Complaints: The weight of it all. Losing a few pounds would add more zest to the movement of the SL500.
Praise: I can look at this car forever and enjoy the eternity of looking.
Head-turning quotient: Superior.
Layout: Front engine, rear-wheel drive.
Engine/transmission: The standard 5-liter V-8 develops 302 horsepower at 5,600 revolutions per minute and 339 pound-feet of torque at 2,700 rpm. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard.
Ride, acceleration and handling: There is nothing to thrill throttle jockeys here. But what do throttle jockeys know about love? The SL500 is competent in all three categories, but its intrinsic value is not in that competence.
Capacities: It seats two people and carries a paltry 10.1 cubic feet of their cargo. So what? The SL500 is about romance, not baggage. Fuel capacity is 21.1 gallons of gasoline, premium unleaded recommended.
Mileage: Not much. A $1,000 federal gas-guzzler tax applies.
Price: Base price is $79,971. The dealer's invoice price on the base model is $86,000. Add a $665 destination charge. Price as tested, not including all applicable taxes and fees, is $86,665.
Purse-strings note: This is art. The unappreciative should not apply. Compare with the BMW M3 convertible, Chevrolet Corvette Sports Convertible and Corvette Z06 coupe, Jaguar XK-R, Lexus SC430 and Porsche Boxster.