Mercedes-Benz’s popular SL roadster is very much a world-renown automobile. However, the brand hasn’t really lived up to the true meaning of the nomenclature for the last several decades, which stands for Sport Leicht, or Sport Light in German. Instead, the SL has become more of a heavyweight boulevard cruiser.
Now though, Mercedes-Benz is reportedly hard at work to make the next generation SL-Class quite a bit lighter. And of course, being one of the most innovative brands in automotive history, the new SL is said to be packed with lots of new technology.
The current SL550 weighs in at a pretty hefty 4,233 lbs, probably because it’s carved out of a solid block of granite. And of course, it’s folding hard-top doesn’t make things easier. The next generation SL though is said to weigh about 275lbs less than the current model, which is slowly on its way out. This can be attributed to Mercedes’ extensive use of aluminum throughout the new SL’s chassis.
However, Mercedes also reported that the lighter weight doesn’t ruin the stiffness of the SL’s structure, but rather makes it stronger thanks to several new advanced bonding techniques and “bionic” elements inspired by structures found in nature. As a result, Mercedes says that torsional rigidty is improved by more the 20%.
As for some of the new kit, the new SL is said to be capable of holding its doors open at any position. Additionally, a new windshield wiper system that goes by an unnecessarily unusual name of Magic Vision Control will debut on the new SL. Apparently, this new Magic Vision Control monitors ambient temperatures, the SL’s speed and even the season of the year to calculate the optimal amount of washer fluid to be sprayed on the windscreen…mmm interesting.
The audio system is also said to be vastly improved, especially with the top down and the choices include two upgradable options: a 600-watt Harman Kardon Logic7 surround system or a new top-of-the-line 940-watt Bang & Olufsen system.
Additional details such as the powertrains have yet to be released, but we could expect this information to pop up as we get closer to the predicted launch date of the 2013 SL-Class.
- By: Chris Chin