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Car reviews - Mercedes-Benz - SL-class - convertible range

Overview

Mercedes introduces a host of refinements to its awesome SL top-shelf roadster

Mercedes-Benz logo26 Jun 2008

ONE NEW and one improved engine, a fresh look and a revised automatic transmission mark the 2008 Mercedes SL range upgrade. The large and graceful roadster has finally inherited the 6.2-litre for its top-shelf AMG SL63. This AMG-developed engine is a cracking powerplant, able to develop a whopping 385kW and 630Nm of torque. It is linked to a revised seven-speed automatic that now has an automated wet clutch to replace the torque converter, which allows for sportier changes. Mercedes has also improved the 3.5-litre V6 used in the SL350 base model, which now generates 232kW and 360Nm. Other changes include a new steering set-up, a revised active suspension system and more standard equipment across the range. Cosmetically, the most obvious changes are a new nose and tail treatment that harks back to the original Gullwing SL. Prices are up across the range, which starts with the $223,000 SL350 and runs through to the SL65 at $468,000.
Model release date: 1 June 2008 to 1 June 2012

Previous model

Mercedes-Benz SL-class

Released: July 2002
Ended: June 2008
Family Tree: SL-class

The current (R230-series) SL-class roadster replaced its 1990s predecessor, the R129, in Australia in July 2002. Arriving first in 225kW/460Nm 5.0-litre V8-powered SL500 guise, the SL range soon expanded to include a 368kW/700Nm 5.4-litre supercharged V8 (in the SL55 AMG) in September 2002, a 368kW/800Nm 5.5-litre turbo V12 (in the SL600) in September 2003, a 450kW/1000Nm 6.0-litre turbo V12 (SL65 AMG) in October 2004 and a 200kW/350Nm 3.5-litre V6 (SL350) in May 2006. A May 2006 upgrade brought more power for the SL55 (380kW/720Nm), SL600 (380kW/830Nm) and SL500 - 285kW/530Nm via a new 5.5-litre V8. Benz's seven-speed auto arrived in 2004, but only for the entry-level SL350 and SL500, leaving the SL600 and all AMGs to soldier on with a five-speed.

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