Even 12 years later there aren't many cars you can buy that can run with this 2004 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG. With a burly supercharged V8, sinister Autobahn-ripping looks, and incomparable luxury, this is a car that says you've well and truly arrived. The fact that it's so affordable only makes the ownership experience that much more delicious.
The SL has always been special, but when the guys at AMG get their hands on it, incredible things start to happen. The already stylish bodywork gets longer, leaner, and definitely meaner, giving it supercar attitude without the clown shoes. The redesign put a more appealing face on the SL, complete with raked back headlights and grille that were reminiscent of those found on the concept cars of just a few years earlier. In typical Mercedes-Benz fashion, the paint and bodywork are exemplary, and while it shows signs of use and age here and there, the bottom line is that quality doesn't get the corners knocked off so easily; it still looks like a very expensive car. AMG also added a body kit that lowers the car, a tasteful spoiler on the trunk lid, and, of course, the chrome V8 KOMPRESSOR emblems on the front fenders, a little bit of a warning label for the folks in the lane next to you. Out back, you get a cool diffuser under the rear bumper, as well as quad exhaust tips that have the best baritone soundtrack this side of a Wagner opera.
Black leather works, whether it's your jacket or the interior of your Mercedes-Benz supercar. And just because it hammers the pavement with nearly 500 horsepower, that doesn't mean it can't also be luxurious and comfortable. The seats feel like they could hold you in place during the most spirited maneuvers, but they're no more constrictive than your favorite easy chair. Everything that looks like wood IS real wood, and the lovely center console is the focal point of the whole interior. Big, round gauges are easy to read and have a high-tech look that's perfect for the car's personality, and while there are a lot of buttons, their use is pretty intuitive. Of course, everything is standard equipment, including a big screen for the infotainment system.
The supercharged 5.5 liter DOHC V8 is a heavyweight brawler in a tuxedo. With 493 horsepower and a towering 515 pounds of torque, it flings the 4400-pound SL around like a toy. Need to get to that hole in traffic? Bam! You're there. The car accelerates like it's got the proverbial JATO booster on its back and all the while those pipes out back are singing along, urging you to go faster. The only transmission up to the task of harnessing all that torque is a 5-speed automatic, but it doesn't really matter because the car seems to accelerate with the same ferocity no matter what gear you're in or how fast you're going. The suspension uses all the electronic wizardry that 2004 could offer and the brakes are massive enough for a bullet train. The hardware underneath is in good overall condition, with evidence of use but not a life in the snow belt, and those gorgeous 5-spoke AMG alloys look great and carry 245/45/17 performance radials.
The bottom line is that you can own this car for about twenty cents on the dollar compared to its original purchase price. Nobody will know that, of course; all they'll see is the player with the good fortune to own one of the most formidable 2-seat convertibles ever created. Call today!