roadster—a car with stunning mechanical pedigree but admittedly not the most youthful styling. However, now it’s been given a 2009 facelift and widebody kit that puts it in visual striking distance of the sinister, power-crazed SL65 AMG Black Series. This is a good thing.
The transformed SL55 Mercedes recently popped up on eBay, and it’s one automotive nip-tuck that looks oh so good post-op.
When the Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG roared into the U.S. market in 2003, it was nothing short of a sensation. The recipe packed a supercharged 5.4-liter AMG V8 into the regal Mercedes SL roadster body, yielding a heroic 493 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque.
We’ll glaze over the hefty 4,235 pound curb weight, because the ‘charged AMG sprinted like a startled cat. A weapons-grade five-speed auto sent the torquey SL55 from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, zero to 100 in 10.9, and through the quarter mile in 13 ticks.
Truly staggering performance for its time. In fact, in 2003 it was the most powerful Mercedes offered in the U.S. market to date. But you wouldn’t exactly know that by the original styling.
Los Angeles-based Misha Designs fixed the car with its eye-catching SL series widebody kit, which can give any R230 generation Mercedes a look evocative of the madder-than-hell Mercedes SL65 Black Series.
While this redesigned SL55 doesn’t have the Black Series’ twin-turbo V12 or 738 lb-ft of torque, it finally does have the widebody looks to back up its factory performance.
Interestingly, the Misha Designs SL series body kit affixed to this car features fender flares that are even wider than on the Black Series cars, as well as vents and an aggressive diffuser built into its rear bumper. The car rides on gloss black Forgiato Maglia wheels—20 inches in the front, 21 in the rear—which come shod in Michelin Pilot Sport tires.
Is it a “pretender” of sorts? Well, yes. But then again, this 12-year-old roadster can still brawl with today’s drop top performers.
Photo Credit: Lusso AG