GT showdown: Mercedes-AMG SL 55 vs Porsche 911 GTS

It will tighten its line on the throttle (although not by you coming off it, unlike the 911) but doesn’t do so as naturally as any longitudinally engined roadster from Affalterbach should.

It clings doggedly onto that feeling of stability that seems to be its chosen calling card. It’s all very ‘fast grand tourer’, rather than ‘proper sports car’ and again makes you wonder: where’s the AMG-ness? Meanwhile, the 911 is trickier to balance but rewards precision and is willing to dance. It’s more fun.

Mercedes-AMG SL 55 vs Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Cabriolet: verdict 

So where does this leave us? It’s pretty clear-cut, I would say. One way of framing the verdict is to ask: does the reinvented SL get closer to being a sports car than the 911 gets to being a long-legged grand tourer? Because if it does, chapeau AMG, as the result would be pretty compelling, even at £150,000. But no.

The AMG is a fine cruiser, but the 911 is no horse and cart and even in Cabriolet form has the space and grace for day-long drives. Then, on those last 30 minutes from motorway to overnight, it will take the SL apart in almost every measurable way, and in several ways you can’t easily measure, too.

That said, there’s clearly quite a bit of potential in the SL. If AMG can give the Mk2 GT the same handling flair as its predecessor but also the road manners of the SL and, say, disengageable front driveshafts? What a thing that could be.

Mercedes-AMG SL 55 vs Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Cabriolet: winner 

1st. Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Cabriolet

Road roar hampers its GT credentials, but it’s stunningly complete in almost every other respect. Subtler than the SL but also more detailed and rewarding.

2nd. Mercedes-AMG SL 55

Fantastically capable in isolation but somewhat confused. Loses some GT slickness in an attempt to chase the 911 but never lands any convincing blows.

specs 6

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