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While in Monaco last week, the local Mercedes dealer let my friend and I test drive an SL55. It's quite a bit better looking car than the SL500 for starters. The interior pieces are a bit on the cheap looking side ( all plastic or painted trim, no rich veneer or carbon ). The power is tremendous but it takes a second for it to brew up - almost turbocharger-like. Tiptronic is very helpful to avoid embarrassing delays in shifting. The car is way too heavy which is my only complaint - the 360 Modena Ferrari is just so much lighter than the SL55 ( in Europe, they are similar money). The brakes are excellent but the car cas quite a lot of dive under heavy braking. The weight is apparant with high-speed direction changes - a little scary. The popularity of the SL55 is amazing - over 50 seen in and around Monaco - all colors - my favorite was a flat, blue-green - almost army green with a bit of blue. The SL55 that was the pace car for the F1 race had an incredible exhaust on it - sounded MAgnificent!! Someone said that the pace car has a 7.3 liter AMG motor in it - it sure sounded like it.<br> <br>
 

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Sounds like you didn't care for the stainless(?)<br> Here in the US, I believe you can order wood as a no-cost option to replace the stainless. Is that something you'd recommend?
 

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Could you clarify something for me? Can you use the tiptronic to improve the immediate, from-stop response, or do you always get that 'lag' that I associate with mercedes automatic transmissions? My wife's CLK55 has a typical .5 second lag from-stop, but then takes off. Or were you referring to the tiptronic as helping time the upshifts? Overall, did you like the car, or was it just too heavy? Thanks!
 

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Personally, I think that comparing the 360 to the SL55 is a bit of an apples/oranges comparison. The SL55 might be every bit as fast, but it's a totally different machine. I'm not sure if anything can compare to the razor-edge sharpness and precision of a 360. The 360 is a work of art from that perspective. I'd rather have the 55 as a daily driver, though. Jeez, I wish I could have one of each! <lol>
 

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You can chose the wood as a no cost option in the US instead of the stainless. When I customized with my dealer, I opted for the wood instead of the stainless because of the scratching of the stinless - very similar in the Ferrari.
 

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I know what you're talking about - the lag is from a dead stop - yes, the MB slushbox still has that, even in the SL55. One way around that is to select 1st. gear manually and then keep your left foot on the brake and get the revs to about 3000 - then hang on as you take your foot off the brake. I found the SL55 too heavy for my liking. I don't like the braking/cornering transitions of a car that heavy. If only the Corvette ZO6 weren't such a gold-chain-divorced-dentist ride, that would be my choice - money no object.<br> I have a front bra and two mirror bras from my old CLK55 - I'd sell them all for $100 if you're interested. I only used them once for a 1000 mile trip - I highly recommend them for long highway trips to prevent stone chips in that fragile MB paint.
 

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Ahmen on the Corvette comment. Such a ride, but such a stigma. I've got cold feet on my SL55 order, because I'm driving a Porsche C4 cabriolet right now. Not as fast as the SL55, but it feels pretty tight, and I like that. I might just have to wait a bit and get the 360 spider. Or go one year without a convertible and get a regular 360. Decision is killing me.<br> <br> My wife would never put bra on the car, but thanks, at that price its practically free. I'll ask her, you never know.
 

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I think it's crazy in the Ferrari they put aluminium where your feet go as you get in. I haven't seen the aluminium in the SL55 AMG but a number of comments have been made that it looks cheap. Maybe, but I don't must care for the wood options either.<br> <br> Mercedes and BMW both have this remarkable ability to make fine wood look like one-shot injection moulded plastic. If they could achieve the standard found in Rolls Royce, Bentley, I might be tempted but I'm tired of the walnut in my SL600 and the lacquer scratches and chips so it's not indestructible. Aluminium, especially since it has the rough cast look, will make a pleasant change and carbon fibre is old hat. Time will tell how durable it is.
 

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One of my NCRs (New Car Resolutions), apart from washing the mutli-spoke wheels every week without fail, will be to leave more space between me and the car in front. My SL600 is peppered with stone chips after 60000 miles, mainly on the front skirt. I think the first few months are the most important while the paint is continuing to harden.<br> <br> As for the weight of the car, the SL55 is pretty much the same weight as the SL600 and I expect the bigger tyres and intelligent suspension to improve the road manners of the car.<br> <br>
 

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The writeup in US Automobile Magazine July issue was quite surprising. The article was a comparison with the Aston Martin Vanquish, Ferrari 575MM, Lambo Murcielago and Porsche 996TT. Here are the comments about the track:<br>
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'The 493-horsepower Mercedes is the surprise here. It's brutally fast, sounds like a big V-twin Ducati in heat, and is actually a better track car than the Ferrari or the Aston. There's so much midrange urge that it threatens to overwhelm the rear tires at any opportunity. However, the steering isn't as communicative as the four other cars', and we dislike the artificiality of Mercedes' Active Body Control. The simple answer to that last problem is to turn the ABC off, at which point the car becomes livelier and more pleasing to drive hard. It doesn't quite entertain or connect the way the others do, however, and is the athlete of this bunch: all the talent in the world but a bit lacking in personality.'<br>
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In the company of $250k hardware i'd say that's impressive especially the '...is actually a better track car than the Ferrari or the Aston' statement.
 

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Re: Re: Drove SL55 in Monaco - review

The writeup in US Automobile Magazine July issue was quite surprising. The article was a comparison with the Aston Martin Vanquish, Ferrari 575MM, Lambo Murcielago and Porsche 996TT. Here are the comments about the track:<br>
<br>
'The 493-horsepower Mercedes is the surprise here. It's brutally fast, sounds like a big V-twin Ducati in heat, and is actually a better track car than the Ferrari or the Aston. There's so much midrange urge that it threatens to overwhelm the rear tires at any opportunity. However, the steering isn't as communicative as the four other cars', and we dislike the artificiality of Mercedes' Active Body Control. The simple answer to that last problem is to turn the ABC off, at which point the car becomes livelier and more pleasing to drive hard. It doesn't quite entertain or connect the way the others do, however, and is the athlete of this bunch: all the talent in the world but a bit lacking in personality.'<br>
<br>
In the company of $250k hardware i'd say that's impressive especially the '...is actually a better track car than the Ferrari or the Aston' statement.
quite suprising.
a pleasant suprise i might add
 

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Disagree with you about the interior, saw one in London love the napa leather everywhere.

Not interested in the fake carbon fiber or veneer in that car. Compared to the 360, its interior is decades ahead. To me, the SL55 is a fine cruiser and for a sports car, I would still pick the 996TT or GT2 over the 360..

While in Monaco last week, the local Mercedes dealer let my friend and I test drive an SL55. It's quite a bit better looking car than the SL500 for starters. The interior pieces are a bit on the cheap looking side ( all plastic or painted trim, no rich veneer or carbon ). The power is tremendous but it takes a second for it to brew up - almost turbocharger-like. Tiptronic is very helpful to avoid embarrassing delays in shifting. The car is way too heavy which is my only complaint - the 360 Modena Ferrari is just so much lighter than the SL55 ( in Europe, they are similar money). The brakes are excellent but the car cas quite a lot of dive under heavy braking. The weight is apparant with high-speed direction changes - a little scary. The popularity of the SL55 is amazing - over 50 seen in and around Monaco - all colors - my favorite was a flat, blue-green - almost army green with a bit of blue. The SL55 that was the pace car for the F1 race had an incredible exhaust on it - sounded MAgnificent!! Someone said that the pace car has a 7.3 liter AMG motor in it - it sure sounded like it.<br> <br>
 
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