Tony O'Kane | Jul 12, 2008

Since being spotted testing at the Nurburgring back in May, the new Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series has been one of the more hotly anticipated European sports cars this year. With 493kW and a monstrous 1001Nm of torque available from its twin-turbo 6-litre V12, it's not hard to see why.

It's not all about power though, as the boffins at AMG also managed to carve 250kg from the SL65's body by installing a carbon-fibre bonnet, boot and front quarter panels and by replacing the retractable roof mechanism with a fixed carbon-fibre cowl. Aside from being as light as a feather the carbon panels also add some muscle to the SL, with sizable vents in the front bumper, bonnet and front fenders combining with the generous wheel arch flares and retractable wing to give the Black a stance that is as mean as it is lean.

Mercedes Benz SL65 AMG Black Edition

Despite all of the weight loss measures the SL65 Black is still a fairly porky car at 1870kg. However, with those two hairdryers bolted onto that V12 moving the big coupe should be no problem, and with just 3.793kg for each kilowatt to shift the SL65 AMG Black isn't too far off the SLR McLaren's power-to-weight figure of 3.785kg/kW. While not quite as fast as the SLR, the Black still manages to turn in a 4-second 0-100kph sprint while top speed is limited to 320kph - fast enough in anybody's books.

So, how much does it all cost? $320,000 USD is the figure being bandied about for foreign markets, which is about par for the course in terms of high-performance Euro sportscars. The SL65 AMG Black Series will be making its official debut at the Paris Motor Show in October and sales are expected to begin early next year. It's rumoured that only 350 will be made, so you'd better place your order now to get in before all those oil sheiks and Internet billionaires.

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