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2013 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Preview: New York Auto Show

  • New SL65 will feature the same biturbo V12 as its predecessor
  • New 7-speed automatic replaces the outgoing 5-speed
  • 2013 SL65 is expected to go on sale in November

The flagship version of Mercedes’ upscale SL-Class convertible will soon return to the luxury automaker’s lineup. Mercedes recently announced it would launch a new SL65 AMG at this year’s New York International Auto Show, reviving the convertible’s V12 engine after much speculation that it would be discontinued.

According to Mercedes, the second-generation SL65 AMG features the same 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V12 as its predecessor. That means the high-performance droptop will produce a whopping 621 horsepower and a monstrous 738 lb-ft of torque, which Mercedes says will propel the convertible from 0-60 mph in less than 4 seconds. While the engine isn’t new, the latest version of the SL65 will now feature Mercedes’ 7-speed AMG Speedshift transmission, adding two gears to the outgoing model’s 5-speed automatic.

The SL65 also features subtle yet distinctive styling upgrades from standard SL-Class models. Based on the recently revised 2013 SL-Class, the new SL65 AMG adds larger wheels than its more traditional stablemates and includes a unique front grille with slits on either side for improved cooling – a hallmark of the original SL65. The SL65 is also distinguished from standard SL models – and even the SL63 AMG – thanks to its high-gloss chrome accents and a “V12 BITURBO” emblem placed behind each front wheel.

“The combination of exclusive V12 dynamics and cultivated roadster pleasure was already unique in the previous model,” said Ola Kallenius, Mercedes-AMG’s chief executive. “We are certain that, with the new SL65 AMG, we have developed a stunning high-performance automobile beyond compare for a small, but loyal fan base.”

The SL65 AMG’s release is sure to please car shoppers interested in V12 power, which is becoming increasingly rare in the face of tightening emissions and fuel economy regulations. Last summer, Mercedes announced it was dropping the non-AMG SL600 from the SL-Class lineup, leaving many industry experts to speculate on whether the latest SL-Class would do without V12 power altogether.

Although Mercedes says the new SL65 AMG won’t arrive in showrooms until November, we’ll be on hand next week at the New York Auto Show to cover its debut – and take some detailed photos – when the convertible makes its appearance for the first time.

What it means to you: If you’re in the market for an extremely powerful luxury roadster, be sure to check out next week’s debut of the new Mercedes-Benz SL65 at the New York Auto Show.

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