The new AMG DRIVE UNIT is the central control unit for the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission and all driving dynamics functions. The driver can change gears either using the new AMG selector lever with its leather/carbon-fibre finish, or by nudging the AMG steering-wheel shift paddles. On the left next to the selector lever is the electronic rotary switch to select the four drive modes including activation of the new Race Start function. Underneath are three buttons for additional functions: the first controls the ESPÒ function, the second the ABC suspension system. The third adorned with AMG lettering is used to store the selected transmission drive mode and the suspension set-up. Briefly pressing the AMG button brings up the configuration options, while holding down the button allows you to program the required set-ups.
The Race Start function takes driving dynamics to an entirely new level: it enables the SL 63 AMG driver to call on maximum acceleration, while ensuring optimum traction of the driven wheels. While the vehicle is at a standstill, the driver needs to activate the ESPÒ sports function and press the brake pedal with their left foot. Having preselected the Race Start program using the rotary switch, a confirmation message comes up on the AMG central display. The driver then simply needs to confirm the Race Start function by pulling the “Up” shift paddle once, fully depressing the accelerator and taking their foot off the brakes. The optimum start-up engine speed is set fully automatically and the SL 63 AMG accelerates away in an instant – as an option even up to the top speed. The driver does not need to shift gear manually; the AMG transmission changes gear with lightning-fast shift times.