Mercedes officially unveiled the 2013 Mercedes SL today. 60 years after the introduction of the first Mercedes-Benz SL sportscar, the next generation is here.
The new Mercedes SL has been produced almost entirely out of aluminium saving 140kg in weight and adding significantly to the rigidity of the new SL. Mercedes promises a sporty handling of an entirely new level with exemplary roll characteristics and ride comfort. With the full aluminium chassis and body also the engines have received a complete make-over. The new Mercedes SL comes with a range of two BlueDirect engines.
Mercedes has equipped the SL with a range of new gadgets and features including a FrontBass system and an adaptive windscreen wipe/wash system. Mercedes promises that the new Mercedes-Benz SL offers considerably more comfort and sportiness.
The new SL 500 (1,785kg) weighs around 125 kilograms less than its predecessor. On balance, the SL 350 (1,685kg) is even 140 kilograms lighter – all thanks to a host of details to reduce weight, which Mercedes-Benz has also implemented in the new SL in addition to the aluminium bodyshell.
The new SL is available with two different suspension systems: the SL features semi-active adjustable damping as standard. The optional active suspension system ABC (Active Body Control) 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.
The new V8 in the SL 500 develops 435hp from its displacement of 4663cc and thus around 12 percent more than its predecessor despite some 0.8 liters less displacement. 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 306hp and delivers 370Nm of torque.
Both engine variants come with a standard-fit ECO start/stop function and are linked to a seven-speed 7G-Tronic Plus automatic transmission. The SL 350 accelerates from 0 to 100km/h 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 4612mm (+50mm) and wider 1877mm (+57mm), providing more room for more comfort in the interior, too. Shoulder room (+37mm) and elbow room (+28mm) 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, depending on the driver’s wishes and the weather.
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. 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 new SL can be ordered from 15 December 2011. The prices including 19% VAT are as follows SL 350 – 93,534.00 euros and SL 500 – 117,096.00 euros.