2013 Mercedes-Benz SL revealed, heading to Detroit Motor Show
The German automaker Mercedes-Benz has revealed the all-new SL which promises to deliver “the ultimate in passionate, refined motoring”. Scheduled to make its first public debut in January next year at the Detroit Motor Show, the sixth generation of the highly successful model is based on an entirely new platform but keeps the same recipe that made it a huge hit.
The car is going to be available with longitudinally-mounted V6 and V8 engines and a RWD configuration, just like its predecessor. What sets this model apart from other cars in this segment would have to be its folding metal “vario-roof” that needs only 20 seconds to convert.
The styling of the new model adopts cleaner surfaces and bolder looks in comparison to the outgoing model, reminding us of the gorgeous “pagoda” SL from the 60s and the R107 from the 1970s. The modern look is brought by the SLS-inspired upright radiator grille and some familiar body-side sculpting. The German automaker has stated that that the new generation of the SL is the most aerodynamically efficient vehicle in its segment and it also manages to set new standards for wind noise-based cabin refinement.
When it will go into production, it is going to be the very first Mercedes-Benz model manufactured in a large scale series which will feature an almost all-aluminum construction. The body-in-white superstructure of the car is manufactured from a combination of chill vast, vacuum die cast, stamped and extruded aluminum, allowing the new generation of the SL to be 125-140 kg lighter in comparison to the model that it replaces. In addition, it is also 20% more torsionally rigid. The only plastic parts installed by the German automaker are the “soft nose” grille, the folding roof and tubular steel A-pillars, the lightweight magnesium rear bulkhead and the header rail.
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL will be available with two direct-injection power units that allow the car to be 22-29% more fuel efficient over the older model. The V6 3.5-liter engine powers the entry-level SL350 version and it is capable of developing 302 hp and a maximum torque of 273 lb.-ft. Even though it is less powerful in comparison to the outgoing SL350, the new model is 0.3 seconds quicker in the 0-62 mph sprint as it is able to do it in 5.9 seconds. This version of the SL promises to return 41.5 mpg UK on the combined cycle.
The beefier twin-turbo V8 4.7-liter engine that motivates the SL500 is also used for the S-Class. It generates 429 hp and 516 lb.-ft of torque, enough for a 0-62 mph sprint in only 4.6 seconds. Both of these engines are going to be linked to a 7-speed automatic gearbox.
Just like the model it replaces, the new SL features a multi-link suspension setup for both ends. As standard, the SL350 will feature steel springs with semi-active dampers, while an optional feature is going to be the company’s height-adjustable, self-levelling, hydraulically-controlled Active Body Control chassis. The steering system of the new SL comes with a new electro-mechanical direct steer setup with a variable ratio and variable assistance levels.
Just like the SLK convertible, the new generation of the SL will be offered with an optional electro-chromic panoramic glass roof. The driver will be able to choose between transparent glass and light/dark shade thanks to the Magic Sky Control system. The car’s folding roof frame is manufactured from magnesium and it weighs 6 kg less than the one you’ll find on the outgoing model, managing to provide a lower center of roll.
There are two additional technological novelties introduced in this model. The first one would have to be the Frontbass audio system that has bass loudspeakers installed in the front bulkhead, instead of their regular place which would have to be the interior door panels. This innovative audio system takes full advantage of the bulkhead’s more rigid construction so it provides less distortion and improved sound resonance. The footwell has a cone-like shape and it doubles as a natural amplifier.
The other system introduced in the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL is a high precision windscreen wash-wipe system known as the Magic Vision Control which flushes water through the jets that are built-in the rubber of the wiper blade. The water is deployed just ahead of the wiper’s leading edge, on both the upstroke & downstroke of the blades in order to diminish mess and wastage, while at the same time improve visibility.
For those who have deep pockets, the car can be fitted with optional features like heated fluid supply lines, heated wiper blades, along with a heated washer fluid tank – all of great utility during the cold season.
Source: Mercedes-Benz via Autocar
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