New Mercedes-AMG SL or Lexus LC Convertible: verdict

These muscular drop-tops promise performance and luxury in equal measure. But which of them should you choose?...

New Mercedes-AMG SL vs Lexus LC Convertible rear twin

Our verdict

When we heard that the latest Mercedes SL would be developed from scratch by AMG, we were a little concerned that it might turn out to be too uncompromising to be a proper grand tourer. But we needn’t have worried. AMG has produced the most versatile SL yet – one that has the ability to thrill you one moment and then soothe you the next. And for that reason, it wins our test.

That said, it’s not perfect. We suspect a number of buyers will be disappointed by its very high list price and relatively poor interior finish – two areas in which the Lexus LC Convertible beats it. And while the LC isn’t as rewarding when pushed hard, if that doesn’t matter to you, rest assured that you will still be getting something pretty special.

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1st – Mercedes-AMG SL

New Mercedes-AMG SL front cornering

For More bombastic performance; smoother ride; remarkably agile handling; all-weather traction
Against Patchy interior quality; very expensive to buy; poor fuel economy; distracting roof controls
Recommended options Driving Assistance Package (£2500)

What Car? says 4 stars out of 5

Mercedes-AMG SL review >>

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2nd – Lexus LC Convertible

Lexus LC Convertible front cornering

For Great-sounding engine; quieter cruiser; calmer with the roof down; better interior quality; cheaper to buy
Against Not particularly agile; engine short on low-rev grunt; smaller boot; below-par infotainment system
Recommended options None

What Car? says 4 stars out of 5

Lexus LC Convertible review >>

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Specifications: Mercedes-AMG SL55 4Matic+ Premium Plus

New Mercedes-AMG SL roof folding

Engine 8cyl, 3982cc, turbo, petrol
Peak power 469bhp at 5000-6500rpm
Peak torque 516Ib ft at 2000-4500rpm
Gearbox 9-spd automatic, 4WD
0-60mph 3.7sec
30-70mph 3.3sec
Top speed 183mph
30-omph 8.5m
70-0mph 45.2m
Noise at 30mph 64.0db
Noise at 70mph 68.7db
Kerb weight 1950kg
Tyre size (std) 275/35 R21 (f), 305/30 R21 (r) 
Fuel tank 80 litres
CO2 emissions 292g/km

Specifications: Lexus LC Convertible 500 Sport Pack Plus

Lexus LC Convertible roof folding

Engine 8cyl, 4969cc, petrol
Peak power 457bhp at 7100rpm
Peak torque 391Ib ft at 4800rpm
Gearbox 10-spd automatic, RWD
0-60mph 5.1sec
30-70mph 4.2sec
Top speed 168mph
30-omph 9.0m
70-0mph 48.8m
Noise at 30mph 60.3db
Noise at 70mph 67.2db
Kerb weight 2035kg
Tyre size (std) 245/40 R21 (f), 275/35 R21 (r) 
Fuel tank 82 litres
CO2 emissions 275g/km

Test weather conditions Dry, cold

Cars pictured

Lexus LC Convertible Sport Pack Plus with Terrane Khaki metallic paint, Head-Up Display and Card Key (£1250) and Mark Levinson Premium Sound System (£1000)

Mercedes-AMG SL55 4Matic+ Premium Plus with Manufaktur Patagonia Red Bright paint (£1600) and Manufaktur black Nappa leather

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