Mercedes SL - available to order from 2016
The Mercedes SL - known internally as the R231 - has been on the market since 2012. Now, in the middle of its product life, the roadster is due a facelift. The new Mercedes SL has received a whole new front end. The sleeker LED headlights of the 2017-model roadster will be closer to the diamond grille. Both the front skirt and the bonnet have also been reengineered, the latter being given some new contours with twin powerdomes. The wingmirrors are now situated upon the doors too.
Changes to the rear are rather minimal. The new Mercedes SL receives a new rear skirt, the design of which has certain leanings towards the AMG GT. The interior of the new R231 has gained some new tech - Mercedes' newest driver assistance and on-board entertainment systems are featured. The dials and other dashboard instruments have also been overhauled. The centre console is fitted with two USB jacks as standard, and an optional analogue clock. The bottom of the new steering wheel has been flattened off. Also new is the "Magic Vision Control" windscreen wiper system. The new "Driver Assistance Package Plus" includes adaptive cruise control as well as active assistants for braking, blind spots and lane discipline.
The Mercedes SL, which will be available to order from April 2016, will also be available with a new range of engines. The SL 400 will feature a 3.0 litre V6 biturbo engine with 367 BHP and 500Nm, whereas the SL 500 will rely on a 4.7 litre V8 biturbo engine, generating 455 BHP and 700 Nm. Both engines are coupled with a nine-speed automatic gearbox. The Dynamic Select function allows you to choose from five different driving programmes at the touch of a button, optimising the engine, gearbox, chassis and steering to the type of driving. Further improvements to the driving dynamics are provided by Active Body Control, which angles the body of the car into the corner. Two AMG versions are also in the pipeline, the SL 63 and SL 65. The SL 63 is powered by a 5.5 litre V8 biturbo engine with 585 BHP and 900 Nm, whereas the 65 features a six litre V12 biturbo plant generating 630 BHP and 1,000 Nm of torque.
The day-to-day driving qualities of the SL will be improved with a new roof mechanism, capable of opening and closing at speeds up to 40 km/h and automatic boot division. In addition to the standard AMG trim malarkey, these models will feature improved brakes, an optimised chassis and different wheel/tyre combinations.
The Mercedes SL premieres at the L.A. Auto Show. Prices have not yet been announced.