The Mercedes SL came out in 1955, and the 2013 SL550 retractable hardtop convertible I am reviewing this week is the sixth generation version and has undergone some massive changes.
Under the hood, the SL550 has a 4.6-liter Bi-turbo V8 that puts out a massive 429-horses and produces 516 lb-ft of torque. This 4100 pound car will absolutely pin you to your seat when you stomp on it. It comes with a 7-speed automatic transmission, and this combination will take you from 0-to-60 in 4 seconds flat. Top speed is governed in the U.S. version to 155-miles per hour.
One major change besides a much more aggressive front end treatment and the body itself is 90% aluminum, one of the reasons this car has such amazing acceleration. 19” AMG 5-spoke wheels set off this new look of the SL550 and make it irresistible to everyone who looks at this beauty.
My evaluation car is Silver and has red leather seats. Yes, red, and I am here to tell you that is really works. It is just stunning! The interior is everything you would expect from a Mercedes, with heated and cooled seats, ambient lighting, pushbutton start, and rearview camera. The seats will massage you if you wish and they will mechanically hold you in place when in a turn. It is a bit of a shock the first time you turn the car.
Perhaps the coolest feature I have ever seen on a car is Mercedes Magic Sky Control. When you want fresh air, the hardtop folds quickly and efficiently into the trunk to make it a convertible. When the hardtop is up, there is a glass panel that you can look through. When you touch the Magic Sky button, the glass changes from clear to dark. This is done through an electrical charge sent through the glass. It is totally amazing to see.
Fuel economy on this car is not great, but that is hard to get in a car this fast. The SL550 has the start/stop feature that a lot of cars have these days. When you come to a complete stop, the engine shuts off but everything else continues to run.
The SL550 is technological marvel of a car and it drives and handles like a true sports car, something you did not get in previous versions of the SL. This car is awesome as a sports car, it’s awesome as a luxury coupe, and it is as quiet as any convertible I have ever been in thanks to heavy insulation and a double floor inside the car.
If you are looking at a top-of-the-line convertible, I don’t think it gets any better than the 2013 SL550.
What I liked most: Horsepower and innovative features.
What I would change: Not a thing!
MSRP: $105,500 base price, $120,505 as equipped.
Fuel Economy: 16 in town/24 on the highway.
2013 SL550 in a few words: Great sports car, great luxury car.