Mercedes-AMG SL63 E Performance is the most powerful SL ever

12th December 2023
Ethan Jupp

Time once was that the title of most powerful Mercedes-AMG SL ever made sat with the insane blister-arched, carbon-bodied, fixed-roof 670PS (493kW) V12-engined SL65 AMG Black Series of 2009. It took 14 years, but that is no longer the case. Meet the 816PS (600kW), 1,420Nm (1,047lb ft) Mercedes-AMG SL63 E-Performance.


Indeed, gone are the days when the most potent AMG wore a 65 badge and packed a 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12 engine. This SL, as denoted by the E Performance badge, is of course a hybrid, a first for an SL, combining the already substantial motive power of the M177 twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine good for 612PS (450kW) with a 204PS (150kW) electric motor on the rear axle.

All that shove combined with all-wheel-drive makes for some fairly devastating performance, with 62mph coming up from a standstill in 2.9 seconds. In terms of top speed, the electrified SL doesn’t quite top the double tonne, maxing at 196mph. That’ll do for most, we suspect.

All that performance is especially impressive when you consider how heavy this latest most powerful SL must be. Mercedes-AMG hasn’t given any figures yet but the standard non-hybrid SL63 pushes 1,900kg at the kerb. For reference, hybridisation adds around 300kg to the AMG GT 4-door, so expect this SL63 E-Performance to weigh in the region of 2,200kg.

What the SL65s could never offer was petrol-free motoring. Indeed, the new SL63 E-Performance can cut off its V8 and cover eight miles on electric power alone, with a 6.1kWh battery feeding the electric motor. It also allows perfectly silent departures if you so choose. Not having to wake that V8 from cold for early morning runs should keep the neighbours sweet.


The engineering of Mercedes-AMG’s hybrids always goes a fair bit deeper than simply bumping headline figures and adding silent running. In the SL electric power should always be available, thanks to high-speed recuperation.

There are four stages of recuperation available to the driver, with the highest level offering one-pedal driving and more than 100kW of recuperation possible. On the other end of the scale, you can tailor the recuperation for a natural, engine-braking-like feel.

Eight driving programmes allow the driver to control the powertrain’s nature, with Electric, Battery Hold, Comfort, Smoothness, Sport, Sport+, Race and Individual modes. Of course, Individual allows total customisation of how each of the car’s systems behave.

In terms of the car’s driving dynamics, AMG’s latest Active Ride Control and semi-active roll stabilisation is present and correct. Ceramic brakes are standard to slow the monster down, as is rear-steering to get it turned in and all-wheel-drive for consistent grip. Gone are the days of flashing traction control lights, faltering power delivery and a bobbing rear end in all but perfect conditions.


In the days of 65-badged AMG Mercedes, signs discernible by passers-by that you were in the presence of the top dog model were few and far between. They were simultaneous agents of excess and understatement, their secrets of which only those few in the know were aware.

The same is the case for the new SL63 E Performance. It might not get special two-piece alloy wheels or a 65 badge, but those E Performance-exclusive bronze brake callipers are the most obvious giveaway beyond the badges that the svelte roadster in your presence has more power than a McLaren Senna. Customisation options are broader than ever before, thanks to Mercedes’ MANUFAKTUR programme. Think MSO, Q, Tailor Made, Individual, Ad Personam and so on.

That extends to the interior, which in these release images is trimmed in stunning quilted brown Nappa leather. The rest is SL as we know it, with a digital driver’s display pairing with that enormous tombstone 11.9-inch vertical infotainment screen. You’ll also still be able to say ‘Hey Mercedes’ for various voice inputs, though ‘Hey Mercedes, accelerate so hard  that my skin feels like it might peel off my face’ probably isn’t in the book of commands, so you’ll have to perform that one manually.

The questions that remain are that of price and indeed, when we’ll see a full-bore AMG GT E-Performance, the hard-top harder-core version of this car. The latter we expect sometime next year.

As for price, the AMG GT 4-Door bumps up in price by just under £23,000 for the hybrid. So in the case of the SL63 which is over £171,000 for the non-hybrid, the E-Performance may be a £200,000 car with a few options.

  • Mercedes-AMG

  • SL63

  • SL63 E-Performance

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