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New models - Mercedes-Benz - SL-class - roadster range

New base variant and upgrades for Mercedes SL range

Top down, power up: Mercedes has swapped its 3.5-litre V6 base SL350 for a smaller engined but turbocharged SL400, pushing power up while driving fuel consumption down.

Mercedes updates Roadster with extra kit and higher performance SL400 base option

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Mercedes-Benz logo3 Dec 2014

By DANIEL GARDNER

MERCEDES-BENZ has enhanced its big convertible two-seater SL range with the entry level normally aspirated V6 SL350 making way for a more powerful and efficient turbocharged SL400 variant, and a sprinkling of upgrades across the range.

The new 3.0-litre turbo SL has a smaller engine by a half litre but thanks to forced-induction, the SL400 increases power and torque output by 20kW and a hearty 110Nm, with its starting price also getting a boost of $2470 to $229,000 excluding on-road costs.

Producing 245kW and 480Nm, the new engine has cut the entry-level SL's zero to 100km/h time from 5.9 seconds to 5.2s but fuel efficiency has improved from 8.3 litres per 100km to 7.8 with a corresponding chop to CO2 emissions from 192g/100km to 181g/km.

The new variant in the SL two-seater convertible stable also arrives with a flurry of upgrades to the already well-equipped sportscar range, with more comfort and driver assistance kit included as standard for all but the range-topping SL65 AMG.

In addition to the new entry level variant improvements, the mid-range SL500 gets a refresh with an extra 15kW dialed into its 4.7-litre V8, and power closing doors with pricing sneaking up by $4970 to $312,000.

Power doors are also fitted as standard to the entry-level AMG of the SL range, as are Active Contour seats and the performance pack, which takes the SL63 AMG 5.5-litre V8 output to a meaty 430kW/900Nm and adds a locking diff to handle the extra grunt.

Prices of both AMG versions have jumped north with SL63 AMG up $14,470 to $399,000 and the manic 6.0-litre turbo V12 SL65 AMG up $10,470 to $481,000.

All four variants in the SL stable now have tyre-pressure monitoring and the higher quality Harmon Kardon 14-speaker sound system with DAB radio as standard. Power gets to the rear wheels via a seven speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel gear-shift paddles.

Customers wanting to add an extra level of luxury and exclusivity to their SL400 or SL500 can opt for the freshly introduced $9500 Designo package which adds up to $12,735 of equipment.

To maintain exclusivity, the customisation pack is limited to the first 30 customers and brings a choice of interior colour and trim styles to dress seats, dashboard, centre console, door trims and roof lining in high-quality materials with contrasting stitching.

The 2014 SL update also introduces two other new technologies to the Mercedes line-up with Magic Vision Control and Frontbass now standard across the SL range.

Magic Vision Control incorporates an array of water jets into the blade of each windscreen wiper and sprays a jet of water directly onto the glass ahead of the wiper, avoiding the momentary obscuring of vision experienced with normal washer jets.

The system alters which side the washer jet comes from depending on the direction of wiper travel, ensuring water is only on the screen for a minimal amount of time.

Frontbass is an entertainment system addition which locates a low frequency speaker in each footwell and uses the structural voids of the vehicle to amplify bass.

All of the standard kit from outgoing SL350 is carried over to the new SL400 variant including Airscarf neck warmers, digital TV, a 10GB hard-drive, full leather sports interior with seat memory, keyless entry and start, multi-device connectivity, rain-sensing wipers and 7.0-inch colour monitor.

Safety and driver assistance systems are equally well catered for in the entry level variant with six airbags, pedestrian-cushioning active bonnet, parking assistance with sensors all-round, hill-hold assist, auto-dimming mirrors, pop-up roll-over bars, blind-spot and lane-departure warnings/assistance, automatic headlights, reverse camera and 'run-flat' tyres as standard.

On the outside the newly introduced SL400 has 18-inch wheels, active bi-Xenon headlights, metallic paint, folding mirrors and of course the model-defining black-glass Vario folding hard-top.

Moving up to the SL500 version adds burr walnut and Nappa leather to the interior, including the steering wheel, and pumps up the alloy wheel diameter by one inch to 19-inches.

AMG versions of the SL have unique interiors with 'sports bucket' seats, AMG multifunction display incorporating Racetimer, with AMG branded touches throughout the cabin including carbon-fibre trims.

Exterior styling also gets the AMG treatment with darkened lights, fatter bodykits with extra vents and spoilers, sports exhaust and AMG 19-inch wheels.

Driver focused additions are in the form of switchable drive modes to alter transmission, suspension and engine behaviour, while AMG V8 bi-turbo badging rounds out the differences.

Halo V12 AMG variants get all of the lesser variant equipment but go the extra mile with panoramic roof glass, top-spec Bang and Olufsen sound system, high-performance braking system, heated wipers, more carbon-fibre body trims, exterior styling tweaks to set it apart from the V8 version and a unique twin-pair tailpipe sports exhaust system.

Mercedes-Benz SL-Class pricing*
SL400 (a)$229,000
SL500 (a)$312,000 (+4970)
SL63 AMG (a)$399,000 (+$14,470)
SL65 AMG (a)$481,000 (+$10,470)
*Excludes on-road costs

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