Driving a Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series feels like hand feeding a tiger, and even though you do know that it could bite your head off if it wants to, you hope that it won’t.
Made at a time when the Affalterbach brand was not Mercedes’ official tuning division, it was part of the R230 generation of the SL, was limited to 350 cars and only half of them were destined for the United States, with each priced at around $300,000.
Just by looking at it, you know that it’s no ordinary SL – heck, it’s not even close to the standard SL65, with the bespoke aerodynamic body kit, wide tracks and integrated roll cage that has replaced the retractable hard top. The extra work that went into it has shaved 550 pounds (250 kg) over the stock SL65, with the model tipping the scales at a little over 4,100 lbs (1,860 kg).
The wild grand tourer has a twin-turbo, 6.0-liter V12 that puts out a jaw-dropping 661 horsepower and 738 pound-feet (1,000 Nm) of torque. A five-speed automatic gearbox directs power to the rear wheels, rocketing the car to 60 mph (96 km/h) in just 3.6 seconds and, if you’re brave enough, up to a top speed of 199 mph (320 km/h), which is actually limited.
Due to the small production run, lively back end and huge amount of power, the SL65 AMG Black Series hasn’t lost much of its value, with the occasional examples that end up on the used car market being priced close to $300,000.