convertible roof typical for SL-Class vehicles, the roofline has been made considerably flatter. This is obvious from the rear window, which is at a flatter angle to the trunk lid. The CFRP spoiler incorporated in the trunk lid automatically extends by 4.8 inches from a speed of 75 mph, increasing the rear axle power take-off at 120 mph by 110 lbs. Viewed from behind, the rear apron with its visible carbon fibre diffuser insert is conspicuous: this incorporates the active cooling system for the rear axle limited slip differential. New, optimum-weight AMG forged wheels with a double spoke design –19” at the front, 20” at the back – sit impressively in the wheel housings. With the black paintwork, the high-sheen surfaces and matt finish lend an opulent look to the side profile. 

Power transmission with four drive programmes and rev-matching function

In keeping with its outstanding potential and high dynamic performance, the power development and chassis of the SL 65 AMG Black Series are also presented at their best. Power is transmitted to the rear wheel via an AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS five-speed automatic gearbox. There are four drive programmes to choose from: “C”, “S” and “M1”, as well as “M2”, which has a 20-percent quicker response time than “M1”. Both manual programmes, “M1” and “M2”, allow the driver to benefit from the extreme tractive power of the V12 biturbo engine, since the gears will not automatically change down, even on full throttle; the AMG SPEED-SHIFT PLUS five-speed automatic gearbox stays reliably in the selected gear, even during kick-down shifts. In addition, a power train which is extremely direct in all driving conditions supports the torque converter bypass coupling from first gear onwards. The automatic rev-matching function provides an extra thrill when changing down, as well as reducing the load alteration effects – which has an exceedingly positive effect, especially when braking to corner on the race circuit, and also improves driving safety in wet and icy conditions.

In keeping with this vehicle’s tremendous power and torque, the power train features especially high-performance components: not only the various gearbox components, such as the clutch discs and switching and converter bypass logic, but also the drive shafts, wheel carriers and bearings, and also the spring links on the rear axle, are made to an extremely resilient design.

Completely new design for AMG coil-over sports suspension

When it comes to the chassis, the AMG experts have put their faith in a new design. The AMG sports chassis has been designed with coil-over suspension – this solution, which has been proven in the realm of motor sports, makes it possible to adjust the pressure and flow rates of the shock absorbers and vehicle level, as well as the track and camber. Drivers can configure their own personal suspension setup, especially for use on the race circuit. Both axles feature newly developed spring links and thrust, camber and tension rods, as well as optimum weight aluminium wheel carriers. Compared with the series production SL 65 AMG, the Black Series has 4.5” more track width on the front axle, and 4” more on the rear axle. The new front axle kinematics creates a steering ratio which is eight percent more direct, and the completely revised elasto-kinematics ensures greater steering precision. The result: light-footed, predictable handling.

3-stage ESPÒ provides distinctive driving dynamics

3-stage ESPÒ with sports function is synonymous with the greatest possible driving pleasure and distinctive driving dynamics: the driver can use the ESPÒ button on the center console to switch between “ESP ON”, “ESP SPORT” and “ESP OFF” – the selected mode is displayed on the central screen of the AMG instrument panel. In “ESP ON” mode, in the advent of unstable driving conditions, brakes are automatically applied to one or more wheels, and the engine torque is reduced.

Briefly pressing the ESPÒ button activates the “ESP SPORT” function. In this mode, automatic oversteer and understeer control as well as the accompanying engine torque adjustment allow for more dynamic driving conditions, more or less corresponding to the drift angle – which clearly means a lot more driving enjoyment for SL 65 AMG Black Series drivers. Depressing the brake pedal fully reactivates ESPÒ.

Holding down the ESPÒ button activates the “ESP OFF” function. This means there are no more automatic adjustments to the driving dynamics, and in general the engine torque will no longer be reduced – for even more driving excitement. “ESP OFF” should be used only by experienced drivers on closed-off race circuits. Even in this mode, it is still possible to reactivate all of the ESPÒ functions by depressing the brake pedal. Traction logic is active in all three ESPÒ modes. If a drive wheel starts to spin, specific automatic brake control is used to improve traction. Working together with the multiple-disc limited-slip differential, which has over 40 percent of its barrier effect in deceleration, this ensures that the enormous power of the engine is transferred to the road surface with minimum loss.

Sports tires and compound disc brakes for top performance

The selected wheel/tire combination is responsible for ensuring the best possible performance of the SL 65 AMG Black Series on the race circuit: on the front axle, 265/35 R 19 tires are fitted onto 9.5” AMG light alloy wheels. On the rear axle, the impressive format is AMG 11.5 x 20 light alloy wheels with 325/30 R 20 tyres. The Sport Maxx GT tyres are supplied by DTM Motor Sports partner Dunlop; they provide especially good grip and amazing cornering speeds. Peering through the filigree double spokes on the AMG light alloy wheels will reveal the generously dimensioned AMG high-performance brake system. Vented, perforated disc brakes featuring especially high-performance compound technology are fitted all around. On the front axle, the deceleration load is borne by 6-piston fixed callipers and 15.3 / 1.5 inch brake discs, with 4-piston fixed callipers and 14.2 / 1.0 inch discs on the rear axle.

Functional yet charming interior design

Nappa leather, alcantara and carbon – the interior of the SL 65 AMG Black Series creates the perfect ambience to get sports car enthusiasts’ hearts racing. The all-black interior exudes the functional atmosphere of a genuine racing car, while at the same time captivating with its charming details.

Fifteen mm smaller in diameter and with a perforated lateral grip area, the AMG high-performance steering wheel, with its flattened underside, provides optimum vehicle control. Silver-coloured aluminium switch paddles enable manual gear changing.

More highlights featured on the centre console are the premium quality carbon body trim, the matte-finish start/stop button, the new AMG gear stick with carbon insert and the AMG logo with the words “Black Series” on the ashtray. To match these, the roof lining and A and C columns are in charcoal alcantara. The AMG instrument panel has a completely new design: the black speedometer indicates up to 224 mph and has been completely redesigned, as has the white rev counter with its four integrated LEDs, which indicate to the driver the optimum moment to change gear. When the ignition is switched on, the speedometer and rev counter needles move in synch to the end of their ranges then return simultaneously to their resting positions, giving the driver a clear signal to start the engine.

The AMG main menu displays more than just the selected drive programme. The driver can also view the selected ESPÒ mode, the engine oil temperature and the battery voltage. The integrated “RACETIMER” stores information on the race cicuit lap times.

Further standard equipment for the SL 65 AMG Black Series includes the COMAND system. The new multimedia device with a 6.5”-colour screen combines a car radio with double tuner, CD-/DVD changer, Bluetooth telephone interface, drive for SD memory cards and a hard-drive-based navigation system. The 40-GB hard drive ensures extra fast route calculation. An iPod, USB stick or other external audio devices can be plugged into into the COMAND system via a universal media interface.

Complex development process in all of the Earth’s climate zones

The complex development and testing process for the SL 65 AMG Black Series began in 2006. The AMG engineers and technicians test-drove ten prototypes and development vehicles in all of the Earth’s climate zones. Whether this involved fast laps of the Nürburgring racetrack, high-speed test drives in Nardo, Italy, wind tunnel tests, extensive test drives in the summer heat and arctic cold or real-life crash tests – the new AMG high-performance Coupé had to prove that it was up to series production standard in every regard. In total, the SL 65 AMG Black Series notched up around 18,641 test mies on various circuits – 9,321 mi of which were on the northern loop of the Nürburgring racetrack, acknowledged as the most difficult race circuit in the world.
Just like the SLK 55 AMG Black Series and the CLK 63 AMG Black Series, the SL 65 AMG Black Series was developed in the AMG PERFORMANCE STUDIO, opened in 2006.  The first models will be delivered to customers in December 2008.

Additional Resources

The Timesonline (UK) has a nice article on the AMG SL65 Black Series here.

Subscribe to AMG Market and receive
updates via email; no SPAM [click here]


  1. markus said,

    Wrote on December 25, 2008 @ 7:32 pm

  2. greg said,

    Wrote on December 27, 2008 @ 9:48 am

    Thanks Markus – nice pics of the AMG Mercedes-Benz Black Series!

  3. addicted to life said,

    Wrote on May 16, 2009 @ 3:27 am

    this is very specific vehicle.
    it’s wonderful, beautiful and only 300 units will be sold worldwide.

Comment RSS