Mercedes-Benz SL (2012–)
The new SL has been produced for the first time almost entirely from aluminium and weighs up to 140 kilograms less than its predecessor. It's powered by new BlueDIRECT engines which are more powerful yet at the same time up to 29 per cent more economical than the engines in the outgoing generation.
Other new features include the unique FrontBass system and the highly efficient adaptive windscreen wipe/wash system Magic Vision Control which supplies water from the wiper blade as required and depending on the direction of wipe.
The new SL is available with two different suspension systems - the SL features semi-active adjustable damping as standard and the optional active suspension system ABC (Active Body Control) which is available as an alternative.
Both suspension variants are combined with a new electromechanical Direct-Steer system featuring speed-sensitive power steering and a ratio that can be varied across the steering wheel angle. This ensures excellent straight-line stability and, therefore, a high degree of assuredness when travelling at motorway speeds and makes the SL very agile. It also reduces the amount of steering required when parking and manoeuvring.
The new V8 in the SL 500 develops 435PS from its displacement of 4663cc and thus around 12 percent more than its predecessor despite some 0.8 litres less displacement. The fuel consumption has been reduced by up to 22 per cent. At the same time, the torque has increased from 530Nm to 700Nm – a gain of 32 percent.
Although the displacement remains the same at 3499cc, the new V6 engine in the new SL 350 develops 306PS and delivers 370Nm of torque. It's almost 30 percent more economical than its predecessor. Both engine variants come with a standard-fit ECO start/stop function. The 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission, which has been optimised in relation to fuel consumption and comfort, also contributes to low fuel consumption.
The SL 350 accelerates from 0 to 62 mph in 5.9 seconds, making it three tenths of a second faster than its predecessor. The SL 500 takes just 4.6 seconds – eight tenths less than the previous SL 500.
Compared with its predecessor, the new generation of the SL is much longer (+50 mm) and wider (+57 mm), providing more room for more comfort in the interior, too. Shoulder room (+37 mm) and elbow room (+28 mm) have been increased, exceeding the dimensions normally found in this vehicle class.
The sixth generation of the SL also offers a vario-roof that can be retracted into the boot using an electrohydraulic mechanism to save space, which converts the SL in a few seconds into a roadster or a coupé. Unlike its predecessor, three versions are available for the new SL: painted, with glass roof or with the unique panoramic vario-roof with Magic Sky Control.
The transparent roof switches to light or dark at the push of a button. When light it is virtually transparent, offering an open-air experience even in cold weather. In its dark state the roof provides welcome shade and prevents the interior from heating up in bright sunlight. The frame of the three roof versions is made of magnesium, making the roofs around six kilograms lighter than the roof on the predecessor, thus providing a lower centre of gravity for the vehicle and, in turn, better agility.
The engineers have refined the operating mechanism for the roof and boot lid. It now takes less than 20 seconds to open or close the roof completely. The HANDS-FREE ACCESS system is another Mercedes-Benz innovation which provides hands-free, contactless operation of the boot lid. The driver simply moves their foot in the vicinity of the rear bumper. Mercedes-Benz is the only car maker to offer a system which not only automatically opens the boot lid but closes it as well.
SL400 replaces SL350
Fitted with a V6 biturbo, the SL 400 has an increase of 27PS and 110 Nm of torque over the outgoing engine and is quicker, despite displacement being decreased by half a litre. The SL 400 will be available from £72,500 OTR and deliveries will start in July 2014.
A total of 333PS and 480Nm of torque are produced by the all-new six-cylinder engine equipped with two turbochargers lowering the 0-62 sprint from 5.9 to 5.2 seconds. This combination ensures that the automotive icon meets EU6 emissions standards, whilst also ensuring that customers have the very best in style, power and performance.
|Bore x stroke||88.0 x 82.1 mm|
|Output||333 hp at 5250 to 6000 rpm|
|Torque||480 Nm at 1600 to 4000 rpm|
|Fuel consumption||36.7 mpg|
|CO 2||178 g/km|
|0-62 mph||5.2 s|
|Top speed||155 mph|
The SL 400 Sport will be fitted with 19-inch AMG 5-spoke alloy wheels as well as AMG front and rear aprons and side skirts, a boot lid spoiler in body colour and sports suspension. On the inside, a host of eye-catching features include an instrument cluster with a chequered flag design, a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel with silver gear shift paddles and perforated leather in the grip areas, plus brushed light aluminium trim and AMG floor mats.
The SL 63 AMG also gains enhancements from July 2014. It will benefit from a power upgrade with a total output of 585PS – an increase 48PS. An increase of 100Nm will result in a total of 900Nm of torque being available, and this is all without any compromise to fuel efficiency and emissions. An AMG rear axle limited-slip differential will also be fitted as standard. With a locking effect of up to 40 per cent, superior traction and improved lateral dynamics are guaranteed.