The SL55 at the double ton

DSC_0063_4c78aa81f0355lightbox_4c7cd11725336-lightboxIn Arizona we are blessed with some wide open and very lightly patrolled roads.  The spaces are so vast in the Southwestern United States that it is virtually impossible for the fun police to keep things in check.

The SL55 is so quick that I could hop on the motorway on a Sunday morning at full throttle and I would be bouncing off the speed limiter by the time I reached the next exit a mile down the road.  Not a good situation after plunking down $130K on a car capable of much more.

At first I was searching for someone to just get rid of the limiter.  I approached all the usual suspects of Renntech, and Kleeman, etc.  Aside from having zero customer service skills, these companies wanted big money for the fix.  Being a bit of a social butterfly, I had developed quite a few car connections, especially at Ferrari.  Surely one of my friends would know what to do.  Little did I know that I would be launched into the underground world of computer programmers and their black art.

My Ferrari factory connection hooked me up with their programming guru, who hooked me up with a friend at BMW, who lead me to an AMG writer.  All of this cloak and dagger stuff was accomplished without the use of one secret handshake!

After some broken English and German conversations he decided to help me out, and see if we could ‘find’ some more power.  Not a bad deal I thought.

We traded programs for feedback, and back and forth we went until I thought we had a great set up.  Now it was time to see if the proof was in the pudding.

Just as I am sure that everyone has their favorite roads where they live, I have a few places that are so flat and desolate that they make the perfect spot for a top speed run in an SL55.

Somewhere north of Las Vegas, there is a road that stretches for as far as the eye can see, and generally when you are driving there your only company are scorpions and a few rattle snakes.

Upon rising bright and early, before even the earliest rising cattle rancher is up, I am leaving my hotel and heading off into the desert.  About 20 miles clear of town, unfolding before me is a wonderful ribbon of tarmac, bathed in crimson, early morning light, with a crispness in the air, making a dense and powerful charge for the force fed AMG V8.

Sport mode on.  Manual, on.  ABC sport, on.  ESP, off.  I start to squeeze the trigger and the AMG lunges forward with a fury.  100 mph passes in a blink.  120… 130… 140… 150… and pulling hard, right through the old 155 speed limiter. 170… 180… 190 and still pulling strong.  The AMG’s speedometer ‘only’ goes to 200 mph, and the SL55 handled it with ease, topping out at around 202mph.

It was so undramatic at this speed, so utterly composed that I reached down and hit the seat massager……. just to say I did!

[Ed’s note. The above incident may or may not have actually occurred. is not responsible for content and does not condone speeding on the public road.]




Dino Micalizio