Mercedes-Benz has culled the top-shelf V12 models from its international SL line-up for 2012, ahead of the new 2013 SL's debut late next year.
In SL 600 form, Mercedes offered a 5.5 litre V12 engine, producing 380kW and a huge 830Nm of torque. Up from there is the rip-snorting SL 65 AMG and its 6.0 litre V12 producing 450kW and 1000Nm of torque - the same engine offered with the big S 65 AMG.
The German carmaker has offered no official word on why the V12 engines have been pulled from the roadster's line-up, although it is possible that the move was made to protect SLS AMG Roadster sales.
It is unclear whether the future of Mercedes' other V12 models is in doubt. With the company's new 5.5 litre twin-turbo V8 engine offering greater power and lower fuel consumption than the SL 600, and falling only slightly short of the 6.0 litre V12's output, it will only be a matter of time.
Both the SL 600 and SL 65 AMG are offered in Australia, but the absence of the V12 engines are unlikely to hurt the company's local profits too much.
"Since the launch of the R230 in 2002, we sold a total of 1508 SL cars - of which only 22 (1.5 percent) are SL 600 spec, compared to 258 SL55/63 AMG at 17 percent," Mercedes-Benz Australia's David McCarthy told TMR today.