• Jul 19th 2007 at 5:02PM
  • 15
In late June we showed you spy shots of the Mercedes-Benz SCL, what we believe will be Mercedes' answer to the Audi R8. It seems that the new Merc will be armed with a new weapon when it enters the fight - a lower curb weight.

Just Auto is reporting that Mercedes has plans to build the SL model out of aluminum, much like Aston Martin, Audi, Jaguar and Rolls-Royce have done with some of their models. Expected to use an aluminum spaceframe and body panels, the new SL should be at least 10 - 15% lighter than the current model, the weight of which ranges from 3,860 lbs. to 4,500 lbs. depending on what model and options are chosen.

Not wanting an interruption in SL production when the new aluminum structure is phased in, Mercedes is planning the super coupe SLC as a car that will use the spaceframe but be produced only in limited numbers. The idea is to make sure all the kinks are ironed out of the new production process before it's applied to the higher volume SL. Expect only about 3,000 to 4,000 SLC coupes to be produced, and you'll be able to pick one up around 2010, two years before the new all-aluminum SL debuts.

The SLC, however, will not share a body panel with the SL, which means it could even be the retro "gull-wing" coupe at which insiders have been hinting. We're also not sure if Mercedes will even continue to produce the SLC after the new SL arrives in 2012. At this point, there remains more questions than answers.

[Source: Just Auto - sub. req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      al-loo-mini-um? shouldn't it be al-yoo-?
        • 8 Years Ago
        Not "EVERY" part of the world except the US calls it Aluminium.

        Sheesh, the Brits thing the entire world is just the remnants of their empire.
        • 8 Years Ago
        "Sheesh, the Brits thing the entire world is just the remnants of their empire."

        And the truth would be...?
        • 8 Years Ago

        (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
        • 8 Years Ago
        Not if you're british. Or in any part of the world besides the US. And I think that's what they were going for... just nitpicking. And I guess you are too.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm skeptical.

      Aluminum is VERY expensive right now, and as the A8 shows, it's quite possible that once you get done beefing up the members to cover the loss in strength, you don't lose enough weight to make a big difference.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Oh please, Mercedes can barely challenge Hyundai these days, let alone Audi. Their look hasn't been updated in a decade and their reliability record makes VW look half-way decent.

      Is there really that many poseurs left in the US for them to sell to?
        • 8 Years Ago
        Oh..and poseurs? No, I just like the good crash tests and fuel economy.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Maybe I misread, or am just out of it, but did they say that they are waiting for a new SL until 2012? I dont love mercedes, but I hate to see good looking cars live to be to old (ie SC430). Please someone shed a light on this.
        • 8 Years Ago
        sc430 is the uglies turd to ever slide down the proverbial leg of a luxury automaker. one word perfectly describes everything about that car, awful. if anything, age has dulled the urge to gouge out my eyes.

        anyhoo, it is sad to see a car outlive its welcome but as long as it is making money you cant really expect a company to kill it off. even though sometimes they should. the damage to the brand has to be factored in as well.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Since the direct source for this blog is not available to non-members, I cannot verify Neff's claim (see "the new SL arrives in 2012;" "2010, two years before the new all-aluminum SL debuts."), but, generally speaking, I would not be TOO surprised. The previous SL (Mercedes-Benz R129) was sold for 12 years (from 1989 through 2001 starting with the 300SL and ending with the SL55 AMG). The SL before that (Mercedes-Benz R107) was produced for 18 years (from 1971 through 1989 starting with 350 SL and ending with the 560SL ). In comparison, the current SL (Mercedes-Benz R230) began production in 2001. Thus, if the new SL comes out in 2012, that would be "only" an 11 year gap, less time than the the previous two models. Mercedes, of course, will do some minor face lifts, different options and packages, and different engines in between.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Good move by Mercedes, but given (1) Mercedes is supposed to be top dawg of the premium mass production automobiles; (2) they charge a premium (even over Audi and Jaguar aluminum models); and (3) tend to be very heavy, it is surprising they did not do this earlier.

      10-15% weight reduction is going improve everything from braking, acceleration, and handling to gas mileage.

      I wonder of much, if any, this will increase the price of its cars.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The Mercedes SL550 hits the scales at more than 4,200 lbs. The SL65 AMG comes in at 4,600. Whatever happened to German precision engineering? The Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS and BMW 3.0 CSL, the iconic German motor cars of the 1970s, were quick and light. Now, the 911 is bigger and heavier than a Chevy Corvette, a BMW 335i is about the size of a '60s muscle car, and a Mercedes makes a Ford pickup look like a feather.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It's Aluminium, you claim to speak English and then do nothing but butcher the language :)
        • 8 Years Ago
        Sir Humphrey Davy (an Englishman) invented the name "alumium" for the metal. However, in common usage the name evolved into "aluminum" to match the naming convention of other elements. In 1925 the United States decided to switch back to the original spelling and pronunciation of the word, at which point we dominated the aluminum industry.
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