Cars/ First-drive/ MERCEDE S-AMG SL55 | Bringing Sexy Back | First Drive Review

MERCEDE S-AMG SL55 | Bringing Sexy Back | First Drive Review

Bringing Sexy Back


Sportscar appeal and charismatic performance


Rear Seat practicality and lack of luggage space



The power delivery is smooth and instantaneous, giving you that exhilarating rush of acceleration but not that neckwrecking hooliganistic power which can scare the shit out of your passenger. The handling is precise and responsive, allowing you to take on corners confidently. The various driving modes tune and aid in different driving styles. Whether cruising on the open highway or carving through winding roads, this car delivers an extraordinary experience. I had just exchanged and moved from a Porsche Taycan Turbo S, and the electric surge of power and torque although stands unmatched, but the sprint from 0-100kmph in 3.9 seconds is enjoyable in the SL 55 as well. Its all-wheel-drive system ensures that the right amount of power is delivered to all four wheels when any throttle input is given. It’s nothing like a Porsche or a Lamborghini, which makes you commit to driving it, but the experience is a classic Mercedes.

The SL’s cooling system has three tiers to manage: the engine, turbos, intercoolers, transmission and engine oil. AMG’s nine-speed gearbox now has a wet clutch rather than a torque converter which reduces weight and has lower inertia to deliver faster shift times. Unlike dry clutches, wet clutches are covered in oil, which allows the clutch plates to cool faster. Because of this, wet clutches can sustain more abuse than dry clutches. Another reason wet clutches are a more popular choice is because they’re quieter at idle, making them better for stop-and-go traffic. But there is a problem here; wet clutches make your engine oil dirty faster since all the dust created as the clutch wears stays inside the engine. Servicing them can be a hassle, but let’s leave these for the mechanics at Mercedes service centre to sort, so the driver can relish the experience, get the hood down, and soak in air, sun and, in many cases, rain showers.

Now, let’s talk about what makes the SL 55 truly special—the heart of the beast lies under the hood. This powerhouse is equipped with a twin-turbocharged V8 engine that produces a mind-blowing 476 horsepower and gets the adrenaline pumping.

TopGear Magazine July 2024