250 kilometers per hour. Foot planted hard on the accelerator pedal, both needles far into the right half of the instrument clusters and only the speed limiter holds you back from more. Top down, crisp dusk air rushing overhead, only the vortex of your wake and shrinking headlights in the review act as evidence you were even there. In front of you, 8 cylinders explode in harmony with 4 cams churning away to produce the 382 Hp and 391 ft lbs of torque that is shooting you towards the sunset.
With 5.5 liters of German firepower on tap, a 7-speed automatic routes power to the rear wheels with shifts so glossy, the delivery of torque is seemingly uninterrupted. 0- 60mph comes up in 4.9 seconds and the quarter mile scoots by at 13.5 seconds at 104 mph. Active Body Control keeps the 2008 SL550 planted firmly through the twisty bits. With almost no body roll in Sport mode, the corners can be thrown at you relentlessly, all while the Comfort mode remains in the background, waiting for your selection when the going gets bumpy.
So here you are, moving briskly, in control, relaxed and poised. But what about comfort? Throw in heated and cooled seats, Napa leather, Navigation, Bose Surround Sound, classically weighted steering connected to a leather and wood wrapped wheel, a steel retractable hardtop along with the serenity only a Mercedes Benz can deliver and every drive will have you arriving as pampered to when you first set off.
Grand Touring may be a romantic idea of the past, no place in the nanny state that our highway systems of today have become. But there will be that moment, when the ribbon of tarmac you travel is empty, and the true spirit of a 64-year heritage that is the Mercedes SL can truly shine.
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