A spectacular example of the Mercedes-AMG SL 65 Black Series is going up for auction in London, and it could fetch over $400,000. Listed for auction by RM Sotheby’s, this 2009 example of one of the maddest AMGs ever made and one of only 350 examples produced. It has covered only 835 miles.
The SL 65 arrived towards the end of the R230 SL’s life cycle, right in the middle of what may be the peak AMG era when big, powerful engines overruled emissions concerns, and the traction control systems gave up trying to contain the fury. Around the same time, the C63 still had a 6.2-liter V8, as did the E63. This SL 65 makes it hard to conceive that we now live in a world where a four-cylinder Mercedes SL is a thing.
The SL 65 Black Series produced 661 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque from its 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V12, pushing the limits of what a rear-wheel-drive sports car can manage without flinging you into the nearest tree.
The five-speed AMG SpeedShift automatic transmission was used instead of Merc’s newer seven-speed unit simply because the latter couldn’t handle the torque output of the SL 65.
The 0-62 mph time was 3.8 seconds, and the top speed was just shy of 199 mph, but it’s this car’s sheer sense of drama that cemented its position in the AMG Hall of Fame. The SL 65 Black Series chassis could barely contain the violent power delivery of the V12, and the car was known for its wildly flashing stability control light when on the move.
A wider track, new AMG alloy wheels, and sharper steering were all introduced for this model, but they could only do so much to manage the car’s grunt.
The pristine example seen here is finished in Palladium Silver (one of only six available colors) with a black interior in a mix of Nappa leather and Alcantara. The black seats have gray center inserts, while the traditional analog gauges have red needles. The speedometer reads all the way to 360 km/h (224 mph).
Elsewhere in the cabin, there are generous lashings of carbon fiber trim, and most of the interior door panels are finished in the lightweight material.
The infotainment screen is small by today’s standards, and there is an extraordinary number of buttons on the dash. Still, there’s a tactility about the interior that’s missing from modern Mercs.
This left-hand-drive model started its life in Kuwait before being acquired by the consigning owner at RM Sotheby’s in 2019 at its London auction. It was then registered in the United Kingdom, and its most recent service was last year in March, when new boot struts were fitted, along with an oil change and a new filter.
For the person that can afford it – this Black Series is expected to fetch between £275,000 and £325,000 ($343,000-$405,000) – it’s an impeccable piece of AMG history and perhaps the most extreme SL ever.