2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class: First Look

By Colin Bird  on December 14, 2011

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/29/-1198814856-1425510265429.

  • Competes with: BMW 6 Series
  • Looks like: A more mature SLK-Class 
  • Drivetrain: 429-hp, 4.6-liter V-8; seven-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Spring 2012

Mercedes-Benz has updated most of its vehicle lineup with more fuel-efficient models in a relatively short amount of time, including the 2012 C-Class, M-Class and SLK-Class. The latest model to receive some efficiency gains is the totally redesigned 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class.

Important takeaways include a body almost exclusively made out of aluminum and a new powertrain. 

The new lightweight aluminum body and aluminum steering knuckles and suspension arms, along with other weight-saving measures, shave off 275 pounds compared with the SL’s predecessor. 

The weight reduction helps with fuel efficiency, and so does the new 429-horsepower, 4.6-liter V-8, which replaces the 5.5-liter V-8 on the SL550. The new motor offers a 12% improvement in horsepower and 32% more torque, now rated at 516 pounds-feet. The engine features a standard start-stop function and is mated to a seven-speed automatic transmission. The new juice allows the SL550 to propel from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

The new model ditches the L-shaped headlights, which were more common on previous Benz products, with standard bi-xenon headlamps with articulating lenses. Compared with its predecessor, the new SL is longer (1.97 inches) and wider (2.24 inches), giving it a more sporty look out front.  

Two hardtop convertible roofs are available. Like what’s available on the SLK, there’s a hardtop glass roof or one that features Magic Sky Control, which can change the tint of the glass panel from opaque to transparent with the press of a button.

The extra space adds shoulder room and elbow room, Mercedes says. The overall interior design is reminiscent of what we’ve seen in the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class, featuring large metallic radial air vents. The SL550 features a standard 7-inch color display and Mercedes’ Comand multimedia system, which can access the internet and play DVDs. 

All SLs now come standard with a drowsiness detection system, which monitors the attentiveness of the driver, and an adaptive braking system. Also available is Mercedes' Pre-Safe technology, which can autonomously stop the car. It's similar to Volvo’s City Safe system. A self-parking system is available, too.

The 2013 SL550 goes on sale in the spring. Mercedes hasn’t announced pricing or the availability of a SL63 AMG model for that matter, but expect a starting price north of $100,000. The model will debut at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show. 

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/57/1108142553-1425510953057.

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/14/903045331-1425510953014.

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/19/-1997143416-1425510949919.

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/83/-568823126-1425510961283.

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/11/1951020737-1425510951711.

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/87/672550594-1425510952087.

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/17/345648692-1425510952517.

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/73/1290629142-1425510962973.

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/99/-405242246-1425510952299.

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/15/-1129833156-1425510950415.

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/10/-1676644352-1425510963210.

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/40/-950369940-1425510961140.

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/76/-163025612-1425510961776.

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/14/-875604477-1425510951314.

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/55/1881260393-1425510954155.

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/64/-1085422765-1425510962864.

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/34/-1587489610-1425510959334.

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/32/-1698100964-1425510961632.

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/89/1181992675-1425510960089.

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/18/1278901883-1425510962018.

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/66/1211332984-1425510960366.

https://www.cstatic-images.com/stock/765x765/68/1740326227-1425510953768.

Mercedes-Benz 2012 2012 Detroit Auto Show Auto Show Detroit Detroit Auto Show Luxury Vehicles