Merc SL63 AMG retains classic shape and recipe

Merc SL63 AMG retains classic shape and recipe

Special Contributor: Desmond Lesetedi


The best time to buy summer clothes is in winter. This is the advice that a female friend insists on heaping upon my ears. I cannot argue with this seeing as she has more experience in shopping—she owns a closet full of shoes and another closet full of handbags; matter of fact, she has a room that is full of closets that are in turn full of various female paraphernalia and addendum.


I should also add that this female friend has it made. In her words, she declares that she answers to no one other than God, and a proper respect for her parents. She says she makes her money and only needs a man as a companion not a “blesser”—though that is a topic for another day. She is a business person and drives a little red sporty convertible German car.


I have not always known this woman.  In fact, I only got to know her on one occasion when Lesedi Motors were teaching their customers about off-road driving in Lion Park resort, and we happened to be paired in one of the demonstrator vehicles. She was immediately different from the other womenfolk who were taking part in the exercise; you could really see the thrill of the ride in her facial expression, a concentration that soaked it all and the points she brought up that made me question my own abilities.


First of all, the SL itself is an icon of motoring


Various car-related scenes—usually new car reveals—quickly gelled us. At first I thought she was a journo, but that turned out not to be the case, rather she was just a motor head. So, as it happened, she called about the latest Mercedes Benz SL63 AMG and her interest in it.


First of all, the SL itself is an icon of motoring. The initials stand for Super Light, hacking back to the early days when the SL was a nifty and light roadster that quickly found favour with the elite and have since wormed its way into their pockets as well. So for 2016, the specs are such that the classic shape and recipe of the SL have been retained; these being the endlessly long bonnet, under which resides Merc’s well known and loved 5.5-litre V8 nutjob currently used in all the ‘big’ AMGs. It is not a 6.3 litre as the name might suggest but a 5.5 litre job.



I think it is more than adequate. The SL63 weighs in at 1 845kg, which is as close to two tonnes as one can get, but with such a mammoth engine motivating the whole thing, proceedings should be suitably swift, and by swift we are talking about 0-100kph in 4.1 seconds, which in anybody’s book is crazy fast!


This thing though, is not about burnouts and races from robot to robot, no. My lady friend says that this is best suited for cruising down the streets, top down (yes, it’s a convertible, one with a folding metal roof) while soaking up the “naughty AMG sounds” and ready to vanquish any pretenders who dare challenge you.


It is a car where you put your shades on, twirl your and listen to the Harman Kardon sounds from the top-shelf stereo.  Talking about scarves, one might wonder about the logic of putting the roof down in a convertible in the middle of winter, and that’s where the SL reveals one of its impressive features; this being a thing called the “Air-scarf”. This is essentially a heater built in the headrest of the seats which when activated, blows hot air to your neck, thereby taking away the chills that would otherwise torment you in a lesser engineered convertible.


The engineering is impressive alright, but what you get with the SL is history. The badge is over 60 years old, and has established itself as the instrument of choice for the beautiful, affluent faces of this world. It is also one of Merc’s most famous model nomenclatures.Roof up, the SL is as insulated as any Merc coupe, and roof down you are transported back to an era and glamour of the late 50s; I was not around but I am told it was a time of exaggerations and excess.


So you get AMG sports exhaust and suspension, and the all-important ‘V8 BITURBO’ lettering stencilled on the side to let everyone know that you have the tool for any job. It is a magnificent chariot this and it rightly deserves to be seen as it competes with the likes of Bentley Continental GT—a proper British bulldog with attitude to spare and the Aston Martin DB9.Those are properly exotic machinery, and this SL is trading blows with them, simply amazing.


Does it make sense, I ask of the lady friend, to consider a convertible in the middle of a bleeding winter? She replies by saying that rain trenches are not dug when it rains, just as you do not buy winter clothes in the winter, rather in summer, and vice versa.