All-new Mercedes-Benz SL

All-new Mercedes-Benz SL

Dec 14, 2011

All-new Mercedes-Benz SL

Mercedes-Benz's iconic SL gets an entire new look, more efficient powertrains and a lighter aluminium structure in this sixth generation model. Benefitting from some serious economy gains, thanks to a body that's up to 140kg lighter, combined with the latest Mercedes-Benz BlueDIRECT engine technology, the new SL is as much as 30 per cent more efficient than the outgoing car.

The lighter body has been achieved by virtually exclusive use of aluminium in the SL's construction, the lightweight material also bringing a stiffer structure. That, promises Mercedes-Benz, results in a more sporting drive than ever before.

Two suspension options will be offered on the folding hard-topped roadster, with either a semi-active adjustable damper system as standard, or optional ABC (Active Body Control). Steering will be a speed sensitive electromechanical 'Direct Steer' system.

The engine line-up will consist initially of a 435hp 4.7-litre V8 in the SL 500 and a 306hp 3.5-litre V6 in the SL 350. Both gain power and torque over their predecessors, yet offer greater economy - with the SL 350 returning 41.5mpg (6.8 litres/100km) on the official combined economy cycle. Despite the economy gains the SL 350 can reach 100km/h in 5.9 seconds, some three tenths quicker than before. The SL 500 manages the 0-100km/h sprint in 4.6 seconds, yet benefits from a 22% improvement in economy.  

Fuel consumption, emissions and performance enhancements are down to a combination of lighter weight, an ECO stop-start system and a new economy optimised 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission. Being a new Mercedes-Benz means a huge technology count, with plenty of capitalised systems debuting on the SL. There's MAGIC SKY CONTROL, MAGIC VISION CONTROL, HANDS-FREE ACCESS - respectively naming a variably transparent roof, clever windscreen wipers and boot opening technology. Mercedes is missing a trick not calling the foot-swinging opening and closing boot technology MAGIC, too. Other caps-rich technology is listed among the extensive safety kit, with NECK-PRO, ATTENTION ASSIST, ADAPTIVE BRAKE and PRE-SAFE among the standard equipment.

A smarter interior features, while the exterior styling promises improved airflow - though we'll reserve our opinion on the looks until we see it properly in the metal. That should be early next year, with sales starting shortly after.

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