Starting in 2006 with the SLK, the Black Series line of cars was born to create fast, hardcore versions of select Mercedes models and has since become legendary - particularly in the used car market with demand soaring for any and all Black Series cars. More powerful engines, wider arches and weight cuts are all elements of the Black Series line, as well as aggressive design elements deriving from track variants of each car.
The CLK 63 AMG Black Series and SL65 AMG Black Series and the prime examples of this, with dramatic design changes and power upgrades. the CLK’s power is upped to 500bhp and the SL makes a staggering 661bhp from its beastly 6-Litre V12. Under the redesigned body of the CLK, the adjustable chassis has been stiffened, tyres widened, and the interior overhauled with Alcantara and carbon fibre.
The SL65 AMG Black Series had arguably the most dramatic change applied to its looks, with an all-new wide body kit and a fresh look to the entire front end. The convertible roof was also removed to make it a coupe and allow for a lower roofline, and a fresh set of alloys was designed specifically for this model. The SL65 Black Series was only produced from September 2008 to August 2009, meaning production was extremely limited and thus demand went through the roof as soon as production ended. To this day it remains one of the most sought-after and rarest Mercedes cars ever built.
The Black Series treatment continued in 2013 with the legendary SLS – a car which already won the hearts of Mercedes Benz fans across the world as it harks back to the original 300 SL from the 1950s. Horsepower was increased to 622bhp (59bhp more than the standard SLS), sent through a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Top speed was also increased to a mighty 196mph. 70kg was shaved from the standard SLS, achieved through the use of carbon fibre in a multitude of areas, including the bonnet, rear wing and side air intakes. The introduction of a lightweight titanium exhaust system and new lightweight sport seats also contribute to weight savings and therefore improved centre of gravity and more refined handling.
The latest addition to the Black Series line is the AMG GT Black Series, the pinnacle of AMG performance and claimed to be the most hardcore Black Series car ever to leave the factory. The added aero to the exterior is fully functional, contributing to a staggering 800kg of downforce at 202mph and also adding to the ultra-aggressive looks of the GT. Power is increased over the standard AMG GT from 577bhp to a whopping 720bhp, allowing 0-62mph to be achieved in 3.2 seconds and an increased top speed.
The Black Series cars represent some of the finest engineering to come out of Affalterbach, with the cars acting as a demonstration of just how far Mercedes can push their road cars. Being track-bred but used primarily on the road, these cars are brutal, hardcore and not designed for everyday use, but find some twisty roads in good weather and the Black Series cars truly come alive.