With only 350 units to be sold worldwide, the SL Black Series is expected to make its public debut at the German Grand Prix in July with deliveries commencing in 2009.

Over the past year we have seen numerous spy photos and videos of the SL 65 AMG Black Series, but besides an Autoweek story last month, nothing concrete in terms of specifications has emerged, until now. After a select group of journalists were given a sneak peek at the New York Auto Show last month with specific embargo restrictions, MotorTrend online edition is one of the first to come forth.

In an effort to put the SL 65 AMG Black Series into perspective for their American audience, MotorTrend makes a laughable analogy, which compares a road going hyper sports car to a professional race car that can barely get out of it's own way, “the SL65 AMG Black Series is roughly akin to the SL65 AMG what a Dodge Charger Nextel Cup car is to a Dodge Charger SRT-8.” Surely, taken out of context, but the comparison is somewhat out of place.

Fine wine versus wine cooler debate aside, the SL 65 AMG gets put on a weight loss program which results in 6.1 pounds per horsepower as opposed to the 7.7-pounds from the standard SL 65 AMG. No details have been provided about how Mercedes extracted a conservative 66 hp for a total of 670 hp from the 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12, although it is most likely from an engine management upgrade plus some light-weight internal engine components. Capable of 220 mph but electronically limited to 186 mph (300 km/h), 0-60 mph arrives in less than 4.0 seconds.

The weight loss continues with carbon fiber body panels such as the hood, fenders and roof. Simultaneously, the entire chassis benefits from more rigidity as a result of the fixed roof as well as the removal of additional components and high strength chassis reinforcements (88 pounds worth) that comes with the folding roof of the SL 65 AMG. Other sprinkles of carbon fiber are found in a rear diffuser and boot lid spoiler which provides approximately 77 pounds of additional downforce. In total, 570 pounds are relieved for a kerb weight of 4080 pounds.

For the suspension, electro-hydraulic Active Body Control dampener units get tossed in the bin in favor of adjustable coilover spring/struts. Naturally, carbon-ceramic brakes will be included along with lightweight forged alloy one-piece wheels wrapped in 265/35ZR-19 (front), 325/30ZR-20 (rear) Dunlop Maxx GT tires.

With only 350 units to be sold worldwide, the SL Black Series is expected to make its public debut at the German Grand Prix in July with deliveries commencing in 2009.

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Mercedes SL 65 Black Series First Details Emerge