Some cars make me feel mischievous, some make me feel badass, and some, like this week’s Mercedes-Benz SL550 test car, make me feel rich, like Beverly Hills housewife rich, black Amex rich, my-200-foot-yacht-is-currently-docked-in-Monte-Carlo rich.
Indeed, while I test a lot of expensive cars through the course of my job, not all of them make me feel like I simply shit money the way that this big bitchy Benz convertible did during the week I drove it in L.A. It’s a splendiferous combination, brutal, turbocharged V-8 power, unbridled luxury, Mercedes-Benz cache, and oh yeah, brown. “Dolomite brown,” more specifically. And it is everything on the SL550 that simultaneously satisfies the trendy crowd and the contrarian crowd, regardless of whether the see-through glass hardtop is raised or lowered. The interior was swathed in caramel-colored leather, offset by gorgeous matte-finished wood—stunning. Performance-wise, it is fast yet eminently mannerly, only getting rowdy when you hit put the suspension and transmission in the sport settings. And alas, it is indeed expensive, but for once, a car this rich actually looks this rich and makes its driver look and feel rich, too. Which, methinks, is exactly the point.
2014 Mercedes-Benz SL550
Base Price: $107,625
Price as Tested: $122,250
Power: 2.5-liter 4-cylinder (429 hp, 516 lb-ft of torque)
Trannies: 7-speed automatic
Fuel Economy, city/hwy mpg (EPA est): 18/25
Or you could buy:
Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet
Jaguar XK8/XKR Convertible
BMW M6 Convertible