An interview with M-B's design boss Gorden Wagener
Mercedes Sl Class
Mercedes tends to keep its SL roadster around longer than most models. The previous fifth-generation machine was launched in 2001, underwent a facelift in 2009 and stuck around until 2012. That's when the current model was introduced, and before it's replaced, Benz is expected to roll out another facelifted version. And that seems to be exactly what we're looking at here.
Mercedes has plenty to be celebrating at the moment, having just won the Formula One World Championship in spectacular style – taking the constructors' title by a huge margin and the top two slots in the drivers' standings as well. It almost goes without saying that the German outfit would celebrate with a special edition, and that's just what we're looking at here.
As one of the premier luxury droptops from Mercedes-Benz, the SL-Class has never been an inexpensive proposition. But the German brand is making it a little bit more accessible for the 2015 model year with its new SL400. The new entry-level model has quietly shown up on Mercedes' consumer site, and pricing starts at $84,000, plus the usual $925 destination charge. While that's still a lot of money, it's a massive discount, ringing up at a whopping $22,900 less than the $107,825 SL550.
Planning to reduce its platform count to just four, Mercedes-Benz will put the next generation SL on the same Modular Sports Architecture (MSA) as the upcoming SLK. Right now they are the only two cars planned to use MSA, with the firm's other rear-wheel-drive cars going on the Modular Rear Architecture (MRA). That leaves the Modular Front and Modular High architectures for the rest of the lineup.
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.
The agonizingly slow courtship between Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz has been a regular topic of conversation ever since the 2009 Lagonda Concept debuted, riding on a Mercedes GL chassis. Beyond that one polarizing concept, though, nearly every other attempt to pair the two brands up in a major way has fallen through. Only the technical partnership between Mercedes and Aston for certain components from AMG, which was negotiated back in July, has held up so far.
We recently received the sad news that the Jaguar XK is ceasing production by the end of the year, but what better way to bid it farewell than with some big, smoky powerslides? The retirement of the sporty GT isn't actually the topic of the latest video from Evo – it's on hand to compete against the Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG to see which is faster around a track. Still, we can think of it as a wonderful sendoff for the Jag.
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