Mercedes-Benz has quietly discontinued the V-12-powered SL for the 2012 model year. It started in 2011, when it pulled the SL600 out of its lineup without saying a word and, today, we noticed that the SL65 AMG will get the axe for 2012. Mercedes-Benz says that it is phasing out the top-of-the-line SL as it prepares for the launch of the next generation car for 2013.
Although these are just speculations, we can think of a couple other reasons why the SL600 and SL65 were discontinued. For one, the flagship 2012 SLS Roadster could have interfered with any SL65 AMG sales. Despite producing less power—571 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque versus 604 hp and 738 lb-ft—and both being priced in the $200,000 ballpark, the SLS weighs nearly 900 pounds less and thus performs at a much higher level. Mercedes could have pulled the SL65 in fear of model cannibalization.
A more far-fetched reason may be that Mercedes is pushing all its V-12s out the window for its new greener twin-turbo V-8. The 5.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 equipped with the AMG Performance Package in the S63 produces 563 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. That’s more than the S600 and only a few bragging-horsepower away from the S65. To top it all off, the 5.5-liter V-8 is 25 percent more efficient than the 6.3-liter V-8 and that engine is already more economical than either V-12. We don’t know if Mercedes would get rid of its V-12s altogether but it may if its desire for a more fuel-efficient lineup is strong enough.
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