After working your butt off for a few decades, it becomes only natural to want to try and reward yourself for your efforts. Generally, one of the bigger items in this rewards category ends up being a car you may have always wanted, but until now, could never afford. Sure, some people, usually those that are envious of your success, will call it a ‘mid-life crisis’, but there’s no point in acknowledging them beyond a nice little wave and a smile, while you cruise by in your (or their) dream car. And for some, a dream car doesn’t always have to be a tricked out tire-smoking Lamborghini or an over-the-top McLauren. Some of us enjoy the idea of a comfortable grand touring vessel that can cruise down the interstate, and yes, when needed, smoke some punk in a neon-lit-WRX if need be. As it turns out, the 2022 Mercedes AMG SL55 is exactly that car, and more.
The SL class of Mercedes Benz goes back to 1952, and has been the benchmark of luxury and style ever since. Whether it was the original and stunning Gullwing, the paradigmatic SL’s of the late ’90’s or early 2000’s, or even the AMG GT Roadster, those two simple letters have always stood for the same things: posh levels of comfort, undeniably beautiful lines of design, and more often than not, more power than their driver’s will ever need. One look at the new SL55 and it’s clear that this car belongs in that royal lineage. Sleek, powerful and sloping lines from any angle, with its folding-hard-top up or -top down, give this car the stance, and vibe of something special
Anything with an AMG badge is going to be powerful and the Mercedes AMG SL55 does not disappoint. It begins life with a masterpiece of an engine in the form of a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged, direct-injected DOHC V8 that puts down a grin-inducing 469-horsepower and staggering 516 pound-feet of torque. That power then gets routed through an exclusive AMG SpeedShift MCT 9-speed transmission on its way to all four corners thanks to an AMG Performance version of MB’s 4Matic all-wheel drive system where either a set of 20- or 21-inch rims waits shod in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S rubber measuring 265/40 front and 295/35 rear or 275/35 front and 305/30 rear (respectively) await to do their best at reigning in as much of that power as you can throw at it. There are no official test numbers on this car just yet, but Mercedes claims that the SL55 can run from 0-60 mph in just 3.8 seconds, which means something more like 3.4 seconds, considering MB tends to skew conservatively with its testing numbers.
Big power is a necessity on a grand tourer like this though, as this isn’t a stripped down track car. Weighing in at just about 4,350 pounds, there is plenty of heft to move and to slow down. The six-piston front, single-piston rear carbon-composite braking system makes absolutely sure, you never have to worry about slowing down if there is a speed trap coming up. Rapid turns and lane changes are also adeptly handled by a combination of MB’s AMG Dynamic Select Drive modes (Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Race), as well as Ride Control suspension with adaptive damping adjustment and active four-wheel steering.
Inside the Mercedes AMG SL55 does not disappoint either. It wraps itself around you like the arms of a long lost friend. A big centrally located touchscreen controls all things infotainment, and can be adjusted up to 20 degrees to help avoid top-down sun glare, while the dashboard directly in front of you is completely digital and can be configured in just about any way you can think of to suit your list of priorities at the time. There is also a heads-up display and something called Track Pace to help you keep your eyes on, and review, your track day adventures. The SL55 goes dropped-top in just 15 seconds, while all four windows can be lowered with the flip on a single switch so you don’t look silly with just your back windows up. There is a very useful Airscarf neck-warmer that keeps you from regretting enjoying the sun in chillier weather, while a mesh-screen can be situated between the front and vestigial rear seat to keep air from swirling and drowning out music or conversation.
There isn’t an official price tag on the Mercedes AMG SL55 just yet, but estimates are that it will have a base price of about $132,000 and depending on options chosen, can climb to nearly 200k. But while that may seem like a lot of money, after working so much, you just might decide you deserve to splurge a little bit. Besides that quaint little wave to your neighbor, or the look on the face of that WRX driver when you cruise past him, is all but priceless anyway.