Back to Black
The most powerful AMG Mercedes ever, the SL65 Black, hits London’s mean streets
Posted: 07 Sep 2010
Even at crawling speed, the Black is a visceral experience. Every shard of grit, dumped just hours before, clacks and pings against the undertray, every patch of lumpy snow crunches audibly under the tyres. Manoeuvring on full lock between the desolate warehouses, the diff clunks and heaves, the roof creaks alarmingly. There's almost zero suspension travel, so the entire car hops and skips over dents and divots.
Still, the Black remains a confusing car. Tough to shake the sensation that it doesn't quite know what it wants to be. Elements of it are as focussed and hardcore as they come: the rock-hard springs, the lethal brakes, the sheer stiffness of the thing. But the five-speed auto - even in maximum-attack manual mode - feels numb and slow-witted in comparison. Difficult to know when you'd use the Black: it's just too noisy, too damn uncomfortable for a loping cross-continent schlep, but too unwieldy, too missile-like for the track.