Mercedes’ high performance AMG division has been busy in recent months, with the launch of the SL 63 AMG and announcement that its SLS AMG E-Cell Gullwing has gotten a production nod. Now, with the weather warming up in the northern hemisphere, AMG has unveiled its new roadster, the Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG. Powered by a 6.0-liter V12 biturbo engine developing a max output of 463 kW (630 hp) and max torque of 1,000 Nm, the new SL 65 AMG boasts an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph), a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) time of four seconds, and 0-200 km/h (124 mph) time of 11.8 seconds.

The performance improvements of the new car can be largely attributed to an all aluminum bodyshell that helps cut the weight some 170 kg (375 lb) compared to its predecessor. This weight reduction, along with an AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC transmission (instead of the usual five-speed auto), ECO start/stop-function, and in-engine changes providing improved efficiency and alternator management, combine to realize fuel consumption figures of 11.6 liters (3.06 US gal) per 100 km (NEDC combined), which AMG says is a 17% improvement on the previous SL 65 AMG. Despite this, the max output is up from 450 kW (612 hp) to 463 kW (630 hp) compared to the previous model.

While the aluminum bodyshell alone provides a weight saving of 110 kg (242.5 lb), additional savings come courtesy of aluminum components, the use of carbon-fiber composite in the boot lid, and the use of even lighter magnesium in some areas of the cover behind the tank. All up, the car boasts a curb weight of 1,950 kg (4,299 lb).

The new SL 65 AMG also sees the debut of the new AMG brand face, which features a new high-sheen chrome “twin blade” radiator grille sporting a more pronounced V-shape with the Mercedes star mounted on two blade-like louvres. The high-sheen chrome also extends to the lower cross strut in the front apron, the surrounds of the AMG daytime running lamps, the fins on the bonnet and side wings, and the twin tailpipes.

Mercedes’ electrohydraulically operated retractable vario-roof also gets a guernsey, allowing the car to transform into a roadster or a coupé in under 20 seconds. Unlike the previous model, two versions of the vario-roof are available – the standard panoramic vario-roof or one with Mercedes’ switchable transparency MAGIC SKY CONTROL.

Interior features include electrically adjustable AMG sports seats offered in single or two-tone upholstery in high grade leather, AIRSCARF to keep your neck toasty and warm, jet-engine-styled air vents, Bang & Olufsen sound system, Frontbass, COMAND infotainment software, and automatic, pop-up roll-over bars for the driver and front passenger.

The Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG will be appearing at the New York Auto Show next month and is due to launch in September 2012. The price for the car in Germany (including 19% VAT) €236,344 (approx. US$311,830).

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