2013 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG: Up Close


More 2012 New York Auto Show Coverage

Perhaps I’m jealous. A 12-cylinder version of the imposing new SL was all but inevitable, and the SL65 packs stupefying numbers. The show car’s matte gray paint, carbon fiber mirrors and carbon fiber front air splitter look menacing, as do the massive 15.4-inch front brake discs – the size of the dinner plates on which the 1% eat carefully arranged morsels with unpronounceable names. (Fine; I’ll stop.)

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Certain details disappoint, however. Get beyond the twin chrome grille spokes and the mesh inserts are still plastic. Worse still, the mesh inserts ahead of the front fenders are … fake. They lead to plastic backings. Lesser SL roadsters already wrap the dash, doors and console in leather; the SL65 on the show floor went a step further with leather-wrapped windshield surroundings all the way down the A-pillars.

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Mercedes says the SL65 is 254 pounds lighter than before, and AMG chairman Ola Kaellenius told reporters it should be 17% more fuel efficient than the prior SL65 AMG, which the EPA rated at 12/18 mpg city/highway. Full EPA ratings are still pending.

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Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price. Email Kelsey Mays

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