New Mercedes SL-Class Review
The first Mercedes SL model was launched way back in the fifties and proved to be the first model that sold in volume outside of its own home market. The Mercedes SL 300 with its gull wing doors and direct fuel injection has been widely credited with changing the face of Mercedes in the US market from a builder of solid, conservative vehicles into a luxury sports car manufacturer.
Fifty years further down the line and the SL Class may have developed into a coupe cabriolet, but it nonetheless remains firmly at the top of the Mercedes range. Stunning good looks and performance to match have ensured the Mercedes SL is just as much of a draw today as it ever was.
2006 has seen the latest revision to the SL Class, slight changes have been made to the bodywork, although you would probably need to compare the two models against each other to spot the differences, new intakes and a new bumper accentuate the bonnets V shape, whilst chrome rimmed spotlights and chrome headlights give the SL a wider look. Larger alloys, a three louvered grille and new rear light clusters complete the exterior makeover. Subtle changes have also been made to the interior, softer leather for the upholstery, a new instrument cowl with new gauges and controls, a new range of interior colours and a greater use of aluminium trims embossed with the Mercedes logo completes the interior redesign.
Changes have also been made under the skin of the SL Class, all models have a new exhaust system and the SL 350 and SL 500 now make use of the Mercedes 7G-Tronic 7-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shift as standard. The Mercedes active body control system has also been tweaked, improvements in the body movement of up to sixty percent have been achieved over previous models and this system is now standard on the SL 500 and SL 600.
Changing the SL range from coupe to cabriolet could not be easier, flick the switch and the roof effortlessly retracts into the boot in around sixteen seconds, allowing you to make the most of the good old British weather.
Now to the performance, all SL Class models have an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph, it just depends how quickly you want to get there, the slowest (if that is the right term) is the SL 350, powered by a 272 bhp, 3.5 litre V6, the SL 350 arrives at 62 mph from a standing start in 6.6 seconds. If that's not quick enough for you and you can get permission from your local constabulary, the SL 65 AMG powered by a 612 bhp, 6 litre V12, will launch you from 0 - 62 mph in just 4.2 seconds. Seriously quick. Other models take from between 4.5 and 5.4 seconds to reach the 62 mph mark.
Standard specification for the Mercedes SL Class runs to a very long list, therefore a visit to the Mercedes website www.mercedes.co.uk is well worth a visit when you are trying to work out your options.
If you are prepared to wait (inevitably with a car as popular as this there is always a waiting list) you could be showing the neighbours what a perceptive (and affluent) driver you really are.
Like the looks of the Mercedes SL Class Roadster why not check out the BMW 6 Series, the Jaguar XK8, the Audi S4 or the Lexus SC 430.
Finance your new Mercedes SL-Class on a PCP car loan work out your monthly payments using our Car Finance Payment Calculator.