Sixty years after the first SL was launched, the latest version of this iconic roadster has arrived in Ireland.
With its longer, wider body, restyled grille and headlights and a passenger compartment set well back to accentuate its sporty look, the new SL comes in two direct injection petrol versions – a 3.5-litre, 302bhp, V6 SL350 version and a 4.7-litre, 429bhp, V8 SL500 twin-turbo version. Prices, which should be confirmed at time of order, begin at EUR140,000 for the SL350. Road tax vastly lower than the four-figure cost that applied before, begins at EUR481.
Lower fuel consumption forms a big part of the new SL story. This is due, in part, to a standard ECO start/stop function on both versions. A 125kg weight reduction on the SL350 helps cut fuel use by 22 percent, this despite a 0-100km/h time of 5.9 seconds. Equally frugal is the more powerful SL500. Despite a ‘faster than its predecessor’ 0-100km/h time of 4.6 seconds, fuel consumption still shows a 12 percent drop. Transmission on both versions is 7-speed automatic.
One innovative option is a retractable panoramic sunroof that switches from light to dark at the push of a button and converts the SL from roadster to coupé in seconds. Another is a windshield washing system that applies fluid just ahead of the wiper blade with channels integrated into the wiper that ensures that no water is splashed on to the screen and visibility is not disrupted when in use.
Commenting, Mercedes-Benz passenger car sales manager Ciaran Allen described the new SL as ‘a worthy bearer of a sixty-years old tradition and a car destined to become a classic from the day of its introduction.’