We thought we’ve got used to hearing bad news in the car industry, but this one hurt us, pretty badly! Mercedes is discontinuing V12 SL-Class.
We’re not sad because of the car. To be honest our favorite has always been the 55 and 63 V8s, and we always thought the SL65 is a bit too much. Plus, the moment you open the roof 500 hp of the total 612 hp the car has become effectively useless, because you can’t go that fast with the top down anyway.
We are sad because events like this show where the industry is heading. Thanks to all kinds of problems like environment, oil prices, politics, and… big fast cars will soon be consigned to the history books. And we’re not sure their small and efficient replacements will be ‘interesting’ enough. Trouble is, no body cares! Car makers have to comply with the rules if they want to stay in business. That’s why they are constantly downsizing the engines, or sometimes just go ahead and kill them off altogether.
The SL65 is the last of V12-powered roadsters, with the demise of the SL600 in 2009, and now it’s also gone. This superb engine makes 450 kW/612 hp with maximum torque of 1000 Newtonmetres. As mentioned it didn’t make sense at all, but the feeling of having a V12 Bi0Turbo is just awesome! Mercedes will discontinue this low-volume model and will use the resources to boost SLS production.
Sometime next year, or the year after that, we will be reporting that the V8s are also being killed off (as the next BMW M3 will switch back to 6-cylinder engines) because they’re too wasteful. So, enjoy them while you can!