Image credits: © Mercedes-Benz.

2019 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

The Mercedes-Benz SL: An Automotive Icon

2019 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
First introduced more than 60 years ago, the Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster remains an icon and benchmark in its segment. Since its redesign for 2016, the SL boasts significantly enhanced technical and visual features: more powerful engines, a 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission, DYNAMIC SELECT with five transmission modes and Active Body Control with curve tilting function all take the legend to a new dynamic level. The high suitability for everyday use has been enhanced with the vario-roof, which can now be operated at up to 25 mph, and the automatic trunk separator that allows for increased everyday practicality.

The recently redesigned model range includes the SL450 with a V6 engine uprated to 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,200 rpm as well as the SL550 with the powerful 449 hp V8 engine. Power transfer is handled by the new 9G-TRONIC nine- speed automatic transmission. (posted on With DYNAMIC SELECT the vehicle characteristics can be adjusted in seconds at the touch of a button, with the system modifying the setup of the engine, transmission, suspension and steering at the driver's command. Additional variants include the two Mercedes-AMG models in the guise of the SL63 and SL65, the latter with a V12 engine.

New for 2018For 2018, the SL450 is equipped as standard with a rearview camera. Mirror logo lamps and an AMG Sport Steering Wheel in Leather/DINAMICA are now standard- equipped across the model line with seatbelts optionally available in silver or red.

Exterior design: appearance for the athletic aesthete

2019 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
The Mercedes-Benz SL has always been athletic and aesthetic at the same time. A particularly eye-catching feature is the revised front end of the redesigned SL. Its inspiration came from the legendary 300 SL Panamericana racing car with its steeply raked radiator grille.
The sculpted shape of the radiator grille harmonizes perfectly with the now standard AMG body styling with the front apron in an A-wing design, which features a front splitter in the vehicle color. Two powerdomes on the hood invoke the sporting heritage of the SL, while light-catching contours give additional structure to the hood.

Also adding to the unmistakable appearance of the redesigned SL is the standard- fit LED Intelligent Light System with headlamp housing extending far to the outside and torch-shaped unit comprising the daytime running lamp/position lamp and direction indicator. The edge area and other design components of the headlamp housing are retained in black - conveying a high-level of perceived quality and an effective sense of depth.

The side view of the SL reveals iconic sports car proportions, characterized by the long hood, the AMG side sill panels, the broad wheelbase and passenger compartment positioned towards the rear. Fine details create additional highlights. These include enlarged cosmetic air outlets with wing-like chrome inserts in the dynamic, broad vehicle wings.

With the roof down the SL shows off its attractive roadster contours with short, steeply angled A-pillars and frameless side windows. There is nothing to disrupt the clear lines: all aerials, as well as the roll-over bar, are fully integrated and thus not visible, while the electric wind deflector can be extended and retracted at the push of a button.

The rear of the SL suggests the high driving dynamics of the vehicle. The basis for this is the sense of width created by the large track gauge, accentuated by the AMG rear apron with side air intakes. The lower section of the diffuser incorporates the integral tailpipe trim elements as well as the centrally arranged rear fog lamp and reversing light. The broad, one-piece taillamps are entirely colored in red and pick up the flowing lines of the vehicle sides and carry them into the rear. As is typical of the brand, they feature a horizontal design with the wedge-shaped direction indicator at the top and the tail lamp and also on the brake lamp below.

Interior design: sports car atmosphere in comfortable surroundings

Minimal gap dimensions and fully padded beltlines are just two examples of the top-class standards which the SL also embodies in the refined interior. The ambient lighting with three selectable colors (solar red, polar blue, polar white) ensures an emotional lighting mood. The upper part of the dashboard forms a unit with the door beltlines, and four round air vents create sporty highlights.

The three-spoke sports steering wheel has a magnesium structure and features an ergonomic grip area and a high-quality finish. The airbag module is finished in Nappa leather with topstitching. Twelve control buttons provide access to the menu navigation in the instrument cluster as well as the audio system, telephone and voice entry. The steering wheel rim has a flattened bottom section, and silver- colored steering wheel shift paddles enable manual gear changes to be made.

The instrument cluster with a 2-tube look for displaying speed and rpm combines classic circular instruments with modern display technology. Dials and pointers have a sporty design. Thoughtfully designed details such as the analogue clock adorn the center console. Its new graphic design is based on the instrument cluster

Comfort appointments: convenient operation of the vario-roof

2019 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
SL fans also appreciate the sports car icon for 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 must move due to the traffic conditions, the process which was started when at a standstill can be continued up to a speed of approximately 25 mph.

An automatic trunk separator increases trunk capacity by automatically moving down when the top is opened. Conversely, the automatic trunk separator returns to the upper position, also by means of electric operation, as soon as the trunk flap is opened.

A further practical detail in the trunk is the loading setting - the roof stowed in the trunk can move upwards by approximately 25 degrees at the press of a button. The standard KEYLESS-GO® includes remote closing of the trunk lid as well as HANDS- FREE ACCESS. With this, the lid opens or closes automatically after making a kicking motion with the foot beneath the rear bumper. The automatic trunk separator additionally moves into the upper position when opening the lid to provide clear access to the loading aperture. Another feature which has been retained is the unique optional extra MAGIC SKY CONTROL®: when closed, the panoramic vario-roof automatically changes from dark to transparent or vice-versa within just a few seconds.

Even more choice: Curve function on the ABC suspension for the first time

2019 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
The steel suspension of the standard chassis features continuously variable dampers. 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 Sport+ mode.
Alternatively there is another option available in the guise of Active Body Control (ABC) with curve tilting function. 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 plunger cylinders (via oil pressure), therefore making torsion-bar stabilizers on the front and rear axle, which can reduce comfort, unnecessary. The dampers only have to eliminate wheel vibrations and can be set up in 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 0.51inches for more favorable aerodynamics. Conversely, at the press of a button it is possible to raise the vehicle by 1.97 inches 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 nine to 112 mph. It can be set via DYNAMIC SELECT ('Curve'), noticeably reducing the effects of lateral acceleration on the vehicle occupants.

Lighter and stiffer: elaborate all-aluminum 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 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-aluminum 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 aluminum bodyshell weighs around 220 lbs. less than if it had been produced using steel technology. The aluminum structure is not only lighter, but also superior in terms of rigidity, safety and comfort.

Tradition: a dream sports car for more than 60 year
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 latest nomenclature. For more than 60 years now, the Mercedes-Benz model range with the 'SL' acronym has enthralled sports car fans around the world.

This legend has its roots in the world of motorsport: in 1952 the 300 SL racing sports car (W 194, the abbreviation stands for 'Super-Light'), with its successes in international competitions, became the spark for the development of two exciting series-production sports cars in the guise of the gullwing coupe and roadster. Their birth ultimately took place in New York: it was there, at the International Motor Sports Show in February 1954, that Mercedes-Benz presented not one but two now legendary SL models: the 300 SL gullwing Coupe (W 198 I) and the open-top 190 SL (W 121). Based on the legendary 'gullwing,' the open-top 300 SL Roadster (W 198 II) appeared on the market in 1957, and was built up to 1963 in parallel with the 190 SL model.

In 1963 the SL series W 113 appeared, referred to as the 'Pagoda SL' on account of the characteristic shape of its hardtop roof. This was followed in 1971 by the R 107 series which – also due to the long production period of 18 years – achieved the highest production volume of all SL series to date. In March 1989 Mercedes- Benz presented the R 129 series, which was characterized by numerous technical innovations such as the sensor-controlled roll-over bar and the integral seat. It opened up a new dimension of performance for the SL and was replaced in 2001, after a production period of twelve years, by the R 230 series. The SL now sported a steel folding top and with its pronounced sportiness. The current generation of the SL ultimately appeared in the spring of 2012 in the guise of the R 231 series, which combines the high performance level of its predecessor with maximum comfort and efficiency.

The Mercedes-AMG SL63 and SL65

High-performance roadsters are now even more attractive

The sporty and expressive AMG SL63 and SL65 high-performance roadsters continue to impress in MY2018. The front-end features a fresh design and the stylish light signature, highly comprehensive scope of standard equipment and appointments underscore the high-quality impression. The engines set the benchmark in the high-performance roadster segment: the handrafted AMG 5.5L V8 biturbo engine equipped on the SL63 generates an output of 577 hp and peak torque of 664 lb-ft. The SL65 is powered by a handcrafted 6.0L V12 biturbo engine rated at 621 hp and delivering 738 lb-ft of torque.

Outstanding performance, impressive driving characteristics and the expressive, stylishly honed design are hallmarks of the Mercedes-AMG SL63 and Mercedes- AMG SL65. The technical highlights include the AMG-developed sports suspension based on Active Body Control, the rear-axle differential lock which is now standard, the even more responsive AMG SPEEDSHIFT® MCT 7-speed transmission (SL63) and the five updated AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving programs.

Both roadsters offer more power and torque than their respective competitors in this segment. These engines result in high-caliber performance, as illustrated by figures for acceleration from zero to 60 mph in 4.0 and 3.9 seconds for the SL63 and SL65 respectively. The top speed is 186 mph (electronically limited).

The powerhouses incorporate numerous high-tech components for high power output combined with low fuel consumption: in addition to spray-guided Piezo direct fuel injection, further features include an all-aluminum crankcase, twin turbocharging, four valves per cylinder with camshaft adjustment and an air/water intercooler. The AMG sport exhaust system provides a striking engine sound with an individual character. Enlarged radiators in the front and special vents in the hood add an aggressive appearance for the AMG variants and feed the intercoolers with air to ensure the required heat balance for the engines.

Performance is also boosted by the sports suspension based on Active Body Control (ABC®), the AMG high-performance composite brake system (and optional AMG high performance composite ceramic braking system) and the redeveloped AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed sports transmission (AMG SL63) or AMG SPEEDSHIFT® PLÚS 7G-TRONIC (AMG SL65).

The intelligent lightweight design is also a major contributing factor to the high driving dynamics. On the SL models the light all-aluminum bodyshell provides the basis for high rigidity, safety and comfort combined with the lowest possible weight. The designers have used the even lighter material magnesium for the panel behind the tank. The trunk lid contributes to a further reduction in weight. The interior support consists of a light carbon-fiber composite material. The extremely rigid carbon-fiber component benefits from AMG's motorsport expertise and is bonded to the equally very light plastic outer shell. This results in weight savings of 11 pounds in comparison to a conventional trunk lid.

Sports suspension based on Active Body Control
The steering knuckles and spring links of the 4-link front axle and almost all the wheel control parts of the multi-link rear suspension are also produced in weight- optimized aluminum. The reduction in unsprung masses benefits not only agility, but also the response of the spring-damper elements.

Mercedes-AMG remains faithful to the Active Body Control® (ABC) active spring and damper system. For even greater agility and high cornering speeds, the AMG SL models have more negative camber all round and fully revised, substantially stiffer elastokinematics. At the touch of a button, the 1Performance suspension (optional for AMG SL63, standard on AMG SL65) offers an emphatically sporty characteristic with reduced roll angles and taut body damping at the touch of a button ('Sport') or a more comfort-oriented set-up for a high level of comfort on longer journeys ('Comfort').

In conjunction with the electromechanical speed-sensitive power steering, the AMG roadsters offer agile cornering and clear feedback to the driver when the car is approaching its critical limits. The steering features a constant and more direct ratio and variable power assistance which adapts according to the selected suspension set-up. The standard scope of equipment also includes a 3-stage ESP® traction control system with a 'SPORT Handling' mode for particularly ambitious drivers.

Even more responsive: AMG SPEEDSHIFT® MCT 7-speed transmission

The AMG SPEEDSHIFT® MCT 7-speed transmission on the AMG SL63 boasts tailor- made dynamics and high variability. Whether automatic or initiated by the driver using the steering wheel shift paddles, upshifts and downshifts are executed noticeably faster than on the previous model. Especially in 'Sport Plus' and in manual mode, the transmission response is now even more prompt. This enhanced spontaneity was made possible by optimizing the engine and transmission software. Furthermore, the aluminum shift paddles are now able to transmit the driver's commands to change gears even faster.

Optimum traction: rear-axle differential lock as standard
For improved traction and driving dynamics, the AMG SL63 and AMG SL65 are equipped with a mechanical rear-axle differential lock as standard. This reduces the slip on the inside wheel when cornering without any control intervention in the braking system, allowing the driver to accelerate out of corners earlier thanks to the improved traction offered by the differential. The car remains more stable when braking from high speeds, and the limited-slip differential also improves traction when accelerating fast from a standing start.

AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes
The five different driving programs 'Comfort,' 'Sport,' 'Sport Plus,' 'Individual' and 'RACE' provide the driver with a broad scope for influencing the characteristics of the SL63 and SL65. Numerous parameters can be modified, from throttle response to engine sound, enabling the utmost in individualization. In the 'Comfort' program the driver experiences a gentle transmission characteristic with comfortable and early gear changes. In 'C' mode the car always starts in second gear for a fluid start. In the other driving modes the engine and transmission demonstrate substantially greater agility, in addition to which gear changes are faster. On the SL63, an automatic double-declutching function when downshifting and the RACE START function also form part of the standard scope of the AMG SPEEDSHIFT® MCT 7-speed transmission. (posted on
Expressive and distinctive: the exterior design
The striking design emphasizes the two high-performance roadsters' self-assured character. The front section is markedly more expressive. It is characterized by the twin-blade radiator grille, which is now wider at the bottom. The A-wing front apron, the large cooling air intakes with flics as an additional means of guiding air flows and the front splitter emphasize the vehicle's width. The newly redesigned hood combines design and function in the guise of classic powerdomes and the vents which are required for technical reasons.

The bumper in a new diffuser look immediately catches the eye at the rear. All-red tail lights underscore the stylish character. The side skirts also feature a fresh design and incorporate different inserts according to the model concerned - in matte silver chrome on the SL63, while the SL65 is set apart by applications in high-gloss chrome. AMG Night Styling is optionally available for the first time, adding darkened trim elements around the body for a more sinister appearance. The AMG Exterior Carbon Fiber package has been extended to include inserts in the rear apron and in the side skirts.
Class materials, comprehensive scope of standard appointments: the interior
The lavishly appointed interior covers every wish: the standard scope includes sports seats in Nappa leather with optimized lateral support and model-specific upholstery layout, multicontour function and seat heating. The driver has a good grip on the AMG SL at all times with the 3-spoke Performance steering wheel in Nappa leather featuring a flattened bottom rim and silver-colored aluminum shift paddles. An AMG performance steering wheel is also offered with DINAMICA inserts for additional grip during performance driving. Carbon-fiber trim and the analogue clock in IWC design (exclusive to the AMG variants) highlight the high- performance roadster's special standing. Optional AMG carbon-grain aluminum trim, one of eight available trims, lends the open-top two-seaters an even more personal touch.

Source - Mercedes-Benz

Related Reading : Mercedes-Benz SL-Class History

Max Hoffman was responsible for the sporty two-seat Mercedes-Benz 190SL sports car. The S represented Sports while the L meant Light, or Sehr Leicht. With a curb weight of 2560 pounds, it was hardly light when compared with other vehicles in it class, some 500 through 1000 pounds less. It was however an excellent alternative to the higher-priced Mercedes-Benz 300SL. The gullwing-door 300SL was....
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