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Mercedes-Benz has quietly dropped the V12 variants from its SL-Class model lineup, leaving the SL600 and SL65 AMG nowhere to be found. This may mean that significant changes could be coming to the SL-class lineup for its 2013 refresh, as Mercedes did confirm that the phasing out of its top models is in anticipation for the SL’s next generation.
The SL600 was powered by a 5.5L V-12 powerplant with 510-hp and 610 lb-ft of torque and was dropped from the 2011 SL-class lineup. For 2012, the SL65 AMG is now noticeably missing, taking away the 604-hp and 740 lb-ft of torque from a twin-turbocharged 6.0L V12. Though there could be several reasons on the removal of the V-12 models from the SL-class lineup, one obvious one would be the pricing and performance offered by the SLS AMG.
While the SL lineup has yet to get Mercedes’ new twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8, that engine will likely spell the end of the twin-turbo V12, producing 518-hp and 516 lb-ft of torque in the E63 AMG and an incredible 550-hp and 590 lb-ft of torque with an AMG Performance Package.
Going green has perhaps never looked better as Bernie Towns teams up with Speedriven to produce this CNG-Powered Mercedes-Benz SL 600. Not only is the car nicely built in the aesthetics department, it packs around 800-whp and over 1,000 ft-lbs of torque out of its 5.5L twin-turbo V12 powerplant. This helps it get down the quarter mile in merely 10 seconds, but Speedriven and Towns has more plans.
Their current goal is to claim the title of world’s fastest CNG-powered car, which currently belongs to Hohenester’s Audi A4. The A4 was able to hit 226.55-mph back in 2009, and Speedriven is hoping with some more tweaks to the aerodynamics they are hoping it’ll support speeds in excess of 240-mph.
Plans to achieve more power includes fitting on a new turbocharger system and completing the natural gas conversion. Their intention is to break the speed record when it debuts in March at the Texas Mile event.
GALLERY: Speedriven CNG-Powered 800-hp Mercedes SL 600