It's not every day that Mercedes-Benz comes out with a new SL. The roadster that anchors the top of the company's non-AMG production range tends to enjoy an unusually long lifecycle. The iconic first-generation Gullwing was on the market for ten years. The second-gen model lasted just eight years, but the third iteration was around for a whopping eighteen. The boxy fourth version was around for fourteen years, and the current model that replaced it has been on the market since 2003, with a facelift that came in 2008.

Fortunately, a new model is on its way and should put the MkV out to pasture after ten long years of service. Due sometime next year as a 2013 model, these are the clearest shots we've seen yet of what to expect.

Now stripped of all but a bare minimum of disguising, the 2013 SL looks a bit more svelte than the model it replaces, though that doesn't tell us if it'll be any lighter: the current two-seat folding hardtop convertible weights as much as some SUVs. The more upright front grille is both a nod to the SLS AMG and likely a measure to comply with pedestrian-impact regulations enacted in Europe.

It looks as though LEDs are lurking in the lower front intakes on either side, with what seems like it could house a side intake behind the front wheels. The test mule is draped in a new shade of copper we haven't seen before, and we suspect that those unflattering wheels are temporary. Take a gander yourself in our high-res gallery.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 57 Comments
      Sukairain
      • 3 Years Ago
      Liking the new rear end but the front end is a mess. The original R230 SL still looks the sharpest. (2003-2010) Base on the profile shot and the roof mechanism, this looks like another facelift rather than a whole new model. Honestly those dopey headlights are just horrid.
      joe shmoe
      • 3 Years Ago
      What's up with all the ugly headlights coming out of Germany ? first audi, then bmw, now merc
      Zach Mundy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Holy overhangs, Batman!
      sparrk
      • 3 Years Ago
      i like the colour. the rest is ugly.
        jgabs69
        • 3 Years Ago
        @sparrk
        hell yeah. What the hell is Mercedes' problem? That flat protruding grille from the SLS is just unattractive and simply doesn't work on the SLK and now this new SL. The grille on the current SL and the new C Class Coupe demonstrates how it should be done. And Im not buying that they had make the front end bulge like that to meet Euro Safety standards. Just look at the clean sleek front of the Audi A7 sedan. This new SL's styling cues are nothing more than an ugly design language.
      Krishan Mistry
      • 3 Years Ago
      I was disappointed by clicking the link and NOT seeing an SL prototype running from the police. But nice colour!
      AM2
      • 3 Years Ago
      "The iconic first-generation Gullwing was on the market for ten years." Actually no, the "gullwing" was produced for 3 years only. The 300SL Gullwing roadcar was produced from 1954-1957 The 300SL Roadster was produced from 1957-1963.
      hadji murad
      • 3 Years Ago
      this looks more like a convertible CL than a SL. not liking the headlights or side profile.
      Christopher
      • 3 Years Ago
      With the release of the SLS, the SL is irrelevant.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      redgpgtp97
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ew, used to be a fan of the SL, but recent redesigns have left a bad taste in my mouth and this one is the worst of all.
      Thunderbuck
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hmmm... Okay, I'll confess that the MB SL has always been a favorite lotto fantasy, though if I actually WON the lotto I'd probably just buy one for my wife. I like the overall look, but that front end looks a trifle awkward, mostly because of the headlights. I know that masking hides the parts that might actually look GOOD, but I worry...
      tONY
      • 3 Years Ago
      newer Mercedes are GARBAGE pure JUNK
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