The new Mercedes-Benz SL: The legend – now even more dynamic

Mar 1, 2016
New appearance for an automotive icon: the extensively technically and visually optimised Mercedes-Benz SL will be on the streets from April 2016. More powerful engines, the 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission, DYNAMIC SELECT with five transmission modes and Active Body Control with the curve tilting function all take the legend to a new dynamic level. Its suitability for everyday use has been enhanced with the hard top, which can now be operated at up to 40 km/h when starting off, and the automatic boot separator. Visually the front end in particular has been made significantly sportier and includes a new bonnet, new bumpers and new headlamps.
The Mercedes-Benz SL is the top performer in a wide variety of disciplines: an elegant roadster for relaxed, comfortable cruising or a dynamic coupé for sporty trips on winding roads. Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales & Marketing: "Only the SL delivers such a unique blend of driving pleasure: a pure, sporty roadster feeling or relaxed, comfortable cruising. It's a dream car that fulfils its owner's wishes with technical perfection."
A particularly eye-catching feature of the new SL is the revised front: The unique diamond radiator grille extends downwards. Two powerdomes accentuate the long, drawn-out bonnet. Also adding to the unmistakable new appearance of the SL is the new standard-fit LED Intelligent Light System with headlamp housing extending far to the outside. The sporty silhouette is emphasised by the enlarged cosmetic air outlets with wing-like chrome inserts in the dynamic, broad vehicle wings and the exterior mirrors positioned on the beltline. "The sporty design of the new SL with its progressive front end and the aesthetic silhouette emphasise its unique character. Through its sensual purity, the car defines our top-class standards when it comes to modern luxury," says Gorden Wagener, Vice President Design Daimler AG.
The model range comprises the SL 400 with a V6 engine uprated to 270 kW (367 hp) and 500 Nm (additional 25 kW/35 hp and also 20 Nm) as well as the SL 500 with a powerful 335 kW (455 hp) V8 engine boasting a peak torque of 700 Nm.
As standard the power transfer is handled by the new 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic transmission. With DYNAMIC SELECT the vehicle characteristics can be adjusted in seconds at the touch of a button, as the system modifies the setup of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering at the driver's behest.
Additional variants include the two Mercedes-AMG models in the guise of the SL 63 and SL 65, the latter with a V12 engine.
The data at a glance:
SL 400
SL 500
SL 63
SL 65
Number of cylinders/arrangement
AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission
Displacement (cc)
Rated output (kW/hp at rpm)
270/367 at 5500-6000
335/455 at 5250
430/585 at 5500
463/630 at 4800-5400
Rated torque (Nm at rpm)
500 at 2000-4200
700 at 1800-3500
900 at 2250-3750
1000 at
Combined fuel consumption from (l/100 km)
10.1 - 9.8
Combined CO2 emissions from (g/km)
234 - 229
Efficiency class
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s)
Top speed (km/h)
Price from (euros)1
1 Recommended retail price in Germany incl. 19% VAT.
Intelligent Drive: Driving Assistance package Plus and LED Intelligent Light System
As standard the SL features Active Brake Assist, known as COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS in other model series. In addition to radar-based proximity warning and braking assistance by Adaptive Brake Assist, this Active Brake Assist system carries out autonomous braking to reduce the danger of rear-end collisions.
Optionally available for the SL is the Driving Assistance package Plus with stereo camera and in some cases new as well as improved functions. Features of the Driving Assistance package Plus at a glance:
  • Distance Pilot DISTRONIC with Steering Pilot: assists the driver with maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle in front and staying in the centre of the lane.
  • Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function: is able to warn the driver of impending crash situations, provide optimum support with emergency braking and if necessary also automatically apply the brakes itself.
  • Active Blind Spot Assist: is able to warn the driver when changing lanes, for example, and can contribute to averting an impending collision by means of one-sided brake actuation.
  • Active Lane Keeping Assist: can detect unintentional departure from the lane and intervene with corrective action.
  • PRE-SAFE® PLUS: if a rear-end collision appears imminent, the system can activate preventive measures to protect occupants.
The optional Parking Pilot can take the strain off the driver by helping them to search for a suitable parking space and making it easier to manoeuvre into and out of parking spaces with active steering intervention.
For optimum visibility on country roads and motorways, when cornering and on bends, the standard-fit LED Intelligent Light System automatically adapts to all light and driving conditions. The LED technology features low energy consumption, a long service life and a pleasant white light which approximates the daylight spectrum. The five functions of the LED Intelligent Light System include motorway mode, cornering light function, camera-based active light function, roundabout light function and also the enhanced fog light function. Anti-dazzle continuous high beam comes courtesy of the optional Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus. When high beam is switched on, this system always makes the optimum headlamp range available. The driver can concentrate on the traffic and does not have to continually switch between low beam and high beam.
Comfort appointments: more convenient operation of the vario-roof
SL fans also appreciate the sports car icon on account of its high suitability for everyday use. With the facelift Mercedes-Benz has improved the comfort appointments even further. These include operation of the electrohydraulic vario-roof. If when opening or closing the roof the vehicle has to move off due to the traffic conditions, the process which was started when at a standstill can be continued up to a speed of approx. 40 km/h.
Equally new is the exclusive automatic boot separator. If the separator is in the upper position for increased boot capacity, it automatically moves down when the top is opened. Conversely, the automatic boot separator returns to the upper position, also by means of electric operation, as soon as the boot lid is opened.
A further special feature comes in the guise of MAGIC VISION CONTROL, the intelligent and highly efficient wash/wipe system. In this system, the washer fluid is always delivered immediately in front of wipe lip, via the water feed line integrated into the blade – and it does this in both wiping directions. Optionally the wiper can be heated to prevent snow or ice from sticking in winter. Details like this underline the positioning of the Roadster Coupé as a comfortable sports car for all seasons.
Connectivity: Mercedes me connect featuring a host of functions
The new SL is intelligently networked and "always on". This is ensured thanks to the standard-fit communications module (on-board SIM card) which enables the use of Mercedes me connect services. The available Standard Services currently include Accident Recovery, Breakdown Management and Maintenance Management, as well as Telediagnostics, for example. Also available as standard is the Mercedes-Benz emergency call system.
If the Remote Online option is specified, navigation destinations, for example, can be sent to the vehicle from a computer or smartphone. Further remote and tracking services include Geofencing, Vehicle Tracker, Parked Vehicle Locator, Remote Door Locking and Unlocking, and Remote Retrieval of Vehicle Status.
With the Smartphone Integration package, compatible smartphones can be integrated into the vehicle via Apple® CarPlay® and used via voice-operated control for example. Safe and comfortable use on the road is always ensured.
The functionality of COMAND Online (optional extra on the SL 400) now includes Live Traffic Information, for example. This service uses real-time traffic data for dynamic route guidance with more accurate arrival times. Internet radio is standard for all SL models.
The atmosphere is like that of a concert hall, even when the roof is open, thanks to the Frontbass system, which had its world premiere in the SL in 2012. It takes up less installation space in the doors by making use of the aluminium cavities in front of the footwell as resonating chambers for the bass speakers.
More choice: curve tilting function for the ABC suspension for the first time
The steel suspension of the standard chassis features continuously variable dampers. In conjunction with the AMG Line equipment the suspension is lowered by 10 mm and fitted with harsher springs and torsion-bar stabilisers. The driver can leave the setting of the basic characteristics of the suspension to the control electronics via DYNAMIC SELECT – from comfortable to extremely sporty in the third Sport Plus mode.
Alternatively there is another option available in the guise of Active Body Control (ABC) with curve tilting function (not for AMG versions). ABC reduces body movements when moving off, braking and cornering. The spring struts of the ABC suspension are adjusted to the respective driving conditions via so-called plunger cylinders (by oil pressure), therefore making torsion-bar stabilisers on the front and rear axle, which can hamper comfort, unnecessary. The dampers only have to eliminate wheel vibrations and can be set up in a such a way as to ensure comfort without losing any of the sportiness. In addition, the vehicle level can be adjusted to any unevenness: At higher speeds the SL is automatically lowered by 13 mm for more favourable aerodynamics. Conversely, at the touch of a button it is possible to raise the vehicle by 50 mm for driving on rough roads.
On top of this there is the curve tilting function which applies a maximum of 2.65 degrees in the speed range from 15 to 180 km/h. It can be set via DYNAMIC SELECT ("Curve"), noticeably reducing the effects of lateral acceleration on the vehicle occupants. The DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes in conjunction with ABC suspension:
  • Curve (CV) increases ride comfort
  • Comfort (C) is the comfortable setting for long journeys or on rough roads
  • Sport (S) as a sporty setting enables a particularly dynamic driving style
  • Sport Plus (S+) is an extremely sporty setting - particularly suitable for flat road surfaces; tuning of the ESP® characteristics is likewise more sporty in this mode
  • Individual (I) allows individual adjustment of the various parameters to suit the driver's requirements
Elaborate all-aluminium bodyshell
The latest generation of the Mercedes-Benz SL takes the meaning of the well-known abbreviation "SL" – Super-Light – literally at its word. Systematic weight reduction is just as much a part of the outstanding design features of the new SL as it was for its namesake, the original SL from 1952 with its lightweight tubular frame. Here for the first time Mercedes-Benz has implemented an all-aluminium bodyshell as part of large-scale series production. Only relatively few components are made using other materials. High-strength steel tubes are integrated in the A-pillars to increase safety.
The aluminium bodyshell weighs around 110 kg less than if it had been produced using steel technology. The aluminium structure is not only lighter, but also superior in terms of rigidity, safety and comfort.
Tradition: a dream sports car for more than 60 years
The exceptional position occupied by the SL in the history of Mercedes-Benz is also evident from its very name: due to its iconic status, the SL has retained its tradition-rich model designation even after the introduction of the new nomenclature. For more than 60 years now, the Mercedes-Benz model range with the "SL" acronym has enthralled sports car fans around the world.
Mercedes-AMG SL 63, diamond white: fuel consumption combined: 10.1 – 9.8 l /100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 234 – 229 g/km
Mercedes-AMG SL 63, diamond white: fuel consumption combined: 10.1 – 9.8 l /100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 234 – 229 g/km
Mercedes-AMG SL 63, diamond white: fuel consumption combined: 10.1 – 9.8 l /100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 234 – 229 g/km