Place an order for a SL-Class roadster in North America and your choices come down to the SL550, the SL63 AMG (both with twin-turbo V8s) or the top-of-the-line SL65 AMG with a twin-turbo V12. But overseas buyers also have the option of a smaller engine, and soon American buyers will as well.

Until now that's been the SL350, packing a naturally-aspirated 3.5-liter V6 in Europe and other markets foreign to ours. But Mercedes is now replacing that model with the SL400, bringing the entire lineup into the turbocharged future.

The new SL400 packs the same 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 as the E400 available overseas (not to be confused with the E400 Hybrid), producing 328 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. That's still a good hundred horses and over 160 lb-ft less than the SL550, but comes in a good 26 hp and 81 lb-ft more than the naturally-aspirated V6 it replaces. As a result, the SL400 hits 62 miles per hour in 5.2 seconds – 0.7 secs quicker than the SL350 – and tops out at 155 mph.

In correspondence with Autoblog, Mercedes spokesman Christian Bokich confirmed that the new SL400 will arrive Stateside this fall, positioned below the SL550 as an additional option in the lineup. In the meantime you can scope out the full details of the European-spec model in the press release below.
Show full PR text
The new Mercedes-Benz SL 400: Start-up with new vigour
Apr 07, 2014

Stuttgart – The SL Roadster family from Mercedes-Benz is raring to go with a new engine. The SL 400 is now endowed with a six-cylinder biturbo drive system. Despite half a litre less displacement the output has risen by 20 kW (27 hp). Plus there are 110 newton metres more torque at its disposal. The price of the SL 400 starts from 97,282.50 euros (for the German market incl. 19% VAT).

As an automotive icon the Mercedes-Benz SL blends accomplished motoring at the highest level with exquisite style. Manufactured virtually completely from aluminium, the roadster also sets the standards in the category of luxurious roadsters with its numerous technical innovations. Not forgetting that the SL is entirely suitable for everyday use thanks to its retractable vario-roof. This makes it the all-rounder amongst sports cars.

In contrast to its predecessor, the SL 400 is not fitted with a naturally aspirated engine. Instead it boasts a six-cylinder unit with two turbochargers. Although its displacement has been reduced to three litres, the biturbo drive system develops a high full-load output potential with a charge pressure of 1.8 bar, and facilitates an extremely high torque of 480 newton metres at low engine speeds. It achieves 20 kW more than the SL 350. Its torque increases by 110 newton metres and is available in the engine speed range of 1600 to 4000 rpm. Plus the efficient six-cylinder meets the EU6 emissions standard.

SL 400 technical data
Displacement: 2996 cc
Bore x stroke: 88.0 x 82.1 mm
Output: 245 kW (333 hp) at 5250 to 6000 rpm
Torque: 480 Nm at 1600 to 4000 rpm
Fuel consumption: 7.3 l/100 km
CO2: 172 g/km
0-100 km/h: 5.2 s
Top speed: 250 km/h

Like all BlueDIRECT petrol engines the biturbo engine in the new SL 400 also works with a direct injection system with spray-guided combustion, which Mercedes-Benz was the first car manufacturer to offer in series production. The system pressure is up to 200 bar, the pressure being variably optimised according to the engine's mapping. Piezo injectors enable optimal mixture formation with up to five injections per power stroke. The third-generation direct injection is supplemented by rapid multi-spark ignition, MSI. How it works: Following the first spark discharge and a brief combustion period, the coil is recharged very rapidly and a further spark is discharged. The MSI system enables up to four sparks to be discharged in succession within one millisecond, creating a plasma with a larger spatial expansion than conventional ignition.

The rapid multi-spark ignition can be controlled to vary both the timing of the sparks and the combustion period to suit the relevant operating point. This provides scope for optimising the centre of combustion and improved residual gas compatibility. The result of this is excellent utilisation of the fuel with minimum emissions.

The SL 400 also offers two extraordinary innovations as standard: the unique Frontbass system developed by Mercedes-Benz transforms the luxury sports car into a concert hall, when the top is up and down, and the highly efficient MAGIC VISION CONTROL wipe/wash system takes water from the wiper blade to the windscreen as required and irrespective of the direction of wipe.


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  • 17 Comments
      cbxweb
      • 8 Months Ago
      Will they have an ad bragging now the car starts at $99,999?
      Jonathan
      • 8 Months Ago
      I like that they're bringing over a v6, but I just hate this new naming thing. "400" should be reserved for v8 Mercedes. The S class should be called the S450 (S460 sounds a bit too Lexus-y, but I wouldnt mind.), not the S550. Honestly, people do not care, 80% of Mercedes buyers buy the car because it's a status symbol. People had no problems when Mercedes went from the 450SEL to the 380SEL. Nor from the 560SEL to the 500SEL/S500. I just don't understand?
        Merc1
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Jonathan
        Mercedes has lost all sense of their used to be true naming convention. Those cars back in the day were true to their name most of the time, far more than they are now. The new S600 is true, a 6.0L V12, and the "350" cars are true, a 3.5L V6, and the SLK55 is true a 5.5L V8, but all the rest are just whatever sounds good. The previous S550 was true from 2007-2011, but when the new 4.7L V8 when it for 2012 they were not about to switch it to S500 which would have been close and yet sounded good. Americans like bigger numbers on the back of such cars like BMW, Mercedes, Lexus etc. "400" makes no sense at all, but the reasoning is that the new 3L turbo V6 makes the same power as a naturally aspirated 4L V8. Oh well. M
          manure
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Merc1
          Mercedes is telling us listen, you will not be getting V8 power trains in the future. We will call it 400 but it may be a 1.2 liter 3 cylinder with batteries, that goes 0-60 in 4 seconds. At the end of the day, their job is to sell a nice car that follows the law, not a certain engine technology from the 20th century.
      Merc1
      • 8 Months Ago
      WHAT. SHOCKER. There hasn't been a 6-cylinder SL since the R129 of the early 90's. M
      Where's the cheese?
      • 8 Months Ago
      I dunno how I feel about downgrading your flagship just to boost sales. It does make, arguably the most lauded Mercedes less exclusive. Still if more people can enjoy a good car, I can't really complain.
        Technoir
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Where's the cheese?
        Who does it makes it less exclusive?
        PatrickH
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Where's the cheese?
        How quickly you forget that Mercedes used to sell a 300SL here in the 90s.
      Lucky Stars
      • 8 Months Ago
      I am looking at the E350 coupe good looks, right size, and makes you feel special and can take 2 friends along and the dog!
      Feurig
      • 8 Months Ago
      I don't get the hate on the looks. I love these cars.
      Eggmania
      • 8 Months Ago
      i dont understand how a twin turbo v12 doesnt flip this little car over end on end while trying to accelerate
      jonnybimmer
      • 8 Months Ago
      Sounds like a good powertrain addition, but I think new looks would be more beneficial than a new motor.
      Corner49
      • 8 Months Ago
      Adding 2 turbos nets 26 hp?!
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