After several high profile leaks, Mercedes has officially unveiled the 2012 SL.
Mercedes has officially unveiled the 2013 SL.
Looking bold and aggressive, the model has an evolutionary design which borrows a number of styling cues from the SLK. Starting up front, there's a ventilated hood and a single bar grille that is flanked by oversized headlights with integrated LEDs. Further back, the SL's iconic side vents have become more prominent thanks to a larger opening and longer chrome accents. Lastly, at the rear, there's LED taillights and a dual exhaust system.
As before, the SL features a folding metal roof but the new version has a magnesium frame which makes it 6 kg (13 lbs) lighter than the previous one. This doesn't sound overly impressive, but it helps to lower the car's center of gravity. Additionally, the roof can be equipped with an optional electrochromic glass panel dubbed Magic Sky Control.
Inside, the SLS-inspired cabin has leather upholstery, wood trim and metallic accents. Other highlights include circular air vents, a unique gear lever and a new FrontBass audio system which has speakers in the footwells for "concert hall ambience."
Under the hood, two engines are available. The entry-level 3.5-liter V6 produces 302 hp (225 kW / 306 PS) and 273 lb-ft (370 Nm) of torque. It enables the convertible to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 5.9 seconds while averaging 41.5 mpg UK (6.8 L/100km / 34.5 mpg US).
If that isn't powerful enough, the SL500 has a twin-turbo 4.7-liter V8 with 429 hp (320 kW / 435 PS) and 516 lb-ft (699 Nm) of torque. This allows the car to run from 0-100 km/h in just 4.6 seconds.
On the handling front, the car has an electro-mechanical steering system and a multi-link suspension with steel springs and semi-active dampers. Active Body Control is optional on the SL350, but all models benefit from an aluminum-intensive body shell which increases torsional rigidity by 20 percent.