Well as luck has it, my friend has just taken delivery of a AMG SL55 black/black. So I just had to take it for a drive!!
Firstly never buy a black car! Looks great in the showroom but it instantly shows every bit of dust and marks left from cleaning especially in the bright Californian Sun.
The initial impression behind the wheel are of a very well built powerful car. The engine really pulls hard (With 500hp on tap thats what u would expect) and the auto gear box is very smooth changing (The exhaust sounds very strange, very rough almost truck like) .
The SL is VERY heavy, and you really feel the weight when you head off the freeway onto smaller winding roads. I really pushed the car through a series of bends near where I live and while traction was ok, you could really feel the back of the car leaning out forcing me to be very cautious about applying power on exiting the bend.
The SL has a manual sequential gear box that can be switched on when needed.. What a disappointment! Not only are the shifts very slow but they are activated by two very small buttons on the back of the steering wheel that are almost impossible to find especially when turning (Its really easy to loose their relative position as they are fixed to the wheel not the steering column) This system is really unusable for track use which explains whey you will not see many of these cars out on the track in anything other then a straight line drag race. In contrast my 360 is amazing to drive using the F1 mode but a pain to use in the auto mode (I personally never use the auto setting)
The car is very good looking and I would love to own one for commuting and daily driving.. But despite the raw power it lacks the passion and sheer driving excitement of a Ferrari or any other real sports car for that matter!
These are clearly my own personal observations, and I'm sure there are people out there who will disagree with me so bring em on!!