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Future models - Mercedes-Benz - SL-class

Slicker SLs a month away

Sleek: Flagship Mercedes-Benz convertible heads further upstream with price rises of between $5000 and $9000.

Storming new SL63 AMG heads facelifted, more expensive, Mercedes SL roadster range

28 Apr 2008

MERCEDES sportscar fans will not have to wait so long for the arrival of the facelifted SL-class range, which will launch here in June – one month earlier than anticipated – with pricing just announced from $223,000.

Mercedes-Benz Australia this week also confirmed that the two AMG variants will be included from launch, so the new five-model line-up will mirror the current range, which has an average buying age in the mid-50s.

Although an SL280 variant is offered as the entry level model in Europe, M-B Australia has no plan to offer it here in the future, having dropped the previous generation SL280 in late 2001 due to lack of demand.

4 center imageLeft: SL63 and SL65 AMG (bottom).

More than 60 per cent of last year’s 104 SL buyers opted for the SL350, which rises by $5000 with the new model, but comes with more standard equipment, new variable-ratio steering (developed in conjunction with the company founded by Australian Arthur Bishop) and a sizable power boost (from 200kW to 235kW) from its 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine.

Still linked only to Benz’s seven-speed ‘7G-Tronic’ automatic, the SL350 also manages 0.4L/100km lower average fuel consumption than its predecessor.

Among the standard features across the SL range will be Mercedes’ innovative AIRSCARF system – presented for the first time as an option in the SLK Roadster in 2004 – that distributes warm air through the head restraints, forming a warm, invisible ‘scarf’ around the driver and front passenger.

This system has been refined with the blower and heating now incorporated in the head restraints of the integral seats.

Pricing for the 285kW 5.5-litre V8-engined SL500 has also increased by $5000 (to $306,000) while the SL600, which is powered by a 380kW 5.5-litre twin-turbocharged V8, rises by $9000 to $385,000.

The least expensive of the two AMG models is the new SL63 AMG, which gets a new (though less potent) engine and two more gears over the outgoing SL55 AMG and costs $6000 more than that model at $382,000.

In place of the previous 380kW/720Nm 5.4-litre supercharged V8 engine is a new 6.3-litre naturally aspirated V8 producing 386kW and 630Nm.

The new AMG Speedshift MCT 7-speed transmission (replacing the previous five-speed unit) features a wet start-up clutch instead of a conventional torque converter. Benz claims that the resulting direct connection, together with the double-declutching and Race Start functions, improves the dynamic driving experience.

Finally, four years after first being launched, the range-topping SL65 AMG continues with the same 6.0-litre twin-turbo V12, still producing 450kW of power and an incredible electronically limited 1000Nm of torque.

This flagship model, which will be priced from $468,000 (an increase of $9000), once again offers 0-100km/h acceleration of just 4.2 seconds.

The new-look SL made its public debut at the Geneva motor show in March.

Mercedes-Benz SL-class range pricing:
SL350 (a) $223,000
SL500 (a) $306,000
SL600 (a) $385,000
SL63 AMG (a) $382,000
SL65 AMG (a) $468,000

Read more:

First look: Benz presents facelifted SL Roadster

First look: Wild new SL-AMG twins emerge

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