2013 MERCEDES BENZ SL | December 31, 2011

Mercedes-Benz’s next SL update continues a model run that started in 1954. The first generation of the SL included the 300SL Gullwing, one of the most collectible Mercedes-Benz cars. For 2013 the sleek curves of the past have been replaced with boxier, more aggressive lines and a longer overall profile. While the basic concept of the SL will remain unchanged, there will be a lot of updates under the skin. Most important, the awesome 6.0-liter and a twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-12 engines will get the bullet, and the naturally aspirated, 6.2-liter AMG V-8 will be gone as well.

The AMG version of the next SL will instead be powered by a turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8 which will likely produce 563 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, says Henner Lehne, analyst at CSM Worldwide in Frankfurt, Germany. Lehne expects Mercedes Benz to downsize the engine portfolio, with the three non AMG versions that will be powered by V-6 engines. Two naturally aspirated engines will make 241 hp and 311 hp, while a turbocharged V-6 is expected to turn out 382 hp—as much as the current SL550’s 5.5-liter V-8. Mercedes is working on engine stop/start systems as well, but a full hybrid is far off, if it comes at all. Under the skin, the next SL will share many components with the E-class; outside, the look will remain similar to the current model. For a while, Mercedes-Benz toyed with the idea of returning to a conventional softtop, somewhat more appropriate for a vehicle that is rarely used as a year-round daily driver outside of temperate climes. But in the end, Mercedes decided to keep the retractable hardtop, which has become somewhat of an SL trademark.


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