After two days of leaks on the new SL, Mercedes finally unveils the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL officially.
We’ve started each of the last two days with news of the new 2012 Mercedes SL.
Tuesday saw a leak of a brochure scan of the new SL – so we had a clear idea of what was coming – and yesterday saw the arrival of a full gallery of photos of the new SL. But now Mercedes has finally revealed the new SL, and we get some detail too.
With its all aluminium bodyshell, the 2012 SL (again, read that as 2013 if you’re in North America), Mercedes has made the new SL considerably lighter than its predecessor. The aluminium body saves 100kg and the use of lightweight suspension parts to take the total weight saving up to 140kg in the SL 350 – the equivalent of a small American.
As we expected, there will be a pair of petrol engines available in the SL at launch, a 3.5 litre V6 with 302bhp in the SL 350 and a new 4.7 litre V8 with 429bhp in the SL 500. Both engines are much more economical than the old lumps, with the SL 500 getting 29.8mpg (an improvement of 22 per cent) and the SL 350 a remarkable 30 per cent more economical with official average economy of 41.5mpg.
Performance is improved on both the SL 350 and SL 500, with the new V8 scooting to 62mph in 4.6 seconds – the same as the current SL 63 AMG – and the SL 350 getting to 62mph in 5.9 seconds, an improvement of 0.3 seconds on the outgoing SL.
Despite losing a chunk of weight, the new SL is actually bigger than the old SL – 50mm longer and 55mm wider – which gives the new SLS inspired interior a more spacious feel. And that SLS inspiration makes the new SL seem even more upmarket than before, from the supple leathers to the choice of wood and aluminium finishes.
The party trick of the old SL – it’s trick folding roof – stays but gets cleverer. You can now have three versions – either painted, glass or the new Magic roof that goes from transparent to opaque at the touch of a button – all of which are lighter than before and quicker too.
There’s also Magic Vision which feeds the heated wiper blades their own supply of washer liquid so you don’t get a blinding squirt of water when you was the windscreen. And there’s also the FrontBass system which uses the front footwells to amplify the speakers and the kick to open feature for the boot the new Ford Kuga has.
There’s a seemingly endless range of toys on offer, with stuff like Attention Assist and Adaptive Brakes as standard and Distronic and Pre Safe as options.
The new 2012 Mercedes SL is expected to arrive in showrooms in the Spring of 2012.
New Mercedes SL 2012 Photo Gallery
(24 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)