The new Mercedes SL 55 AMG

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February 15, 2006 Details of the new SL 55 AMG have been announced and the exceptional high-performance roadster from Mercedes-AMG has made further substantial advances in terms of technology, design and appointments. Reengineered AMG sports suspension based on second-generation Active Body Control is the key, and more direct steering and new AMG high-performance brakes bestow the two-seater with prodigious handling abilities. Meticulous attention to detail is also a feature of the new-look body and interior, with highlights including new AMG steering-wheel shift paddles and an AMG main menu with a RACETIMER. The improved AMG 5.5-litre V8 supercharged engine now has a new supercharger compressor and more efficient engine management unit to boost power from 368 kW (500 hp) to 380 kW (517 hp), while the peak torque has been increased from 700 to 720 Nm. The engine management can now set the optimum combustion point individually for each cylinder, resulting in a further improvement in the efficiency of the AMG V8 engine. The new SL 55 AMG accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds (outgoing model: 4.7 seconds) and goes on to reach an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h, though motorists with an extra-dynamic streak can opt for the AMG Performance Package which ups the limited maximum speed to 300 km/h.

AMG SPEEDSHIFT 5-speed automatic transmission with AMG shift paddles

As in many of the high-performance models from AMG, the AMG SPEEDSHIFT five-speed automatic transmission is responsible for transmitting the engine's power to the wheels of the SL 55 AMG. Drivers are able to choose between fully automated gearshifts or changing gear manually: manual gear-changes can be performed either by using the selector lever or by pulling on the silver-coloured aluminium AMG shift paddles marked "up" and "down" for that true Formula 1 feel.

In the manual drive mode "M", the driver is able to capitalise on the tremendous pulling power of the V8 supercharged engine as the transmission will not shift down automatically, even at full throttle; the selected gear will be retained even with the accelerator in the kickdown position. In manual mode, AMG SPEEDSHIFT will not automatically shift up a gear either when the rev limit is reached, enabling sportily-minded drivers to harness the immense power reserves even more effectively. The transmission will shift down a gear when the engine speed approaches the lower limit of the rev band. The technical credentials of AMG SPEEDSHIFT also include torque converter lock-up from first gear, active engine-braking downshifts plus an "optimum gear" function, which combine with spontaneous, lightning-quick gearshifts to produce a truly thrilling motoring experience. An optimised torque converter has also been added as part of the facelift package. Not only has the new torque converter been adapted to handle the increased torque of the V8 supercharged engine but its smaller diameter produces a lower inertia; this in turn sharpens the engine's responsiveness, particularly when travelling at slow speeds.

AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control for extra agility

The AMG sports suspension based on second-generation Active Body Control has been specially reengineered for the AMG Roadster. The specific measures that have been implemented reduce body movements in dynamic driving situations to levels even lower than those achieved by the outgoing model, without impairing the excellent ride comfort in any way. The SL 55 AMG now offers an even sportier drive, especially in extremely dynamic situations such as those encountered on the race track. Another special feature of Active Body Control is the variable roll moment distribution between the front and rear axles, which the system adjusts automatically to suit the vehicle's current speed. The modified control produces even greater agility than before, particularly when travelling at typical country road speeds.

The superior agility and handling precision can also be attributed to the revised elastokinematics at the front axle as well as to the modified speed-sensitive power steering. A steering ratio that is now seven per cent more direct gives the SL 55 AMG even greater manoeuvrability. The modified valve control logic for the power assistance translates into faster response when the steering is centred. The AMG engineers have also fitted a new power steering pump with a higher rate of delivery that guarantees an optimum degree of power assistance no matter how quickly the steering wheel is turned. Finally, the inclusion of a new steering damper makes for peerless driving comfort.

Newly developed AMG high-performance composite brakes

The SL 55 AMG is equipped with newly developed AMG high-performance brakes which ensure optimum metering of braking power, extremely short stopping distances and even better resistance to fading. Large, internally ventilated and perforated composite brake discs with six-piston aluminium fixed callipers are fitted at the front wheels, while the rear wheels are slowed down by internally ventilated and perforated discs with four-piston fixed callipers.

Exterior design characterised by even more striking dynamism

On a visual level, the new-generation AMG Roadster is distinguishable by its discreetly updated AMG bodystyling, including a more dynamically styled AMG front apron with a more pronounced wedge shape and fog lamps ringed in chrome. Further unobtrusive yet highly effective model enhancement measures include an AMG-specific radiator grille with three black louvres and chrome highlights, new tail lights as well as a 3rd brake light with special AMG tinting. New high-sheen AMG 18-inch light-alloy wheels featuring new multi-spoke styling dominate the side view. Measuring 8.5 inches and 9.5 inches across at the front and rear respectively, the wheels are shod with wide-base tyres with the dimensions 255/40 (front) and 285/35 (rear). A tyre pressure loss warning system based on ESP technology will also make up part of the standard specification of the SL 55 AMG from now on.

Restyled interior with carbon-fibre trim and AMG RACETIMER

The array of subtle modifications is continued inside the car, where meticulous attention to detail has been exercised to enhance the quality feel yet further. As a result, the interior of the AMG Roadster now sports an even more dynamic and high-class look. New genuine carbon-fibre AMG trim elements add just the right degree of sportiness and reflect AMG's successful involvement in the world of motorsport. The AMG ergonomic sports steering wheel with its specially moulded rim is now fitted with silver-coloured aluminium AMG shift paddles marked "up" and "down".

Further new features include the AMG main menu in the instrument cluster, which permanently displays the currently engaged gear and recommended upshifts, plus either the engine oil temperature, the battery voltage or the RACE-TIMER. The new RACETIMER function allows the driver to record lap times on private racing circuits, for example, storing not only the time for the fastest lap but also the average and top speeds as well as the lap length.

The package of facelift measures for the SL 55 AMG includes high-quality metal door sill panels with AMG lettering, a new-look instrument cluster shroud trimmed in nappa leather with double topstitching above the classic chronometer-design round dials, as well as a new digital clock plus ventilation outlet cover. The interior door trim, armrests and AMG sports seats are upholstered in nappa leather to create a highly exclusive air. The power-adjustable AMG sports seats are made particularly eye-catching by their exclusive AMG perforation pattern and special seat upholstery layout; additional features include multicontour and memory functions, plus seat heating and an AMG badge. The switch for operating the vario-roof now has a chunkier design with a metallic finish. It takes just 16 seconds to open or close the folding hard-top, a glass version of which can be specified as an optional extra.

Even greater ease of use than before is available by opting for the electric remote boot lid closing feature which enables the boot to be opened and closed with the minimum of effort. Standard equipment includes a removable luggage cover which increases the boot capacity by 22 litres to 339 litres – more than any other competitor in this segment. The luggage cover can be removed in a few simple steps, a feature which frees up extra boot space as well as making loading easier and boosting the boot's utility value.

AMG Performance Package optionally available for the SL 55 AMG

Motorists with an extra-dynamic streak can opt to enhance their SL 55 AMG with the highly exclusive AMG Performance Package from Mercedes-AMG GmbH, comprising:

    AMG front apron with enlarged cooling air intakes Extra engine oil cooler Even sportier set-up for the ABC-based AMG sports suspension New composite brake discs at the front wheels measuring 390 x 36 millimetres AMG 19-inch light-alloy wheels in twin-spoke styling, multipiece (front: 8.5 x 19 with 255/35 R 19 tyres, rear: 9.5 x 19 with 285/30 R 19 tyres) Multi-disc limited-slip differential with 30 per cent lock factor and strengthened final drive AMG ergonomic sports steering wheel wrapped in leather/Alcantara Limited maximum speed increased to 300 km/h

The SL 55 AMG Facelift

Exterior:

New-look AMG bodystyling with more dynamically styled front apron, new radiator grille with three louvres and fog lamps ringed in chrome Tail lights with clear-lens design and special AMG tinting New 18-inch AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels 19-inch five-spoke AMG light-alloy wheels *

Interior:

    Genuine carbon-fibre trim AMG main menu with RACETIMER New silver-coloured aluminium AMG shift paddles on steering wheel Instrument cluster shroud trimmed in nappa leather with double topstitching Aluminium-look operating switch for vario-roof Digital clock with new display and new cover for ventilation outlet Higher-quality metal door sill panels with AMG lettering

Technology:

    Uprated AMG 5.5-litre V8 supercharged engine with an output of 380 kW/517 hp and a peak torque of 720 Nm AMG SPEEDSHIFT five-speed automatic transmission with new torque converter Steering with more direct ratio, including new valve control logic and modified elastokinematics at the front axle Second-generation ABC New AMG high-performance composite brakes at the front wheels Removable luggage cover Remote boot lid locking* Tyre pressure loss warning system Tyre pressure monitoring system*
*Optional

The extensive standard specification for the SL 55 AMG:

    Adaptive front airbags Adaptive brake lights Active Service System (ASSYST) Anti-lock braking system (ABS) Pre-installation for a car phone AMG carbon-fibre trim AMG ergonomic sports steering wheel AMG SPEEDSHIFT five-speed automatic transmission AMG high-performance brakes AMG 18-inch light-alloy wheels in new multi-spoke styling AMG aluminium shift paddles with manual drive mode AMG instrument cluster with RACETIMER AMG bodystyling AMG sports exhaust system with two sets of chromed twin tailpipes AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control AMG sports seats with seat heating, multicontour and memory functions Outside temperature display Courtesy lights in the doors Wide-base tyres, 255/40 R 18 (front) and 285/35 R 18 (rear) Brake Assist COMAND APS incl. DVD navigation, radio and telephone keypad Cup holders Anti-theft alarm system Entry aid Electronic Stability Program (ESP) Automatic headlamp activation Power windows Luggage cover, removable Belt tensioners and belt force limiters Head/thorax sidebags in the doors Remote boot lid release Automatically dimming interior mirror and driver's side exterior mirror Integral seats, power adjustable Child seat recognition, automatic Automatic climate control Convenience closing and opening feature for vario-roof and side windows Electrically adjustable steering column Memory function for seats, steering wheel and mirrors Metallic paintwork featuring nano-particle technology Multifunction steering wheel Nappa leather upholstery Fog lamps Speed-sensitive power steering Rain sensor Tyre pressure loss warning system Trip computer Headlamp cleaning system Surround sound system Cruise control with SPEEDTRONIC Touchshift TIREFIT with electric air pump Rollover bars, sensor-controlled V8 KOMPRESSOR lettering at the sides along the front wings Vario-roof, electrically operated Tinted glass Draught-stop Xenon headlamps Central displays in instrument cluster Central locking with remote control and crash sensor

The principal optional extras at a glance:

    DISTRONIC proximity control AMG 19-inch light-alloy wheels Car phone or mobile phone Bi-xenon headlamps with headlamp cleaning system, dynamic headlamp range control and cornering light function CD changer designo appointments Remote boot lid closing feature KEYLESS-GO Luxury seats incl. seat ventilation and heating Panoramic vario-roof Tyre pressure monitoring system LINGUATRONIC voice control system TV receiver
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