Next Mercedes-Benz SL Gets Soft Top, New Design and Architecture

By | April 04, 2014
Big changes are coming for the next Mercedes-Benz SL and SLK, according a new report from Automobile. Both cars are set to adopt a leaner, meaner body while the SL also receives a brand new soft top. The SL will shed 330 pounds of weight, which will likely be the result of a new aluminum body with carbon fiber accents. While the SLK will stay with its steel body, it is still expected to drop 220 pounds through the use of lighter body panels. Meanwhile, expect some aggressive new design elements such as a big mouth grille, fierce headlamps, and large air vents. Surprisingly, the SL will ditch the hardtop for a soft top. While the reasons for this change are unclear, a Mercedes board member explained that it is partially an effort to differentiate it from the new SLK, which retains the hardtop in the next-gen.
Two-seater roadsters are a very small part of the auto market, and Mercedes-Benz is eager to reduce production costs and save money. For the next generation, the SL and SLK cars will share the same architecture, called MSA or Modular Sports Car Architecture. The two cars will be more closely linked than before, considering previous SLs are E-Class derivatives while SLKs are related to the C-Class. The current SL and SLK cars are relatively new, so don't expect the next-generation versions until about six more years. But the changes couldn't come any faster for the SLK, which has seen its sales drop off in recent years. Source: Automobile Magazine