Author: Peter Matthews
Since making its first car in 1886 – widely recognised as the first car ever made, in fact – the German manufacturer has led the way with groundbreaking technology, including the anti-lock braking system in 1978 and the world’s first driver airbag in 1980.
Today Mercedes-Benz is still setting the benchmark with its innovations, which most recently include the 2014 S-Class – described by the company as ‘the best car in the world’. Launching this autumn, the vehicle can drive itself in heavy traffic and potentially avoid accidents with 360-degree cameras that detect how fast cars are travelling and warn drivers if a collision is imminent.
But while the S-Class encompasses all of the power, style and luxury you’d expect from a Merc, standing in at £88,130 on-the-road (OTR), it doesn’t come close when weighing up the manufacturer’s most expensive production vehicles.
In fact, all of the cars featured in our list come from Mercedes-Benz’s AMG division, which was created in 1990. Together AMG and Mercedes have built a portfolio of top-of-the-range coupés, sporty saloons and roadsters, complete with AMG’s sports transmission, high-performance breaking systems and sports seats – with the price tag to match.
With an OTR price starting at £229,985, we identified the SLS AMG Coupé Black Series as the most expensive car in production by Mercedes-Benz – as well as being the fastest and most powerful production car ever built by the AMG division.
Billed as the ‘ultimate choice for extremely quick lap times and highly emotional driving experiences’, the super sports car takes you to 62 mph in an impressive 3.6 seconds thanks to its hand-built AMG 6.3-litre V8 engine.
But it seems that price is not deterring drivers from buying Mercedes-Benz’s AMG models; in July, 89 per cent more new AMGs were registered compared with last year’s figures.
Alongside making fast and powerful cars, the manufacturer is also focusing its agenda on vehicles that provide better fuel economy. The fuel efficiency of the latest SL 63, for instance, is 30 per cent higher than its predecessor, while the SL 65 V12 roadster is up to 17 per cent more efficient that the previous model.
But while Mercedes-Benz is striving to save its customers’ money by making more efficient vehicles, the question really is: are you buying a Merc for its low fuel consumption – or because you want a beautiful, powerful and luxurious car that will turn heads?
Read on to find out the most expensive Mercedes-Benzes you can be driving away in…
SLS AMG Black Series Coupé – from £229,985 OTR
Engine: Petrol – 6,208cc, 8-cylinder, 631hp/464kW
Transmission: AMG Speedshift DCT 7-speed sports transmission
The SLS AMG Coupé Black Series is the fastest and most powerful production car ever built by Mercedes-Benz’s AMG division – and costing just shy of £230,000 OTR, it matches up with the cost of super sports cars by Ferrari and Lamborghini.
More powerful than the SLS AMG GT by 60hp, the Black Series is also 70kg lighter, giving it a top speed of 195 mph and acceleration from nought to 62 mph in an impressive 3.6 seconds.
With a design inspired by the SLS AMG GT3 race car, the exterior of the SLS AMG Black Series reflects its race-like performance, while inside sports bucket seats create the illusion that you’re about to join the race track.
Featuring AMG Speedshift DCT 7-speed sports transmission and ride control suspension, coupled with rear axle differential lock and a ceramic composite brake system, the SLS AMG Coupé Black Series promises to be a driving experience you won’t forget in a hurry.
SL 65 AMG – from £168,285 OTR
Engine: Petrol – 5,980cc, 12-cylinder, 630hp/463kW
Transmission: AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic automatic
Mercedes-Benz launched a new and improved SL 65 V12 roadster last year, achieving a 17 per cent rise in fuel efficiency and all of the enhancements you’d expect from a car costing just under £170,000.
Providing an exceptional driving experience, trademark style and improved fuel efficiency – thanks to its intelligent lightweight all-aluminium bodyshell, AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic transmission and the ECO start/stop-function – the SL 65 AMG has set a benchmark for 12-cylinder petrol engines.
Stunning acceleration – the six-litre biturbo engine takes you to 62 mph in just four seconds, while in just under 12 seconds you hit the 125 mph mark – coupled with the AMG V12 sound, makes the SL 65 AMG ooze with style and superiority.
SLS AMG GT Coupé – from £165,030 OTR
Engine: Petrol – 6,2087cc, 8-cylinder, 591hp/435kW
Transmission: AMG Speedshift DCT 7-speed automatic
For just over £165,000, you could be driving away in Mercedes-Benz’s top-of-the-range SLS AMG GT, which has a top speed of 199 mph and takes you from nought to 62 mph in just 3.7 seconds.
Replacing the SLS AMG Coupe and Roadster, the GT version boasts more power (20 hp, to be exact), an optimised AMG Speedshift dual-clutch, seven-speed sports transmission and AMG ride control sports suspension, which has been completely redeveloped.
With the world’s most powerful naturally aspirated eight-cylinder engine, this beauty gives drivers real-time display of engine output, torque, and accelerator position and times.
Tested against extreme levels of rainfall and dust, the SLS AMG GT will see you right whatever the weather, with a glass draught-stop, and neck and shoulder warming air vents built into the driver and passenger seats.
Though safety is a given with German-made cars, the SLS AMG GT has undergone 35 real-life crash tests and 1,000 computer-simulated impacts, resulting in an extremely strong vehicle that can support three times its own weight.
CL 65 AMG – from £164,815 OTR
Engine: Petrol – 5,980cc, 12-cylinder, 630hp/463kW
Transmission: AMG Speedshift 5-speed automatic
Fancy driving a car with one of the most powerful series production engines ever built, taking you to 62 mph in just 4.4 seconds?
The luxurious CL 65 AMG, with its AMG 6.0-litre V12 biturbo engine, enhanced turbochargers and innovative active suspension, will put you in the fast lane – and even make you feel like a racing driver with the ‘Racetimer’ feature, which allows you to record lap times and achieve a top speed.
Outside, five-twin-spoke forged wheels painted in titanium grey set the scene of this motor – which is available in 12 colours – as the top of its range, while inside, drivers can choose to have an 18-carat gold designo logo built into the trim.
G 63 AMG – from £123,975 OTR
Engine: Long wheelbase petrol – 5,461cc, 8-cylinder, 544hp/400kW
Transmission: AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-TRONIC
At first glance the G 63 AMG appears to be your classic rugged, extremely strong vehicle, but inside is a world of luxury that ensures a 4×4 driving experience with a difference.
Fitted with a colour TFT screen and leather upholstery, the vehicle has various measures to reduce noise, vibration and harshness – making this a comfortable ride as well as a sporty one.
While the G 63 AMG is powerful – its twin-turbo, 5.5-litre V8 engine takes you to 62 mph in just 5.4 seconds – the vehicle still achieves 13 per cent more fuel efficiency than its predecessor. Need we say more?
CL 63 AMG – from £118,865 OTR
Engine: Petrol – 5,461cc, 8-cylinder, 544hp/400kW
Transmission: AMG MCT 7-speed automatic
With an engine that can take you from nought to 62 mph in just 4.5 seconds, yet is capable of emitting 244 g/km of CO2 emissions in the process, the CL 63 could well be the answer to the environmentally conscience driver seeking a sleek and power motor with a ‘green’ edge.
The vehicle is also extremely safe, being fitted with assistance and protection systems that allow it to reduce the severity of accidents – or avoid them altogether.
Standard features include 19″ five-triple-spoke titanium grey AMG alloy wheels and leather interiors, as well as AMG Speedshift MCT 7-speed transmission, which endurance tests found is capable of 4,000-hour non-stop operation.
S 63 AMG – from £119,565 OTR
Engine: Petrol – 5,461cc, 8-cylinder, 585hp/430kW
Transmission: AMG Speedshift MCT 7-speed sports transmission
Nothing says luxury more than the S 63 AMG, which is set to arrive in the UK from November and promises to be ‘the most sophisticated car in the world’.
The high-performance saloon, which can accelerate to 62 mph in just 4.4 seconds, features a 5.5-litre V8 bi-turbo engine, 7-speed sports transmission, composite brakes fitted as standard, AMG’s unique sports suspension, as well as the AMG sports exhaust system.
The vehicle appears to offer value for money too, with its driving assistance package, panoramic sunroof and Burmester Surround Sound System worth £8,400 of added value for the customer.
SL 63 AMG – from £110,785 OTR
Engine: Petrol – 5,461cc, 8-cylinder, 537hp/395kW
Transmission: AMG Speedshift MCT 7-speed auto
A lighter weight doesn’t mean less power, as the latest SL 63 proves. 125kg lighter than its predecessor – thanks to an all-aluminium body shell and carbon fibre inner support – it offers up to 30 per cent more fuel efficiency and fewer CO2 emissions.
Powered by an advanced twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 AMG engine, the motor can go from nought to 62 mph in a mere 4.3 seconds, while an advanced AMG package sees its electronically limited top speed of 155 mph extended to 186 mph, so is perfect for those seeking life in the fast lane.
AMG sports seats, available in one or two-tone luxurious leather, ensure this motor is a pleasure to be seated in, while 19″ AMG alloys and a vario folding roof make the SL 63 every inch the sports car.
GL 63 AMG – from £91,715 OTR
Engine: Petrol – 5,461cc, 8-cylinder, 557hp/410kW
Transmission: AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic 7-speed
Combining luxury with brute power, the new GL 63 AMG – released earlier this year – is Mercedes-Benz’s sporty answer to extreme power with luxurious staples.
Capable of taking you from nought to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds, the GL 63 AMG can handle a top speed of 155 mph with its high-performance breaking system and Active Curve System with AirMATIC, which makes driving round bends at high speeds a walk in the park.
Sporty features include 21″ five-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels, a sports exhaust system and a chromed bumper insert, while inside leather-upholstered AMG sports seats, three-zone climate control and an electric glass sunroof provide a luxurious and comfortable ride.
Image Credits: Mercedes