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The AMG Black Series of specially modified Mercedes-Benz/AMG performance machines represents the apex of almost 30 years of Mercedes-Benz factory Hot Rods and racers. Now a wholly owned subsidiary of the German automotive giant, AMG opened the dual-purpose road-and-track Black Series with the 2006 SLK55 AMG Black Series, a special coupe version of the AMG roadster with a carbon-fiber roof in place of the factory retractable hardtop, AMG’s 5.5L/400 HP V-8 under the hood, special adjustable sports suspension, unique rolling stock and extensive use of carbon-fiber aero enhancements. Limited to just 100 examples, that first Black Series served notice that AMG was taking its road-going vehicles to whole new levels of performance, and they have become more exciting and rewarding to drive with each new model.

2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series

While this potent 2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series Coupe is certainly 100 percent road-legal, its natural habitat is any generous track circuit with sufficient room for it to really stretch its legs. Unveiled at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, the SLS AMG Black Series is a lightweight version carrying 154 fewer pounds than the already featherweight standard SLS GT, a feat accomplished by shaving weight wherever possible, including the use of titanium exhaust. Extensive use of carbon fiber, including new intakes, a lower splitter and an optional rear wing, increases downforce as speeds rise, which they do at an astonishing rate in this car. On the power side of the ledger, AMG modified the SLS’ thundering 6.2L V-8 to raise output from the standard SLS’ 583 HP to 622 HP and teamed it with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and numerically lower-geared electronic differential for exhilarating acceleration. Fully adjustable suspension, lightweight forged wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and huge carbon-ceramic brakes invite aggressive driving, for which the Black Series’ Alcantara and leather interior treatment is perfectly suited. This is a car that demands to be driven hard, the prime mission of any Black Series track burner. This Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series has been driven only 239 original miles.

2009 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series

If exclusivity is your goal, look no further than this 2009 SL65 AMG Black Series Bi-Turbo, another AMG Black Series lustwagen developed directly from the AMG Formula 1 safety-car program. One of only 175 produced for the U.S., its carbon-fiber roof and integrated roll bar, DTM-inspired CFRP body panels, extendable rear spoiler, race-car fender flares and gaping front fascia are startling on a road car, but by no means just for show. Beneath all that carbon fiber is an AMG-modified version of the SL65’s V-12 engine using larger turbos, a new intake system and low-restriction exhaust to generate an explosive 661 HP and 740 lb-ft of torque. It’s backed by a paddle-shifted 5-speed AMG Speedshift Plus automatic transmission featuring four programmable modes and automatic throttle blipping on manual downshifts, contributing to the car’s 3.9-second 0-60 MPH times and 198 MPH top speed. The SL65 Black Series handles that performance with ease thanks to fully adjustable AMG Sport coilover suspension, three-stage ESP stability control and special high-performance compound disc brakes behind 19-inch front and 20-inch rear alloy wheels with Dunlop Sport Maxx GT tires. Luxury upgrades elevate the comfort level inside the leather- and carbon-fiber-trimmed interior, which offers a redesigned instrument cluster, lap-time counter, multimedia center with navigation, CD/DVD changer and a full range of power accessories. This Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series has been driven only 666 original miles.

2012 Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series

When former AMG director Ola Kallenius described the Black Series as “the sharpest edge of the arrow in the AMG arsenal,” he was making a direct reference to the 2012 C63 AMG Black Series. Like all Black Series cars, it is based on a standard Mercedes-Benz model, in this case the two-door version of the C-Class, and it has been transformed into a road rocket that looks and performs like an escapee from the German Touring Car Championship. Like the standard C63 with the optional Development Pack, it uses a version of the 6.2L V-8 that powers the SLS gullwing, retaining that engine’s lighter crank and forged internals, but it improves on the C63 Development Pack with a new engine-control unit that perks it up from 481 peak HP to 510 HP at 6,800 RPM and 457 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 RPM, with a 7,200 RPM redline. The C63 Black Series follows established practice with outrageously flared composite fenders containing forged 19-inch alloys and Dunlop Sport Maxx Race MO tires over drilled and vented disc brakes. A 7-speed automatic gearbox, differential cooler, adjustable coilover suspension, aluminum hood and rear diffuser are included, and the optional Aerodynamics package adds a carbon-fiber front splitter, carbon-fiber canards and an adjustable carbon-fiber rear wing. This Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Black Series has been driven only 159 original miles.

2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Series

Based on the road-burning CLK63 AMG coupe, the 2008 CLK63 AMG Black Series edition derives much of its specification from the CLK63 used as the Formula 1 safety car in the late 1990s. Its scooped front air dam, carbon-fiber side ducts and rear spoiler, aggressively flared bodywork, 19-inch forged wheels and dual chromed exhaust tips also recall Mercedes-Benz’ German Touring Car Championship racers. One of only 349 imported to the U.S., its AMG-built 6.2L/500 HP 32-valve DOHC V-8 engine drives a dual-mode 7-speed Speedshift 7G-Tronic automatic and a locking differential. Speed-sensitive power rack-and-pinion steering, AMG-modified adjustable coilover multi-link suspension and 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, 19-inch AMG multi-spoke wheels and high-performance tires are also featured. Interior refinement is a Mercedes-Benz trademark; the Black Series steps it up with premium leather upholstery with aluminum and carbon-fiber trim, fully adjustable power sport seats, power windows and locks, cruise control, dual-zone climate controls, heated outside mirrors, an auto-dimming interior, driver’s mirrors, AM/FM/CD sound with a 6-disc changer, navigation and Harmon/Kardon LOGIC7 digital Surround-Sound. This Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Series has been driven only 224 original miles.