Last week I looked at a very low mileage 2001 SL500 and today’s car is another SL, although a little newer and with a lot more power. The R230 SL55 AMG was the exactly what you would expect from a mid-2000s AMG car: a supercharged V8 that makes almost 500 horsepower and just as much torque. Now 13 years and well over $100,000 worth of depreciation later, these top down monster have become very cheap. But is it worth it?
Those of you regular readers of GCFSB probably know that I mostly write about Porsche 928’s. Today I have something different, albeit quite similar. Much like the 928, the SL55 is ostensibly a grand tourer and is powered by a V8 of the same displacement as the 928 GTS. Both cars also share a very similar interior layout, with most of the controls located in a sloping and raised center console. Both cars are also beloved by Jeremy Clarkson, who spoke favorably of the 928 in one of the final episodes of Top Gear, and who personally owned an SL55. Describing his SL as a swiss army knife, Clarkson pointed out that the SL can act as a grand touring car if so desired, but can also be turned into a roadster in 16 seconds thanks to a retractable hardtop.
This Designo Graphite 2005 SL55 stood out to me for multiple reasons. The beautiful Designo color combination and interior upgrades, the unique Alphard wheels, and the low mileage differentiate this SL55 from the others currently on the market. The Designo options on this car would have likely added an extra $8,000 onto the $120,000 base price for the SL55. Such options would include a full leather interior (dash, door panels, rear storage compartment, roll bar, and top lid), alcantara headliner, suppler leather on the seats, and black birdseye maple wood trim. This was a huge improvement over the mostly MB Tex and vinyl interior on a standard SL55. Basically, it is a combination of the higher quality finishes available on the SL600 with the more flashy design of the SL55, a win-win in my opinion.
I don’t think many people would consider Brabus to be a particularly conservative tuner. However, something interesting has occurred since AMG was brought in-house by Mercedes-Benz; Brabus has rather turned into what AMG was in the 1980s. Just like AMG used to offer, Brabus turns up the Benz models to the next level with power increases, suspension and brake modifications and plenty of special details to help set their cars apart. And while at times they may have been garish compared to some of the more sedate AMG cars were, they’ve even become attractive – with just enough flare to make their modifications stand apart without being outrageous. Of course, there’s one major difference; AMG started with stock Mercedes-Benz models, while Brabus is standing on the shoulders of the already turned-up AMG models. The result is supercar performance from an unexpected package, such as this R230 SL55 K8:
AMG Mercs have always been among my favorite German performance machines (second only to Porsche’s). They are basically German muscle cars. In fact, since the golden era of American muscle died off many decades ago, I consider AMG’s to be the muscle cars of the 21st century. Furthermore, while they may be prohibitively expensive when new, these cars often go for a song on the secondhand market.
With only 12,000 miles on the clock, 493 horsepower, and 516 lb-ft of torque, this pristine SL55 could certainly give a new owner a ton of fun for a very affordable price. Furthermore, it is a rare Designo Espresso edition. While many may dismiss this as a mere appearance package, it adds an entirely different level to the interior. Standard SL55’s came with leather seats and leatherette pretty much everywhere else, such as the dash, door cards, center console, etc. This Designo edition, however, has very supple leather on practically every surface of the interior.
On the outside, the Designo Espresso edition wears a very attractive dark brown metallic paintjob. The two Designo paint schemes at the time (Graphite and Espresso) offered more metallic flake than standard metallic Mercedes offerings. This becomes particularly obvious when the sun shines on the surface just right…it really does look spectacular in person.
With AMG’s integration as an in-house tuner in the mid-1990s, the division began to unleash it’s fury on the lineup on vehicles such as the C, E and CLK class. Perhaps one of my favorite AMG models of recent memory is this one: the SL55 AMG. Packing the supercharged 5.4 liter V8 tucked away under sleek, new sheet metal, these roadsters emitted quite an impressive soundtrack out of their quad exhaust pipes. Sold from 2002 to 2008, they were usurped by the SL63 AMG, which was normally aspirated. While the SL63 was undeniably fast and quite a looker, somehow, it seemed a bit less aggressive without that signature wail from the blower on full throttle. Today, the SL55 is a relative supercar bargain, such as this black one for sale in Illinois.
Model: SL55 AMG
Engine: 5.4 liter supercharged V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 52,928 mi
Price: No Reserve Auction
2005 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG 5.5L AMG. Tune Up Back in March 2013 (50k miles). New Front & Rear Rotors and Pads Back in March 2013 (50k miles). New Tires, Recent Oil Change, 2 Keys & Books
Thank you for visiting another one of International Car Center’s online listings! Please continue for more information on this 2005 ONE owner Mercedes-Benz SL-Class 55 AMG with 55,715 miles and available service records. Complete tune up and front rotors/pads back in August of 2011. When your newly purchased Mercedes-Benz from International Car Center comes with the CARFAX BuyBack Guarantee, you know you’re buying smart. This is a well kept ONE-OWNER SL-Class 55 AMG with a full CARFAX history report.
The SL-Class 55 AMG is a well-built, yet compact and enjoyable ride that is unmatched by any other convertible on the road.