Mercedes-Benz SL 55 AMG 

  • $116k
  • 2003
  • 476 HP 5.4L
  • 155 mph
Mercedes refers to its "catlike handling reflexes," which is true — if you envision a cat the size of a Siberian tiger.
by Car and Driver (Nov, 2002)
Without diminishing the "regular" SL's incredible refinement and comfort, the SL55 overlays a level of performance that raises it to the status of true supercar capability.
by Car and Driver (Mar, 2002)

Road Tests Real world tests of the Mercedes-Benz SL 55 AMG

0-60mph

Mercedes-Benz SL 55 AMG
4.6 s
Cayman S
5.2 s

Top speed

Mercedes-Benz SL 55 AMG
155 mph
Cayman S
172 mph

Top Gear track time

Mercedes-Benz SL 55 AMG
1:33.0
760Li
1:31.20

Data points Key details of the Mercedes-Benz SL 55 AMG

Price

Mercedes-Benz SL 55 AMG
$116k

Horsepower

Mercedes-Benz SL 55 AMG
476 HP
Cayman S
315 HP
Maybach 57 S
620 HP

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight

Performance

The brakes are brilliant.
by Car and Driver (Mar, 2002)
It's the most potent Benz ever offered in North America, according to the manufacturer, and also the quickest factory Benz we've ever tested: 0 to 60 in 4.5 seconds, 0 to 100 in 10.9, the quarter-mile in 13 seconds flat at 110 mph.
by Car and Driver (Nov, 2002)
But perhaps of most interest are the brakes, which now use composite discs at the front.
by EVO (Feb, 2006)

Powertrain

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.
by EVO (Feb, 2006)
Top-end mods include double valve springs, reprofiled cams, and bigger intake and exhaust plumbing.
by Car and Driver (Nov, 2002)
A bigger car would have a bigger engine, and thus go faster.
by Car and Driver (Nov, 2002)

Engine

Motivated by its velvety and vigorous blown V-8, the SL55 doesn't just accelerate from one speed to another, it gobbles velocity in leaps and lunges.
by Car and Driver (Nov, 2002)
On the fast, open roads north of Seville in Spain, where AMG held the launch, reigning in the 5.4-liter V-8's 469 horses took more control than we could muster.
by Car and Driver (Mar, 2002)
Officially, the 469-hp supercharged SL55 is electronically limited to 155 mph.
by Car and Driver (Mar, 2002)

Handling

Because the steering is integrated into the computer-controlled ABC, it's quicker in the first movements away from straight ahead.
by Car and Driver (Mar, 2002)
The key to the SL55's level cornering attitudes is the corporate Active Body Control electro-mechano-hydraulic almost-active suspension, recalibrated in this application for firmer responses without compromising ride quality.
by Car and Driver (Nov, 2002)
Apart from firming up the dampers by 5 to 10 percent (depending on road speed), the SL55's suspension is unchanged, the magic of Active Body Control delivering a compliant ride and, if it senses the driver prefers corner action to straight-line speed, switching over to tauter suspension settings that bring flat cornering and brilliant body control.
by Car and Driver (Mar, 2002)

Transmission

To the by-wire brake technology introduced on the SL, AMG adds huge 14.2-inch front disc brakes with eight-piston calipers fitted with four pads—almost twice the pad surface offered on the standard SL—and 13-inch rear discs.
by Car and Driver (Mar, 2002)
I can understand the omission in the standard SL, but the SL55 is supposed to be the supercar that packs the best of Mercedes' vast engineering talent.
by Car and Driver (Nov, 2002)
Unlike AutoStick, the manual mode allows shifting via rocker switches mounted on the backs of the steering-wheel spokes.
by Car and Driver (Nov, 2002)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

general

Brand Mercedes-Benz
Price $115,500
Year 2003
Highest auction price $62k, January 2009

power & handling

Power-to-weight ratio 8.43 lb/hp
Maximum hp 476 HP @ 6,100 RPM
Maximum torque 516 ft-lb @ 4,500 RPM
Steering system Rack and pinion

engine

Displacement 5,439 cc
Cylinders V8
Fuels Gas
Compression ratio 9:1
Bore/stroke 3.82 in / 3.62 in
Valvetrain Single overhead camshaft (SOHC)
Valves per cylinder 3 valves

road tests

Top speed 155 mph
0-60mph 4.6 s
Top gear time 1:33.0

transmission

Drivetrain Front Engine / RWD
Gearing Traditional
# of gears 5 gears
Axle ratio 2.82:1

suspension, wheels & brakes

Front brakes Disc
Rear brakes Disc
Front wheels 457/? 216
Rear wheels 457/? 241

physical dimensions

Curb weight 4,012 lb
Width 71.3 in
Height 50.2 in
Length 177.1 in
Front track width 61.1 in
Wheelbase 99 in
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