Revisions to Mercedes-Benz's SL-Class retractable-hardtop roadster for 2007 include more engine power, slight changes to the exterior and interior styling, and chassis improvements. The 2007 SL-Class hits U.S. dealerships in the spring of 2006.
The SL-Class' modest exterior styling updates include a modified grille, chrome-rimmed fog lights and new taillamps. The car's retractable hardtop — one of its signature elements — remains, and can transform the car from coupe to roadster in 16 seconds.
Mercedes-Benz claims the SL-Class' Active Body Control adaptive suspension is now better at controlling body motions, and the SL55 AMG and SL65 AMG performance variants feature new high-performance brakes.
Interior styling changes have been kept to a minimum. New color schemes are offered, and the SL-Class' two-person cockpit now uses softer leather upholstery. The fact that Mercedes-Benz highlights the car's metal door sills in the SL-Class press materials reveals just how little of substance has changed.
The SL55 AMG and SL65 AMG include new carbon-fiber trim, and the AMG steering wheel adds aluminum shift paddles.
Under the Hood
All of the SL-Class' available engines get more power for 2007, with the greatest increase of 86 horsepower coming in the base model, which now has a larger V-8 engine and gets a name change from SL500 to SL550. Powered by a 382-hp, 5.5-liter V-8 that drives the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission, the SL550 can accelerate from zero to 62 mph in a claimed 5.4 seconds, which represents a 0.8 second improvement compared to its predecessor.
Both the SL55 AMG's supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 and the SL600's twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-12 gain 17 hp for a total of 510 hp. These engines — along with the SL65 AMG's 604-hp, twin-turbo 6.0-liter V-12 — all drive a five-speed automatic transmission.
The SL-Class' safety features remain unchanged, and include standard all-disc antilock brakes, an electronic stability system, side-impact airbags, a driver's side knee airbag and active head restraints.
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