Over the course of seven—soon to be eight—generations, the Mercedes-Benz SL has had its share of high-performance variants, but the completely over-the-top SL65 AMG Black Series stands far above them all. Arriving in the waning days of the R230 generation, the SL65 AMG Black Series followed the barely streetable CLK63 Black Series as a one-year-only offering for the 2009 model year. Just 350 were built, with half of those sent to the United States, so opportunities to buy this ultimate SL don’t come along very often. That’s evident by the bidding on this 2009 SL65 AMG Black Series currently on Bring a Trailer, which has already soared past the totals realized in the site’s previous auctions of this model. And there are still several days to go.
The Black Series was far more than just a flourish on the already bonkers twin-turbocharged V-12 SL65. The Black Series had a custom body with hugely flared fenders and composed largely of carbon fiber. It also ditched the standard SL’s retractable hard top in favor of a fixed roof, and a massive rear wing sprouted from the decklid. Of course, there were mechanical upgrades. Bigger turbos and better breathing upped the output of the 6.0-liter V-12 from 604 to 661 horsepower along with 738 pound-feet of torque. The engine was mated to a modified five-speed automatic transmission with an additional manual mode and rev matching, and the chassis was similarly upgraded.
In a 2009 Car and Driver comparison test against a Lamborghini Murciélago LP640, a Dodge Viper SRT10, and a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1, we called the Black Series “wickedly fast” and likened its midrange acceleration to “a religious experience” (nonetheless, the ZR1 won).
For the full story, check out this article from Car And Driver.