Unlocked SL55 AMG Knocks on the Door of the 200-MPH Club

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On a three-mile runway somewhere in Florida, a 2005 SL55 AMG blasts across the concrete freed of its 155-mph speed limit.

Amid the slew of Mercedes SL-Class models released in the early 2000s, the SL55 AMG was a monster among the rest. The 5.4-liter supercharged V8 made 493 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque through its five-speed automatic to the rear. It was not only one of the most powerful automatics at the time, but was so powerful that it had to be kept to a top speed of 155 mph, though engineers believed it could go above 200 mph without the limiter.

Today, someone modded their 2005 SL55 AMG for more power while also removing the restraining bolt. All they needed to do was bring it an hour east of Orlando, Florida to Merritt Island, the home of Johnny Bohmer Proving Grounds and its 3.22-mile runway, to find out how fast it could really go.

2005 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG

“We’re going to do a 2.7-mile test here with this Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG,” said Johnny Bohmer. “This is a 5.4-liter V8 supercharged engine, 525 horsepower, 625 lb-ft of torque with a five-speed automatic. This car has been modified — it’s not stock — but it’s still very streetable and runs fantastic.”

2005 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG

According to the video’s description, the testing was carried out between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on March 9, with an air temperature range of 73 and 78 F, a dew point of 64.4 F, and a surface temp range of 77 and 93 F. Humidity fell from 73% in the morning to 61% in the afternoon, while wind speed jumped from calm to 9 mph from the southeast over the same period. All that’s needed now is the SL55 AMG to do its magic.

2005 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG

At 2 p.m., the SL55 AMG dropped the hammer, pulling 0.8Gs off the line on its way to 60 mph in around four seconds. From there, the speed makes a smooth climb past the 155-mph limit to knock on the door of the 200-mph club.

2005 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG

Over a minute after it left the line, the SL55 AMG reached its new top speed of 196.189 mph. It may not be the 202-mph it may have been capable of doing back in the day, but it’s still an impressive feat of power.

Photos: Screenshots

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Since launching her professional writing career nearly a decade ago as a fashion blogger, Cameron Aubernon has written for a handful of online and print publications on a wide variety of subjects, including expat issues, fashion, music, and, of course, the automotive industry. The automotive expert was even the editor-in-chief of a popular online lifestyle publication, where she reviewed luxury cars and interviewed fellow automotive enthusiasts.

A graduate of The Evergreen State College Class of 2005 with a bachelor's in liberal arts, Aubernon took a left turn from fashion writing into the automotive realm when she asked a fellow writer via Facebook if she could write for their site. Following an internship, stints with a couple of hyper-local online publications, and a move to Seattle, she made her then-biggest impact with The Truth About Cars, writing full-time for the publication from 2013 to 2015.

Currently, the highly-regarded automotive journalist is a frequent contributor to the high-traffic Internet Brands Auto Group websites Rennlist, Club Lexus, LS1Tech and Mustang Forums, among others.

Aubernon’s expert knowledge of all things Ford trucks has also made her a mainstay as one of the most prolific writers on Ford Truck Enthusiasts and F-150 Online.

Aubernon can be contacted via email at [email protected].

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