Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is an innovative and high-end luxury car. It may not rank among the most exciting sports cars to drive, especially when compared to other more exotic models, but many fall in love with it.

More on the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Origins

Mercedes-Benz has a reputation for producing elegant performance cars, and the SL-Class makes no exception. In fact, it may be one of the best vehicles Mercedes-Benz produces. Mercedes owners know to expect numerous safety features and unbeatable luxury. Even though the SL-Class isn't the most nimble of sports cars, it is one of the most refined.

The SL-Class model has been around for a considerable number of years, but earlier editions have much less aggressive styles. Over the years, the steering and suspension have been altered considerably to give a more precise driving experience. Major advantages of this luxury roadster include its fully integrated retractable hardtop, which can be raised or lowered at just a touch of button. It gives all the fun of driving a roadster, combined with all the security of owning a coupe.

About the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

Throughout nearly 18 years of production, Mercedes-Benz has implemented regular updates, with the latest electronics and more powerful engines joining later models. The car proves very comfortable, and even taller drivers will find plenty of legroom. With the hardtop raised, it even offers a decent amount of storage space, but this shrinks considerably with the roof down. Models with the glass roof give a wonderful, open feeling, and an optional feature darkens the glass panel at the touch of a switch.

Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Features

The SL-Class has been completely revamped for 2013, and is bigger and more rigid than before, offering even more luxury and a greater range of safety features. Despite its larger size, the car weighs less than previous models due to Mercedes’ use of aluminum. The extra space provides more shoulder and elbow room. The interior features genuine wood and metal trim, as well as standard leather.

This year's lineup has three different models, including the SL 550. This model contains a 4.7-liter, twin turbo, V-8 engine and employs rear drive with a seven-speed automatic transmission. Optional features include heated seats, a navigation system, Mercedes’ innovative neck-warming system, ventilated seats, and just about every conceivable luxury you could ever imagine. Mercedes has included another optional feature that allows specially heated wiper blades to spray fluid directly into their own path, enabling the windows to be cleaned even with the top down. Another very useful option includes Active Parking Assist, which maneuvers the car into a parking space automatically.

Most of these items come on the high-performance AMG models, which benefit from brake upgrades and steering and suspension upgrades. The SL63 contains a 5.5-liter, twin turbo, V-8, producing 557 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. Choosing the optional AMG package makes it even more powerful. The SL65 AMG uses a six-liter, twin turbo, V-12, capable of producing 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque.

Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Evolution

From 1990 to 2002, Mercedes-Benz offered a choice of three engines with six, eight, or 12 cylinders. The six-cylinder engines pair with a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic, while the eight- and 12-cylinder versions initially only came with a four-speed automatic, but later upgraded to a five-speed unit in 1996. Although decent enough to drive, the performance of these versions sometimes disappoints due to a lack of precision steering. The brakes sometimes feel squishy as well.

In 2003, the SL-Class came in just the SL500 model, but the SL55AMG joined it later in the year. This model has a supercharged, V-8 engine, capable of producing 493 hp, and it has AMG specific suspension, styling, steering, and brakes. The following year, in 2004, the V-12 powered SL600 made its entrance, and the SL500 became available as a seven-speed automatic.

In 2005, the SL65 AMG debuted, remaining in production until 2011. It uses a six-liter, twin-turbo, V-12 engine that produces 604 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque. Both Mercedes-Benz V-12 engines come with a five-speed automatic, as it better deals with the huge amount of torque.

In 2007, the SL550 replaced the SL500. It has a 5.5-liter, V-8 engine. In 2009, the SL55 moved aside for the SL63. The SL65 AMG Black Series only saw production for this single year. In 2010, Mercedes discontinued the SL600.

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