2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class to debut at Detroit Auto Show

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A 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL550.

Trim on the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class will resemble that of the SL550 (pictured). (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/BrokenSphere/Wikipedia)

Exciting revelations from Mercedes-Benz are expected at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, reports Automobile Magazine. The latest generation of an iconic roadster, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, will make its debut. Reports indicate that the German automaker has raised the bar for its legendary flagship vehicle.

The next step in Mercedes-Benz style evolution

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, which will feature trim similar to that of the automaker’s SL550 model, has been called “an evolutionary step” from the R230 SL in terms of design, particularly the rear end with its triangular lights. This time around, however, the new SL-Class will have rear LED lighting.

The new Benz’s profile will also resemble that of the R230 SL, with a long hood. A blunt, upright grille and larger bi-xenon headlights with fiber-optic accent bars depart from previous stylings, being perhaps similar to the front end of the SLS AMG.

The true SL equation

In terms of substance, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class defines the “SL” name accurately, in that it is both sporty and lightweight, with nearly all-aluminum construction. Exceptional body strength has been achieved through a technique called friction stir welding, which senior Motor Trend writer Jonny Lieberman describes as “laying two pieces of metal next to or on top of each other and going at them with a tool spinning so fast it melts the alloy, joining the pieces together.”

Compared with the SL550, the aluminum body of the 2013 SL-Class saves 275 pounds in weight while improving upon structural integrity. Estimated curb weight for Mercedes-Benz’s new roadster is just more than 3,900 pounds.

Big power under the hood

The power plant of the new SL-Class is a gigantic 4.6-liter, direct-injected, twin-turbo V8 that is rated at 429 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. That’s a significant boost over the previous SL550 model, which itself was no slouch at 382 hp and 391 lb-ft.

Conservatively, the new SL-Class will move from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. All the while, Agility Control Suspension keeps the new Benz remarkably agile. And despite the power involved, reports indicate that fuel economy will be impressive, in no small part due to a revised seven-speed transmission and ECO start/stop technology.

Interior technology galore

Cross-hair HVAC vents, a gear-shift knob, metallic gauges and rich wood and leather interior surfaces make the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class a car to behold. A retractable magnesium-alloy top also gives drivers the open-air option. FrontBass stereo speakers will give off rich bass, while Pre-Safe technology will provide drivers with the safest ride possible.

Expect the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class to hit U.S. showrooms in the spring of 2012.

The new Mercedes SL testing on the Nürburgring



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