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For over 50 years a Mercedes-Benz SL has sat as the pinnacle of the company's performance and desirability, although some years were certainly better than others. Remember the original Gullwing of 1957? Beautiful, powerful and the subject of millions of teenage room models. Compared to a 1977 SL 450 with a smog-choked V8, it's hard to imagine that both could be SLs.

Still, after more than five decades, you'd figure the company has gotten it right by now. And for 2009, the entire line gets a fifth-generation facelift after five years on the market.

Mercedes-Benz' latest overhaul of the SL line includes the AMG performance models too. And while the turbocharged SL600 and SL65 AMG offer twin-turbocharged V12s and dump-truck loads of torque, it's the relatively simple SL63 AMG that's aimed straight at the enthusiasts.

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