The Mercedes-Benz SL has long been a favorite car of many people the world over. It started out as the iconic 300SL in 1954, complete with those cool gullwing or upward-opening doors. Since then, it has won the hearts of celebrities, as well as anyone who wants to travel around in style and comfort.
Six generations on and the "Sport Lightweight" (hence the SL moniker) now undergoes a mid-cycle facelift. But while other manufacturers would be content with a nip here and a tuck there, Mercedes-Benz does more than just skin-deep tweaks. In true Mercedes fashion, the 2016 SL receives an updated version of the SL400 variant. The 3.0-liter V6 now has an added 35hp and 20Nm, putting the engine ratings at 367hp at 5,500-6,000rpm and 500Nm from as low as 1,800rpm all the way to 4,000rpm. This lump is good for a quick 4.9-second 0-100kph sprint and a 250kph top speed.
A new 9G-Tronic automatic gearbox handles all the power. Drivers can now choose the behavior of the car via the Dynamic Select system that controls the suspension, the steering, the electronics and other stuff to best suit the driver’s input and overall style. One can toggle between Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus and Individual.
For those who want more "Sport" in their SL, they can opt for the more potent variants in the guise of either the SL500 (4.6-liter V8 with 455hp and 700Nm; 0-100kph in 4.3 seconds), the SL63 AMG (5.5-liter V8 with 585hp and 900Nm; 0-100kph in 4.1 seconds), or the insane SL65 AMG (6.0-liter V12 with 630hp and 1,000Nm; 0-100kph in 4.0 seconds flat).
While the SL is a car that can cruise comfortably all day or tackle the twisties without complaint, the fact remains that rap stars and anyone who is anyone buy this car for its mug. The latest facelift ups the ante even further with a new diamond grille that now extends all the way to the bumper. The headlights likewise get more visual flair with a new design. And who can miss those eye-catching side vents on the front fenders--something straight out of a high-performance machine? Moreover, one can choose to have the top either up or down within seconds thanks to the vario-roof mechanism. There are even new shades of Brilliant Blue and Designo Selenite Gray to choose from for the ultimate chic ride.
The updated Mercedes SL is a mix of old and new. The more traditional touches can be seen in stuff like the optional analog clock and, of course, the car’s overall design itself. The new ones come in the form of the latest safety and innovative tech included as standard or optional extras. One can order stuff like Distance Pilot, Active Brake Assist, Active Lane Keep, Active Blind Spot Assist, and Pre-Safe--all in addition to the standard Collision Assist, among other cool toys.
Deliveries of the 2016 Mercedes-Benz SL will begin globally in April of next year. This should give would-be buyers more than enough time to place their orders.