2006 SL65 AMG DESIGNO - Owned by Adam Vitek


For those who have never driven a M275 bi-turbo Mercedes Benz or AMG bi-turbo V12, the CliffNote’s version is that the 65 AMG lineup is renowned for three things: torque, torque, and more torque. Where a majority of consumers consider the 604 horsepower and 738 pounds per foot of torque from the factory to be more than sufficient motivation for the 4,500-5,200-pound model range, I myself do not. To me, being a performance junkie since the age of 8, the already impressive factory numbers seemed more like a great starting point for something truly spectacular.

 

Having multiple restoration and custom fabrication projects going on simultaneously meant that the SL65 took a back seat for more time than I would have liked. With those projects now either wrapped up or ending soon, the quest for the ultimate 65 AMG began. After speaking with several reputable European tuning firms, including RENNtech, MKB, Brabus, Vath, and others, I selected Modern Horsepower (MHP) based on its objective customer on-track results, including a number of world records, of course due to its location. Also, the firm was the only tuner that would guarantee 690 horsepower and 950 pounds per foot of torque on pump gas with just engine and transmission remapping, so the choice was clear.

 

As with every performance vehicle I have owned, I took the SL65 to the track and to the dyno before and after to see both overall real-world performance and net gains on a chassis dynamometer. As the graphs depict, we gained an incredible 104 horsepower and 213 pounds per foot of torque SAE with remapped driveline controllers only, yielding a peak tuned output of 708 horsepower and 989 pounds per foot of torque, which coincidentally is not only more than what was promised by MHP, but is also 67 pounds per foot more twist than a 1.8M USD Bugatti Veyron’s 8.0L quad turbo W16 belts out. In short, my SL65 is now the highest horsepower and torque and quickest and fastest tune-only 65 AMG in the world, which, of course, also means that due to a hereditary competitive streak, my sights are now set on the Overall 65 AMG records.