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(2005 model shown)
Mercedes' low-to-the-ground and stunningly styled, rear-drive, luxury sports coupe continues for 2006 with a slickly operating power-retractable hardtop that enables it to go from closed coupe to full roadster in a matter of seconds. The base SL500 includes a 302-horsepower, 5.0-liter V-8 engine that's mated to a seven-speed-automatic transmission, while the SL600 adds muscle with its 493-horsepower, 5.5-liter V-12. On the sportier side, the limited-production SL55 AMG version includes a 493-horsepower, 5.5-liter V-8, and a new top SL65 AMG offers a hand-built, 6.0-liter twin-turbo V-12 engine that's responsible for a road-blurring 604 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque. This model is said to be able to sprint from zero to 60 mph in just over four seconds. Four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes with brake assist, Electronic Stability Program, Automatic Slip Control, side airbags, a pop-up roll bar, and the TeleAid emergency system are standard on all versions. For 2006, run-flat tires are added to the options list, redesigned 18-inch wheels are included in the AMG Sport Package, and the otherwise optional Keyless Go entry/starter system, heated steering wheel, and corner-illuminating fog lamps are now standard on the SL600.