The Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 Convertible Is The Pinnacle of Luxury And Performance

The Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 convertible sports car promises a high-performance luxury car experience. It's gorgeous, and keeps those promises in dazzling fashion.

A Girls Guide To Cars | The Mercedes-Benz Amg Sl63 Convertible Is The Pinnacle Of Luxury And Performance - The Mercedes Benz Amg Sl63 Featured

This powerful convertible left me wanting for nothing.

The 2022 Mercedes AMG SL63 is an impressive car. Fast, comfortable, luxurious, and a convertible four-seat roadster, this car leaves little to be desired. It is the epitome of the Grand Tourer and, with a price tag just over $200,000, I would hope so. A Grand Tourer is a car that is designed for high speed performance, and also for long distance driving. So it makes sense that this car is going to bring an elite type of sportiness and an elite type of luxury. I wondered if during my test, one would win out over the other.

The exterior design of the SL63 is absolutely stunning, with its long hood, angular headlights and intercooler vents, curvy body lines, and sporty profile. The test vehicle’s satin finish white paint (called Moonlight White Magno, a hefty $3,250 option) and optional AMG night package (adding dark chrome trim and additional black accents, including black badges) give this car a steely-eyed appearance, especially from the front, with the large grille that looks like a replica of the grille on the sporty AMG GT.

Related: Super Luxe, Super Fast, Super Swag: 2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S [Station] Wagon

The Mercedes-Benz Amg Sl63 With The Top Up. Photo: Annika Carter

The Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 with the top up. Photo: Annika Carter

Let’s Talk Tops. Convertible ones, That Is

Surprisingly to some, the AMG SL63 is only available as a soft top convertible. Many high end cars opt for a hardtop convertible because the hardtop can provide a bit of a more refined look with the top up (since the convertible top looks similar to a roof on a coupe) and often provides greater soundproofing.

Mercedes opted for the soft top on the new SL for performance reasons. A cloth top weighs significantly less than a metal top, and removing the weight from the top of the car effectively lowers the center of gravity which is beneficial for handling. When developing a sports car on a roadster chassis (which inherently weighs more than a coupe or sedan due to the mechanics required to lower and raise the convertible top), every pound counts. 

Related: Oh, Soft-Top Convertibles, You’ve Changed!

The Mercedes-Benz Amg Sl63 With The Top Down. Photo: Annika Carter

The Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 with the top down. Photo: Annika Carter

Don’t be Fooled by her Classy Exterior, This Car is a Beast

Powered by a handbuilt 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine, the AMG SL63 makes a whopping 577 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. With the Mercedes 4MATIC+ all wheel drive system and nine speed transmission, this is more than enough power to push you back into your seat. Mercedes claims the SL63 goes from 0-60 in an impressive 3.5 seconds, but a quick Google search seems to imply that, in reality, the SL is even faster. The absolutely massive brakes on this car have the same effect, just in reverse. This car stops – the brakes easily outbrake the Michelin Pilot Sport tires.

Related: Michelin Tire Safety: It Will Surprise You

The Mercedes-Benz Amg Sl63 Rear Angle With The Top Down. Photo: Annika Carter

The Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 convertible rear angle with the top down. Photo: Annika Carter

Drive Modes Dazzle in Every Way

The exhaust is sporty in regular drive mode, with a subtly imposing growl at idle and when on the throttle. Interestingly, it’s not too loud as to drone in the cabin when cruising on the highway. How do they do that? In the “Powerful” setting, the exhaust valves open producing a noticeably louder exhaust note. Impressively, even with the soft convertible top, there was still not a noticeable exhaust drone when cruising.

It’s hard to not drive around with Powerful exhaust mode on at all times, enjoying the deep rumbles of the V8 at every moment possible. On downshifts, especially in sport, sport plus, and track modes, the exhaust crackles and pops in a wonderful symphony. 

The Mercedes-Benz Amg Sl63 Grille. Photo: Annika Carter

The Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 grille. Photo: Annika Carter

Power and Finesse Go Hand in Hand in the AMG SL63

Don’t worry, the SL63’s performance extends well beyond the drivetrain. One of the key focuses on exterior design of the new SL was aerodynamics. This vehicle benefits from Mercedes AMG’s active aerodynamic system, with mobile aerodynamic features at the front and rear of the car that adjust at different speeds and different drive modes, successfully producing reduced lift with as little drag as possible.

The most noticeable of these active aerodynamic features is the rear spoiler, which can be manually raised or lowered, or set on the automatic setting which adjusts the height of the rear spoiler as needed. On a less conspicuous level, the SL63 has a two piece Airpanel in the front grill, which operates louvres at the front of the car. These louvres are electronically opened and closed to direct airflow as needed, and block off airflow when not needed, which increases the aerodynamics of the vehicle as a whole. 

The Mercedes-Benz Amg Sl63 Has A Ton Of Performance Technology. Photo: Annika Carter

The Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 has a ton of performance technology. Photo: Annika Carter

More Performance Technology that Dazzles

As if the all wheel drive doesn’t provide enough of a handling benefit, the SL63 is equipped with AMG Active Ride Control suspension with active struts and active anti-roll stabilzation. This allows the driver to select the suspension mode, switching from a more comfortable cruising setting to a more aggressive, router track setting.

The comfort suspension setting provides a surprisingly luxurious ride for a little sports car, while the track setting stiffens the shocks, giving a slightly rougher ride (but not back breaking by any means) and superb handling. That being said, do not expect the SL63 to ride as smoothly as similarly-priced luxury SUVs or sedans. 

The Mercedes-Benz Amg Sl63 Getting A Snack. Photo: Annika Carter

The Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 getting a snack. Photo: Annika Carter

The Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63’s Rear Wheel Steering Enhances Its Performance

The handling is bolstered by rear wheel steering, a feature appearing the SL for the first time in the car’s 70 year history. The wheels steer either in the opposite direction (below 60 miles per hour) or same direction (above 60 miles per hour) as the front wheels which provides increased agility and handling that is impressive for a 4,000+ pound car, even on tight turns. According to Mercedes, the rear wheel steering also allows for less steering effort from the driver. I can’t personally say that I noticed a difference either way, although the steering is smooth and comfortable at all times. 

The AMG SL63 provides six total drive modes: a personally customizable Individual mode, Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Race. Individual allows the driver to set their own custom drive mode. I did not have the opportunity to try Slippery setting, although I played around plenty with the other three. The modes adjust suspension feel, exhaust note, steering, shifting, and power characteristics, and even how aggressive the traction control is. The difference between drive modes is substantial, down to the responsiveness of the throttle and harshness of the shifts. 

The Mercedes-Benz Amg Sl63 Driver'S Seat Was A Dream. Photo: Annika Carter

The Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 driver’s seat was a dream. Photo: Annika Carter

This Car’s Performance isn’t Even the Winningest Part!

Perhaps my favorite thing about the AMG SL63 is the interior. Never before have I sat in a car so sporty, yet also so luxurious. First of all, just look at the red. I love this red, almost orange, color. While I am usually not a fan of bright interiors, this color just fits the personality of the car. The leather seats are AMG’s sporty style, with almost endless adjustability features, including adjustable side bolsters for sporty driving. In typical Mercedes fashion, the seat adjustability is on the door panel. The buttons are haptic, so as you make adjustments you feel a gentle vibration, which I appreciated more than the older simple button style. 

The Mercedes-Benz Amg Sl63 Has A Reddish Orange Interior That Made Me Swoon. Photo: Annika Carter

The Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 has a reddish orange interior that made me swoon. Photo: Annika Carter

The Seats are Amazing and You’ll Never Want to get out of Them

The seats are heated and ventilated. Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to test out the ventilated seats because daytime temperatures were peaking in the 40s – and you know I drove all week with the top down! The heated seats are fantastic, though, heating both the seat bottom and the seat back, and the areas of seat heating can be adjusted to the driver’s comfort. Even in 30-degree weather with the top down, I was unbelievably comfortable in the cockpit with the heated seat and Airscarf on. Yes, Airscarf: a blast of heat that is directed from the base of the headrest. Not to mention, the seats are massaging, making for the most comfortable ride.

The Mercedes-Benz Amg Sl63 Interior Is Gorgeous. Photo: Annika Carter

The Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 interior is gorgeous. Photo: Annika Carter

Heads up, the Entire Dashboard is Replaced by a Large Touchscreen

I typically prefer buttons over touchscreens, but in this car I do not mind the screen. A small line of haptic buttons at the base of the screen allow easy access to drive settings, volume control and convertible top control. The screen angle is also able to be adjusted to reduce glare on sunny days when the top is down. All other controls are accessed via the touch screen, including climate control. I do typically prefer easy climate control access, and the climate control settings are displayed in an analogue style at the base of the infotainment home screen, so you don’t need to click through a hundred menus just to turn the heat up. 

The Mercedes-Benz Amg Sl63 Has Two Back Seats. Photo: Annika Carter

The Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 has two back seats. Photo: Annika Carter

Safety Features Also Abound

As expected from Mercedes, the SL63 is full of technology and safety features, including lane keep assist, active cruise control and steering assist (you have to keep your hands on the wheel, although it is accurate enough to drive without your assistance!), front crash monitoring, an incredible camera system paired with parking sensors, and blind spot monitoring, to name a few.

And, for those who worry about performance driving in a convertible, the AMG SL63 has a safety feature you won’t see unless you need it: Instantly deploying roll bars behind the front seat headrests that pop up in the event of a crash. This means that if the car rolls over, your head won’t be crushed under the weight of the car.

The Mercedes-Benz Amg Sl63 And Me. Photo: Annika Carter

The Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 and me. Photo: Annika Carter

What This Car Costs

Mercedes-Benz SL models are only available in AMG trims, though the E-, and C-Class cabriolets start well under $100,000. The starting price for the SL is $137,000 for the AMG SL55. The AMG SL63 brings the price tag up a bit:
  • Base price $178,100 (Touring Trim)
  • Performance Trim starts at $179,900
  • Exterior: Manufaktur Moonlight White Magno $3,250 (satin white)
  • 21″ AMG Forged cross spoke wheels $3,300
  • AMG Aerodynamics Package $2,850
  • AMG Extended Night Package $1,300 (dark chrome badges and black accents rather than chrome)
  • AMG Silver Shadow Interior Trim $750
  • Driver Assistance Package $1,950 (Steering assist, brake assist, cross traffic)
  • Burmester 3D Surround Sound $4,500
  • Cargo System for Trunk $485 (power socket, net, expandable trunk storage when top is up)
  • Power of our model with options and destination charges, about $204,000

There are a Few Quirks in the Interior of the SL63

And I admit, they took getting used to. First of all, the convertible top is adjusted via the touchscreen multimedia system. On startup, the system lags a little bit, so don’t be too impatient to get the top down right when you turn the car on (because you won’t be able to). In my week of driving, I did have multiple times when the convertible top glitched out, either not sensing that I was trying to adjust it, or, if I accidentally moved my finger a bit during raising or lowering the top, stopping mid process and having trouble starting back up. 

I also was not a big fan of the volume and cruise control speed adjustment. Both are adjusted via haptic swipe controls. In order to raise or lower the volume, you have to drag your finger up or down the icon. This makes it difficult to adjust by only 1 or 2 degrees. Cruise control speed is set the same way, although tapping the top or bottom will adjust by 5 miles per hour up or down, respectively. 

The Mercedes-Benz Amg Sl63 Filling Up. Photo: Annika Carter

The Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 filling up. Photo: Annika Carter

Heated Seats Can Take Some Attention, too

When turning on the seat heater (and potentially the ventilated seat, although it was too cold for me to try this feature), the Mercedes starts a “program,” whereby it gradually decreases the heat. I imagine this program is designed to keep the driver comfortable because in a normal car with a roof, it is easy to overheat if you leave your seat heater on full blast. With the top down in chilly weather, though, I would have loved to leave the seat heater on high for my whole drive. Instead, I found myself having to cycle through the seat heater every thirty minutes or so in order to turn it back on high. It is possible that there is a setting to turn this off, but I was unable to find it. 

The Mercedes-Benz Amg Sl63 Trunk Space. Photo: Annika Carter

The Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 trunk space. Photo: Annika Carter

Storage space in the SL63 is Limited

Which, to be fair, is expected from a roadster. In the cabin, there is a decent-sized glove box which easily holds the owners manual with some room to spare. The center console is a little small. While it can hold a cell phone and charger comfortable with some room to spare (for chapstick, loose change, or other small items), it doesn’t provide storage for much else.

On the bright side, the back seat is much too small for any passengers (except maybe a very small child or a dog) with the front seats in a comfortable position, so the rear seats and floorboards provide extra storage space. To give an idea of how small the backseats are, I had to slide my seat forward to fit my purse on the floorboard behind the driver’s seat! The trunk is decent for a convertible, but also not large. One grocery shopping trip filled every inch of the trunk, although you could probably fit two carry-on sized suitcases side by side, especially with the top up. 

The Mercedes-Benz Amg Sl63 At The Station. I Love The Paint Color! Photo: Annika Carter

The Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 at the station. I love the paint color! Photo: Annika Carter

The Mercedes-Benz AMG SL63 is a Perfect Car… For Someone Who Has it All

While I absolutely love the AMG SL63, I acknowledge it is a niche vehicle for a specific buyer. If someone values performance, they can opt for the less expensive AMG-GT. If someone values luxury without the performance, they can opt for the S-Class. The SL63 exists for the buyer who wants the best of both worlds – AMG GT performance with greater than S Class luxury. While the buyer market may be small and specific, the 2022 Mercedes SL-63 AMG fills that niche perfectly. It is an excellent car joining the worlds of maximum performance and maximum luxury. 

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Disclosure: Mercedes-Benz provided the AMG SL63 for me to test. All opinions are my own.

Annika Carter has over four years of performance driving experience, both with and without professional instruction. She has driven... More about Annika Carter