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The Mercedes-Benz SL is already a classic image of a luxury two-seat roadster. But the SL63 AMG is the ultimate expression of the breed, with a blisteringly powerful turbocharged V8 powering one of the most opulent vehicles you can buy today. It's a powerful car that provides quick and luxurious transportation for two and makes for one of the most iconic fashion statements in the world.
The SL comes generously equipped, but the SL63 puts more emphasis on performance. The engine is a 5.5-liter twin turbo V8 with 530 horsepower and a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission. AMG has also upgraded the steering, brakes and suspension over the standard SL. A power-folding hardtop roof is standard, as are 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive bi-xenon headlamps, dual-zone automatic climate control, 12-way power front seats, leather upholstery and auto-dimming mirrors.
The Porsche 911 is a more focused sports car and offers more interior space, but uses a fabric roof that has less security and isn't as luxurious as the Mercedes. The BMW M6 has more interior space, with somewhat usable rear seats, and a massively powerful engine, but lacks the luxury and image. The Bentley Continental GTC is even more posh and exclusive, also with rear seats, but lacks a folding hardtop and is much more expensive. And the Audi R8 is a much more aggressive sports car that is better to drive quickly, but doesn't have the same opulence as an SL63.
So the SL63 is perfect for people who want a glorious two-seat roadster that seamlessly combines power and luxury. It may not be the outright sports car competitors from Audi and Porsche are, or the spacious grand tourer, but it has a trick folding roof and loads of power to make it fun on a back road. Plus, the three-pointed star on the grille is one of the strongest style statements out there.
The SL63 comes fully equipped with leather upholstery, 12-way power front seats, adaptive xenon headlamps, LED running lights, 19-inch alloy wheels, sport suspension, brakes and steering, navigation system, Bluetooth, Harmon/Kardon audio system with HD radio and iPod integration. The optional Performance Package raises horsepower to 557 and adds a limited-slip differential, red brake calipers, carbon fiber rear spoiler and carbon fiber engine cover. Premium Package 1 adds ventilated seats, the Airscarf system that blows air from the seatbacks onto the occupants' necks, keyless entry and start, parking sensors and a backup camera. The Driver Assistance Package includes radar-guided cruise control and blind-spot assist. Also available are carbon ceramic brakes, a sports suspension with active body control and a Bang & Olufsen premium audio system.
Strong sports car credentials with classic look and lots of options, but isn't as outright luxurious.
Fast with almost-usable back seats, but isn't as stylish as the competition.
Prestigious with beautifully finished interior, but very expensive even among rivals.
Focused driver's car without as many supercar practicality issues, but can be harsh compared to grand tourers.