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Cars > Mercedes > Mercedes Benz SL 65 AMG 2008

 By Ketan Patel View Comments

Image Copyright: Mercedes

Mercedes Benz SL 65 AMG 2008

Mercedes Benz SL 65 AMG is top of the line in exclusive 12-cylinder roadster segment. Its AMG 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine produces 612 hp with  maximum torque of 1000 Nm unrivalled figures even four  years after the market launch. The SL 65 AMG accelerates from 0 to 62  mph in just 4.2 seconds, impressive testimony to the outstanding power  of the AMG V12 engine; top speed is 155 mph (electronically limited).

SL 65 AMG – Pose and assurance to perfection

Poise and assurance to perfection

  • AMG 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine with 612 hp and 1000 Nm
  • AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control
  • AMG high-performance braking system and new 19-inch forged wheels
  • Nappa leather upholstery in a new AMG V12 diamond-pattern design

Top of the line in the exclusive 12-cylinder roadster segment is the SL 65 AMG. Its AMG 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine produces 612 hp with maximum torque of 1000 Newton metres – unrivalled figures even four years after the market launch. The SL 65 AMG accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in just 4.2 seconds, impressive testimony to the outstanding power of the AMG V12 engine; top speed is 155 mph (electronically limited).

This exclusive dynamism is down to the outstanding power of the 5980cc AMG V12 engine developed by Mercedes-AMG: the peak output of 612 hp is continuously available between 4800 and 5100 rpm, while the electronically limited maximum torque of 1000 Newton metres is on tap between 2000 and 4000 rpm. At just 1000 rpm the AMG V12 biturbo engine already delivers a torque of 570 Newton metres to the crankshaft, and 750 Newton metres at 1500 rpm.

Fulminating and effortless acceleration at the highest speeds is just as much a strength of the AMG twelve-cylinder as cruising along serenely in a high gear. Both the instant responsiveness and almost vibration-free, refined running impress in equal measure, guaranteeing the long-distance comfort typical of a Mercedes. Opening the bonnet reveals a technical masterpiece: the engine cover of deep-drawn aluminium and carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CRP) is a visual delight.

Key data of the SL 65 AMG at a glance:

    SL 65 AMG
Cylinder arrangement
valves per cylinder
Displacement cc 5980
Bore x stroke mm 82.6 x 93.0
Compression ratio   9.0 : 1
kW/hp rpm 450/612
Max. torque
Fuel consumption
mpg 18.7
Acceleration  0-62 mph s 4.2
Max. speed mph 155*

*Electronically limited

Twelve-cylinder biturbo engine with know-how from motor sports

During the concept and design phases of the V12 engine the AMG engineers made full use of the know-how gained from their many years of motor racing tradition. The AMG V12 engine features a finely balanced crankshaft of higher-strength material, forged pistons made from a special, extremely temperature and pressure-resistant material, a highly efficient oil-spray cooling system with a separate nozzle for each piston, and larger piston bolts. The main and connecting rod bearings are also made from a higher-grade material to compensate temperature and pressure peaks more efficiently.

The charge cycle in the cylinder heads benefits from optimised combustion chambers and the longer opening times of the intake camshafts. A modified oil pump ensures a reliable supply to all lubrication points, even under the highest loads. An engine oil cooler is integrated into the AMG front apron, and an additional cooler is located in the wheel arch.

Particularly efficient intercooler

The AMG V12 biturbo engine is intercooled by a large low-temperature cooler located in the front end. The system operates on the particularly efficient principle of an air-water heat exchanger, and effectively cools the intake air compressed by the turbocharger before it enters the combustion chambers. Under full load, the larger surface of the low-temperature cooler achieves a 25 per cent lower intake air temperature and ensures a high output and torque yield in all ambient temperatures and operating conditions. The compressor, turbine housing and turbine wheel of both turbochargers are larger in size, while the maximum charge pressure is 1.5 bar.

The electronically controlled, AMG-specific fuel injection system operates at a variable system pressure of 3.6 to 5.0 bar. The fuel pressure is variably and instantly adjusted depending on the performance requirement and ambient temperature. The engine electronics execute commands from the accelerator pedal within milliseconds, leading to outstanding responsiveness under all load conditions.

AMG sports exhaust system for typical AMG 12-cylinder vocals

The typical AMG 12-cylinder sound of the SL 65 AMG is provided by the AMG sports exhaust system with two oval, chromed twin tailpipes in a V12 design. The tri-metallic coating used in the catalytic converters results in a faster response from a cold start, more efficient emission control as well as superior long-term durability. Naturally the SL 65 AMG also fulfils all standard exhaust emissions limits such as EU 4. The engine is also able to take specific requirements of the U.S. market, such as LEV-II, On-Board Diagnosis II and oxygen sensor diagnosis, in its stride.

The exceptional status of the AMG V12 engine was also recognised in the “International Engine of the Year Awards 2004”: in the “Best Performance Engine” category, the jury voted the 612 hp AMG engine the winner ahead of 70 competing units from Europe, the USA and Japan. In the AMG engine workshops, each engine is traditionally hand-assembled according to the “One man, one engine” philosophy. This means that a single technician assembles the complete V12 engine by hand according to the most stringent quality standards – as witness his signature on the engine’s AMG badge.

AMG SPEEDSHIFT and asymmetrical locking differential

Power transfer in the SL 65 AMG is by the AMG SPEEDSHIFT five-speed automatic transmission with three drive modes. Pressing the“S/C/M” button in the centre console enables the driver to choose between the different transmission characteristics provided by “Sport”,“Comfort” and“Manual” modes. At any time the gears can also be shifted using the silver-coloured aluminium AMG shift paddles on the AMG ergonomic sports steering wheel.

To cope with the engine’s enormous output and torque potential, the drive train features particularly robust and efficient components: not only a number of transmission components such as the clutch discs and the shift/torque converter lockup logic, but also the drive shafts, wheel location,  wheel bearings and rear axle spring links are designed for extremely high strength.

The reinforced rear axle differential housing accommodates a mechanical,  asymmetrical multiple-disc locking differential with a locking factor of 30 per cent under load; especially with a very sporty style of driving, this provides optimal rear wheel traction. In conjunction with the appropriately configured acceleration skid control, which has a feature known as traction logic, this means that the engine power is transferred to the road with best possible efficiency.

AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control

As in the SL 63 AMG, the AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control has been further refined for the SL 65 AMG. The new spring and damper tuning, plus completely modified elastokinematics, ensure even more responsive handling dynamics. Greater agility and shorter stopping distances are also guaranteed by the front axle bearings, the spring links and the torque strut along with individual strut bearings at the rear. In partnership with the optimised speed-sensitive power steering the SL 65 AMG now feels even more direct and livelier – enabling the driver to fully utilise the linear steering and oversteer/understeer characteristics typical of a sports car, especially on winding roads or a private race. The AMG sports suspension based on Active Body Control also allows individual settings to be selected at the touch of a button: either a sporty, firm response with reduced roll angles, or a more comfort-focused setting for excellent comfort on long journeys.

AMG high-performance braking system and new 19-inch forged wheels

In keeping with its incomparable dynamic potential, the SL 65 AMG is equipped with a large AMG high-performance braking system with particularly effective composite technology at both front and rear. The front wheels are equipped with 360 x 36-millimetre brake discs,while deceleration at the rear comes courtesy of 330 x 26-millimetre brake discs; all discs are internally ventilated and perforated. The SL 65 AMG is shod with size 255/35 R 19 (front) and 285/30 R 19 (rear) tyres mounted on new, 19-inch AMG forged light-alloy wheels with a titanium grey finish and polished surface.

New AMG bodystyling with V12-specific features

Viewed from the front, this flagship AMG V12 model is distinguishable from the SL 63 AMG by a matt-silver painted lower transverse fin in the front apron, and on the sides by the “V12 Biturbo” lettering on the matt-silver painted trim panels of the front wings.At the rear the AMG sports exhaust system with two chrome-plated twin tailpipes in a V12 design identifies the top model. Standard features of the SL 65 AMG also include the new AMG bodystyling with a front apron, side skirts and a rear apron, as well as the AMG-specific bonnet and AMG spoiler lip.

Nappa leather upholstery in the new AMG V12 diamond-pattern design

The exclusive nappa leather upholstery on the AMG sports seats and door centre panels with its new AMG V12 diamond-pattern design catches the eye in the interior of the SL 65 AMG. “V12 BITURBO” lettering on the rev counter adorns the new AMG instrument cluster with its 225 mph speedometer scale. As with the SL 63 AMG, the new AMG ergonomic sports steering wheel with its three-spoke design and aluminium AMG shift paddles is also included. The extensive standard specification also includes genuine carbon-fibre trim and the multi-way electrically adjustable AMG sports seats with multicontour and memory functions, seat heating, and AMG badge.

Other standard features of the SL 65 AMG include (selection):

  • AMG door sill panels in brushed stainless steel
  • COMAND multimedia system
  • Remote boot lid locking
  • Metallic paintwork
  • PARKTRONIC and DISTRONIC proximity control
  • Tyrepressure control system
  • Comfort ventilated seats
  • Harman Kardon® surround sound system
  • Draught-stop

Optional extras from the AMG PERFORMANCE STUDIO 

Exclusive optional extras from the AMG Performance STUDIO are available for the SL 65 AMG. These include:

  • AMG exterior carbon-fibre package with side air outlets in front apron, exterior mirror housing, spoiler lip and genuine carbon-fibre diffuser insert in rear apron
  • AMG performance steering wheel, flattened underside and smaller diameter
  • AMG door sill panels, illuminated in white light

Extensive designo range also for the SL 65 AMG

SL 65 AMG customers in particular like to opt for the exclusive designo range to give their V12 roadster an unmistakably personal touch. There is a choice of twelve different designo metallic paint finishes in particularly scratch-resistant nano-technology, which combine perfectly with 12 single-tone designo leather interiors. If Exclusive designo leather is specified, not only the seats and centre door panels and the lower door sections, but also the lower section of the dashboard, the instrument cluster shroud, the armrest cover, the parcel shelf and the centre console are lined in the chosen designo leather colour. The liner of the vario-roof and the A and C-pillars are lined in anthracite, alpaca grey or pebble beige Alcantara. designo wood trim is also available in natural matt maple grain, as well as the unique designo stone trim of genuine granite: Labrador blue pearl and Star Galaxy.

Wide range of optional extras

As with the SL 63 AMG, a wide range of optional extras is available for the  SL 65 AMG which make travel in the V12 Roadster even more pleasurable and safe. For example the AIRSCARF neck-level heating system, the Intelligent Light System or the panoramic glass Vario-roof.

Other optional extras for the SL 65 AMG (selection):

  • Media Interface for connecting mobile audio units
  • Intelligent light system
  • Exterior Carbon Fibre package

Mercedes-Benz SL 65 AMG


No. of cylinders/arrangement   12/V, 3 valves per cylinder
Displacement cc 5980
Bore x stroke mm 82.6 x 93.0
Rated output kW/hp 450/612 at 4800-5100 rpm
Rated torque Nm 1000 at 2000-4000 rpm
Compression ratio   9.0: 1
Mixture formation   Microprocessor-controlled injection system, two turbochargers

Power transfer

Transmission   5-speed automatic

Final drive

1st gear

2nd gear

3rd gear

4th gear

5th gear









Running gear

Front axle Four-link suspension, Active Body Control (ABC)
Rear axle Multi-link independent suspension, Active Body Control (ABC)
Braking system Internally ventilated and perforated composite front discs, internally ventilated and perforated composite rear discs, foot-operated parking brake, ABS, Brake Assist, ESP®
Steering Rack-and-pinion speed-sensitive power steering
Wheels Front: 8.5 J x 19; rear: 9.5 J x 19
Tyres Front: 255/35 R 19; rear: 285/30 R 19

Dimensions and weights

Wheelbase mm 2560
Track front/rear mm 1569/1554
Overall   - length mm 4605
               - width mm 1816
               - height mm 1298
Turning circle m 11.04
Boot capacity* l 235-339
Kerb weight acc. to EC** kg 2120
Payload (acc. to EC) kg 265
Gross vehicle weight kg 2385
Tank capacity/reserve l 80/14

Performance and fuel consumption

Acceleration 0-62 mph s 4.2
Max. speed mph 155***

Fuel consumption Urban

Extra Urban


CO2 emissions









Mercedes Benz SL 65 AMG 2008


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