2017 Mercedes-AMG SL63: Same as it Ever Was? – Ignition Ep. 159



– Hi there. This, is the refreshed
for 2017, Mercedes SL. And as far as luxury roadsters, go, it doesn't get much better than this. I've got the wind in my hair, the sun in my eyes, the spray-on sunscreen in my beard, and it's easy to look at this car with a smile on my face, and the white leather, and this red paint, and dismiss it as a toy for retired rich guys. But the thing about the SL is, it's got 65 years of history
behind it, literally. Look at that. That is a W198 Roadster. A pagoda, and actual pagoda,
with the pagoda top on. Oh, R107, and it's in red. And there's well,
there's Jason in his car, but nobody cares about that. But do all those cars
make this thing any good? There's only one way to
find out, ha ha ha ha. When a car-maker markets a new vehicle, they do this thing, where they have an ideal customer in mind. Typically, he might be named Phil, and he lives in a loft downtown, and he's got 2.3 kids, or pets, and he's into rock climbing,
and mountain biking, and kayaking, and electric guitars, and therefore he needs, a 5000 pound SUV. You can imagine Mercedes'
ideal customer for the SL. His name's Morty. He lives in South Beach. He's on his third hip and his fourth wife. In other words, the SL is sort of a car aimed at wealthy old men. And Jason. – C'mon, c'mon. – Hey, I'm just sayin' man. – It's a stick, it's not, you know. – Wealthy old men with a
successful knee replacement. – You're the same age as
me, and that's original. Anyway, this is a cool lineup of cars. – I know, we've got 'em all together. – [Jason] Well, except for the R230. – Alright, can't have everything, but we got five of them together. – Good enough, good enough. – And, um, it's like, what
ties 'em all together? – [Jason] Three pointed
symbol on the front of 'em. – Besides that. – They're convertible. – Two seat proper roadsters, that right? – Sure, yep. – Which one? Let's get a little
subjective here for a second, which one do you think
is the best looking? – The problem is I have
to discount the original, because, you know, it's
by far the best looking. And then, next up, I'd
say the Bruno Sacco car. – The, 129. Your car. – Well, yes. But, you know, but I
think that was the perfect embodiment of Sacco's design language that defined an entire era of Mercedes, the way that the pagoda
does for Paul Brock. – I'm going to disagree. – Surprise. – I'm going to re-qualify the original, and say it's not the best looking. The Gullwing, the hard
top was the best looking, and with the roadster,
they cut the cool part off. I'm going to say the best looking SL here, is the red one, the R107,
big bumpers and all, it's just aging, so, well. Every time I see one, every month I'd stare
at that thing and go, God, that's so good-looking. – Elegant, not good-looking, elegant. But it did capture, it had an elegance that some of the other ones maybe didn't. – Alright, alright, alright. We're going to disagree on the looks, but which one, do you
want to drive right now? (laughter) Actually, you're going to, probably, need these. – [Jason] See, it's a stick. All SL's should be sticks. – [Jonny] Did you get a funny hat? – Why do I need a funny hat? – This is a concourse car, you
got to have a concourse hat. – Where's mine? – It's in the back here somewhere. – Oh, God. – Actually I got you one too, 'cause you did the millay right? – Ah well, in a rental car once. – Doesn't count, you got to
do it something like this? – Jonny. – I did the millet in this. – You have no seat belt on. Don't piss me off. – Engine. – Ohhh. – Engine. – Such a charming thing. – I think this is the best counting, listen to that noise. – If you're not a believer
in the straight six, this car, more than almost any, you know there's some BMW
motors that'll do it too, but this just sounds so good. That induction. – Yeah, no, and you know, I'm going to do the unthinkable, which is slow down for a second, so we can run this
thing through the gears. Sorry for all the other
people on the road. Ready, I mean, c'mon. Think about this. I mean, it sounds great now. Think about this car
55, 60 years ago, right? – Yeah, more. – This is what people have thought. – All I can tell you is, on the millay, all the other competitors, they hate these, they hate the Gullwings, because they're faster
than everything else, they're more reliable
than everything else, and they're more comfortable
than everything else. So that was the design brief right? Rudy Uhlenhaut, they had this motor, out of the Adenauer right? It was a stuffy, old sedan engine. So, Ferrari's had V12s. And, this is when they
were building the W194, the race car, so they couldn't really
compete with a lot of power, but they knew they could make it light, and they knew they could make it reliable, and more importantly,
for endurance racing, they could make it comfy. And it wouldn't beat up the driver. I passed, everybody. We just passed every car. It didn't matter what it was. Eventually, we'd wear
'em down, and pass 'em. – Oh yeah, or they'd break down. – Well we turned a four cam 356 Carrera into a three cammer. That was the only German car we saw fail. A lot of, weirdly, a lot of British and Italian cars
were on the side of the road, with parts off of 'em. – Stop. – The Gullwing? – [Jason] They don't break. – [Jonny] Bulletproof. – But the amazing thing is, it's not like this was a simple motor. It has direct injection. The first ever direct-injected
gasoline engine. And, they don't break. (squealing tires) – The first ever direct-injected, and then the only, for
like a hundred years. Right? – 300 I think. – We came out of the dark ages, and they rediscovered the Bible. – We did this, like 70 years ago. We should probably
consider doing it again. – And it does actually
help cool the pistons. These things, run cold. They run at like 80 degrees celsius. And again, fast and
reliability, and that's why they were such successful race cars, and then such great street cars. – And then you see the genius
of Max Hoffmann, right? It took an American to say, look at this racing car, it's so amazing-looking, can't you build one for the street? Oh, and then for customers in California, can't you chop the roof off? What a stroke of genius. – Let me ask you this, have you ever been in a roadster before? – In a 300 SL Roadster? Yeah. – I've never, I've only
driven in the Gullwing. – It's a different experience, isn't it? – It is. It's great though. – It's not like you think, because you think it's just, well a 300 SL Gullwing without a roof. But, they totally redid the
rear suspension, and it works. This is even more comfortable. It rides like a dream, and then, it has brakes. In the Gullwings, it's amazing any of 'em
survived the last 60 years, because they can't stop. Not that I'd want to get into
a braking contest with a Yugo, in this car, but at least it works. You can hear that noise. Though the firewall, through the intake, through the exhaust, you know, it's just, ahhhhhhh. – Beautiful day, look at that reservoir. If only we had a beautiful
car to go along with it. Well, this is so much better looking, than last year's SL. – Yeah, well, look, we were there. They pulled the sheet off that. And I've never heard 45
seconds of abject silence. There was no, no one was even gasping. There was no air in the room. – I just remember going, covering my mouth and like. It was so, sorry to use
the word, so ugly, that, after like 45 seconds,
the first sound was, the PR guy at Mercedes going, he was about to start clapping, and I'm like, no, no, stop it. – I remember (muffled), he said, well, good design is obvious, great design takes time. I said, well what the (beep) is he sayin'? He started laughing. He was like, I don't know. I don't know. – But, it's just like, remember the R107 was in
production, for 19 years, and didn't have a facelift. But this one, three years in. – Done, all new sheet metal. – They at least recognized. – The front is better, the back, I would say if you own this car, all you got to do is back
into every parking spot, therefore you're always
walking up to the car, and you never have to look at the tail. It's livable, there are worse things. – The front is a lot better, the side is so, a little bit weird. But the rear is not successful. But, styling is a matter of taste and, no one bought the last ones, so we'll see if we're
right about this one. (engine revs) But it does drive good. You know, it's amazingly fast. Look, 3.9 seconds to 60, which is approaching the limit of what a rear-wheel drive car could put down. – Absolutely. But, .99 on a skid pad.
– [Jason] Skid pad. – On 285 rears, I mean, by the way, 4100 pounds,
proving once again, that an all aluminium chassis,
makes cars really heavy. But it is super fast. – [Jason] It is super fast. – There's just so much torque, you ride this insane, wave of torque, and the brakes are good. The steering is great. Look at this road by the way. (engine noise) – The stability control's great too. It's just constantly helping. – Didn't need it. – My only issue is, with
all this performance, and all the noise and whatever, the message is a little
muddled here, right? I love AMGs. – I love AMGs, but may I
return us to comfort mode, so we can come to a conclusion. Because I think I know
what you're going to say. – Well, if you look at the original SL, and that experience of
driving that thing, right? To me, its successor, is
really the AMG GT, right? The long hood, that car. – I would also say this, you want a small, sporty roadster? Mercedes will sell you an SLC AMG. – Yeah. – You want a true, pure sports car? They'll sell you the AMG GT, or the GTS. You want a big, luxurious convertible? Now, they will sell you the S convertible. And it's got a backseat, and it's got a modern dash. It's got a big screen. – Yeah, this is 10 years old now. – And I think that, the SL's kind of lost at sea. – Mercedes loves to say
this is their real flagship. You know, the longest running nameplate. And it's always a toss-up between this, or the S class, as the true flagship of Mercedes, and I think they're trying to do a little bit too many things, in one shot. Is it sporty? Is it luxurious? Is it beautiful? This car doesn't really hit, all of those. – Yeah. – So, the only solution
is to buy all three of the other ones. Wait till the AMG GT
convertible comes out. And an S class convertible, and an SLC. We could work for Mercedes. I want my commission check. – [Voiceover] You have
to ask the question, has the Mercedes-Benz SL reached
an evolutionary dead end? The SL's history is as great as any in the automotive kingdom. From the original race cars that brought gold back to Germany, to the early roadsters
favored by Hollywood royalty, to the later cars that came to symbolize Mercedes' quest for innovation, and luxury leadership. The SL has long represented
the best of what Mercedes-Benz has to offer, but these days? There are better roadsters out there. The sexy Ferrari California
T immediately jumps to mind. By trying to be all things to all people, the once elite SL, has been made essentially redundant by other cars in Daimler's lineup. This car, the mighty AMG version, is a delightful, if pricey,
performance roadster. But we can't come up with a single reason to take it over the F63 Cabriolet, or the upcoming AMG GT convertible. Can you? look we know you don't have time to wait
for the next episode of Ignition that's why you need to go to Motor Trend
On Demand . com that's where the latest episode always lives the mazda mx-5 has
one big problem you tell any girl that you just bought a mazda miata
she'll say I got a cute what's your boyfriend's name doesn't
matter that it's the most race car in the history of the world doesn't matter
that's one of the best sports cars in the world now there's a solution you can
drive a miata without anyone knowing you're driving me gotta tell the ladies hey i just bought a Fiat 124 spider and
they'll be all oh my God you have an Italian sports car marry me watch the latest episode of Ignition
right now on Motor Trend on Demand – Something beeped, as
soon as we started moving, and we just want to make sure that everything is still rolling. – [Voiceover] What happened? – Something beeped. – We heard a beep. The only thing in this car
that can beep is your crap, so I don't know if we're still rolling. And by crap, I mean your lovely equipment. – Everything is still working fine. – Okay. – I appreciate you guys coming back. – You know what you would do? I feel like I know what Jonny Lieberman would do if he owned a Gullwing roadster. Put a huge like, 911 GT3 wing on it, so it actually did have a wing? And it's your winged roadster. I'm going to floor it again,
because I can't resist. – That's so good.

50 thoughts on “2017 Mercedes-AMG SL63: Same as it Ever Was? – Ignition Ep. 159

  1. Any reason to buy it over the S class Cab or AMG GTC??? Excellent and very desirable those may be but you only need one reason: It’s an SL

  2. I plan on eventually buying a 1989 SL and then hopefully a new SL. Hopefully if I live in a camper I can achieve this dream of mine!

  3. Referring to the last statement in your video…….. Im 6'5" tall and I dont fit in the GT-C. Also I want a convertible I can cruise around with my wife in and not hit every bump like a rock. The SL will "cruise" better and go almost as fast when you want it too. Its perfect in my opinion… and still much more sporty than a S class convertible.

  4. i wanna know you guys opinion of R230 i think this one exterior much better then R231, but R231 has the best interior

  5. 8 years from now I’m buying the original 1960 SL and putting in a V12 AMG engine, s class standard suspension and full modern tech. P.s Americans have zero taste in cars, have you seen the navigator ?

  6. You guys nailed that review! History was covered and the conclusion was exactly what I believed. This car is redundant as why would you want a supercar convertible when convertibles are meant to be driven slowly, in my opinion.

  7. YOU are confused – not the car. But I don’t blame you two YouTube web jockeys for being confused on what the “actual“ car buyer is looking for. The car is not confused at all. It’s a sporty feeling two-seater hardtop that can open up to the sky. It’s comfortable to drive every day and soaks up the bumps nicely for a daily driver car. Those rare times when you’re alone and feel like spanking that baby, well, she likes it! You need the car to accelerate and put it into an open slot in fast moving traffic, it does it.
    The last thing you want in the morning, with your cup of hot coffee in the holder, is a loud bone-jarring ride.
    Does it look a touch awkward from the side, yes, all convertible hardtop do -except for Ferrari California! But sometimes you don’t want a finicky – hard to get fixed exotic. And again, this Benz soaks up rough roads much more civilized than Ferrari.
    But it was a great review! Can’t wait for your next review on what it would be like (in your imagination), to have sex with whoever the latest super hot Hollywood starlet is!

  8. MB missed the mark in styling but the SL is still a wonderful car to drive. It's comfortable, fast and a practical daily driver.

  9. AMG GT should've been the SLC, and forthcoming roadster the SL- sporty and lightweight, good looking. Big marketing mistake. SL has lost its place in the range….

  10. The car is actually crap. The interior creaks and is flimsy. Poor fit n finish.. Numb steering and the sound gets real old real quick.

    Looks great though.

  11. By declaring the 'R107' generation of SL to be the best-looking, Johnny Lieberman has officially demonstrated that his esthetic judgement is in the toilet.

  12. If they didn't make the rear lights curve around the corners of the car, it would look so much better in my opinion.

  13. I agree that the AMG GT is the Gullwing of today, although it's not even close to as iconic. Back in the 50s the Gullwing killed everything both with style, performance and class, the AMG GT doesn't.
    But to be honest, after Gullwing & Roadster, SL developed into something else that also has its own heritage worth preserving. Any comparison between todays SL and Gullwing becomes irrelevant considering the tradition starting with 190 SL, continuing with Pagoda and then R107 etc.
    It's hard to define this tradition. But it's a car for people that doesn't really have any needs for function in their car, people who think the SLC is a hairdressers car with too little space and that the AMG GT is vulgar and that the S-class cabriolet is too big or looks too "old".
    In such a car the design becomes so important. I have a hard time understanding why they didn't at all change the rear lights in the facelift. I think it's even worse now when they don't match the front lights. They're too sharp, edgy.
    Finally – I totally agree that the R129 is one of the most successful and beautiful SLs ever built. But to see it, you need to look beyond the 90s plastic and the fact that there were so many produced and that they are mostly owned by thugs today. It will change over time. If I didn't already have another hated 90s car – the 911 996 – I'd buy an early SL 500 with yellow blinkers and hide it in my garage. But you can't save all stray cats…
    Thank you for a great show! Found you via your latest MX5 video.

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