The Los Angeles Auto Show has long been known for its emphasis on green technology, and models like the new Toyota Prius will be putting in appearances this year. But the show has something of a split personality, the other side of the coin best defined by the debut of the newly updated Mercedes-Benz SL.
The sixth generation of the two-seater made its debut in 2012, generating some grumbles and groans from critics who decried its lackluster styling. So, Mercedes designers set out to give the Mercedes SL a little bit more of a dramatic flare, in keeping with the legendary roadsters that have been a brand mainstay since 1954.
And with its folding hardtop, Active Body Control and new five-mode transmission system, the German maker is playing up the roadster as “an all-season vehicle that is fully suited for daily use,” according to Ola Kallenius, the Daimler AG board member overseeing Mercedes car sales and marketing.
From a visual standpoint, the Mercedes SL features a distinctive new “diamond grille,” a design theme picked up from some of the maker’s recent concept models. The high-contrast pattern still frames the classic Mercedes chromed slat and central tri-star.
There are now twin “powerdomes” on the long hood, the new SL also getting newly enlarged side air outlets with chromed wing inserts.
(Mercedes set to reveal 2017 SL at L.A. Auto Show. For more, Click Here.)
The headlights, meanwhile, are a bit more slit-like, and follow the curves of the new roadster’s more rounded nose. There are updated LED daytime running light brows, and it’s all but certain all key exterior lights, front and back, will now be powered by LEDs.
That bit of metal origami, the vario roof, will now be operable at speeds of up to 25 mph.
There will be four versions of the roadster available, starting with the Mercedes-Benz SL450, with its 3.0-liter V-6 making 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The familiar SL550 bumps the numbers up to 449 hp and 516 lb-ft.
For those who want serious performance, there’s the Mercedes-AMG SL63, thrusting out 577 hp and 664 lb-ft from its 5.5-liter V-8. And for a balance of power and exclusivity, there’s the line-topping AMG SL65, its 6.0-liter V-12 producing 621 hp and 738 lb-ft. Both AMG models use twin-turbos.
All of the engines are linked to a nine-speed automatic driving the rear wheels. The SL will be one of the few Mercedes models, going forward, not to be offered with an optional 4Matic All-Wheel-Drive system.
(Click Here for a look at the quirky Mercedes-Benz Vision Tokyo – an autonomous lounge on wheels.)
The driver can instantly adjust a variety of vehicle settings, including suspension and transmission shifts, using a five-mode selector that ranges from Eco to new Sport-Plus settings.
The makeover of the Mercedes SL puts a premium on driving dynamics, and the Active Body Control system now features curve tilting function. The system actually leans into turns to improve the aluminum-bodied roadster’s cornering capability.
As with other recent Mercedes offerings, such as the big S-Class and compact C-Class, the updated SL is a showcase of high-tech safety technologies, including Distronic Plus with Steering Assist, an active cruise control system that uses a stereo camera system to help the driver stay in the center of the lane. Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic Function can alert a driver to a potential side impact and add automatic braking to help prevent a crash.
Inside, there are a number of new high-tech features, as well, including Apple CarPlay and Siri Voice Control. The standard audio system is 600-watt package from Harman Kardon, with an upgraded 900-watt Bang & Olufsen system available.
(The “S-Class of SUVs”? Click Here to check out the new Mercedes-Benz GLS.)
Expect to see the new SL start rolling into U.S. showrooms late next spring.
One response to “Mercedes Drops the Covers on the 2017 SL Roadster”
This new SL is yet again another costly design embarrassment for MB but this time the model`s survival is a stake because of the upcoming S-class cabriolet .
The avant-garde S-class cabriolet will be a hit and become the new flagship for MB
yet this new SL is already dated even before going into production.
It is just missing the WOW factor that at one time place the SL at the top of my wish list.