In the meantime, the film protects the said paintwork, so if you removed it after 100,000 miles, the factory paint would be as perfect as the day you drove off the showroom floor. Brabus re-trimmed the interior in Alcantara and fine leather with contrasting red stitching, with red highlights on the instruments. Once the owner had established that his car was to be called Vanish, Brabus made up special sill trim covers, instrument dials, and a plaque for the center console to highlight this fact.

If you're wondering why this SL65 Black doesn't have the usual lightweight race seats, it's because it's a U.S.-spec car. As the race seats do not have side airbags, the Black Series is sold with normal SL63 AMG seats in the States for homologation reasons.

As I had only driven the SL65 AMG Black Series on a smooth test track when it was first launched, I wasn't au fait with its behavior on real-world roads. Brabus has done precisely nothing to the suspension or brakes, so it was a shock to find the KW coilover suspension was really firm even on German roads.

Through town, cross country, and on the autobahn, the ride is best described as restless, and can be rather sudden over short sharp bumps.This reminded me of my experience with the C63 AMG fitted with the notorious Performance Package suspension, which has since been abandoned. It also highlights just how far AMG has come since with the suspension on the SLS AMG, which strikes a near-perfect all-around balance.

There's no question that in an AMG vs. AMG comparison, the less powerful SLS AMG is the faster car around a racetrack. Its exquisite mid-front-engine and transaxle balance quickly shows up the SL65 for the nose-heavy dinosaur that it is.

But the SL65 AMG Black Series is the more spectacular looking machine, and 800 hp, a matte-black finish, and special interior, the Brabus Vanish is icing on an already very rich cake. In looks, performance and sheer attitude, this car is undoubtedly the gloriously extroverted king of the old-school autobahn stormers.

Brabus Vanish
Layout
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive

Engine
6.0-liter V12, sohc, 36-valve. Custom turbochargers, enlarged intercoolers, ECU remap

Transmission
Seven-speed automatic

Suspension
OEM coilover configuration

Brakes
OEM assemblies

Wheels and Tires
Brabus forged alloys, 19-inch Dunlop SP Sport Maxx

Exterior
Custom matte black paint protection film

Interior
Custom leather and Alcantara with constrasting red stitching

Performance
Peak Power: 800 hp
Peak Torque: 811 lb-ft

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