Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG

Performance Pack and updates for big Merc

Evo rating
Price
from £99,000
  • Torque-fest of an engine
  • Starting to look dated

This is so frustrating. Here I am, driving the updated SL55 AMG, yet I'm stuck behind a small Majorcan delivery van and we're on a road too narrow for a Caterham. The SL55's V8 now turns out 508bhp (up from 493) thanks to a higher-speed supercharger, the larger throttle valve from the SL65 and improved engine management. Torque has also risen, by 14lb ft to 531. The five-speed gearbox remains, but with the addition of paddles behind the steering wheel, enabling you to enjoy the low-down pulling power of your preferred ratio. But perhaps of most interest are the brakes, which now use composite discs at the front. The car I'm in has the optional AMG Performance Pack as well, adding 30mm to the composite front discs (bringing them to 390mm), a limited slip diff and an even more sporting bent to the sports suspension. The speed limiter is also raised, to 186mph. Not that that's much use stuck behind a van struggling to do thirty... Exiting a village, the road widens and we nuke the traffic in front with one huge, torque-rich slug before charging into a sweeping right turn. You instantly start to forget the big masses at work, the electronics letting you drive more quickly than you feel you have any right to in a 508bhp, two-ton car. It's a sort of strongman turned butler - mighty, but effortlessly flattering. The 55 undoubtedly remains the SL, and in fact the convertible, to have.

Specifications

EngineV8, 5439cc, supercharged
Max power508bhp @ 6100rpm
Max torque531lb ft @ 2600-4000rpm
0-604.5sec (claimed)
Top speed186mph (claimed)
On saleNow

Most Popular

Porsche 911 Sally Carrera Special Edition revealed
Porsche Sally Carrera – front quarter
News

Porsche 911 Sally Carrera Special Edition revealed

Porsche’s been collaborating with Pixar on this one-off special that’ll be sold at Car Week for charity
12 Aug 2022
Best Impreza Colin McRae Edition review – homage to McRae's championship 555 racer
Subaru Impreza Turbo 555 – header
Videos

Best Impreza Colin McRae Edition review – homage to McRae's championship 555 racer

We drive an original Group A Subaru Impreza 555 rally car, as well as the £370,000 contemporary homage Best Engineering has created in its image
12 Aug 2022
231mph Ultima GTR640 on the Isle of Man – evo Retro
Ultima GTR640
Features

231mph Ultima GTR640 on the Isle of Man – evo Retro

The Ultima GTR640 is one of the fastest accelerating road cars ever built. John Barker channels his inner racer and unleashes it on the Isle of Man TT…
11 Aug 2022