Mercedes teases the shining, new face of the SL Class just before a full unveiling at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show.
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.
Former Evo editor Harry Metcalfe lives a pretty fantastic life when it comes to automobiles. When he's not in England driving around in a 1954 Land Rover Series 1 or a recently purchased 1987 Ferrari Testarossa, he's in the south of France with his 1993 Mercedes-Benz SL600, which is the focus of his latest Harry's Garage video.
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.
Mercedes-Benz has had great success with its front-wheel drive compact platform that underpins the CLA-Class, GLA-Class and other models. Now, it looks like that spirit of sharing might be moving up market for the Three-Pointed Star. AutoBild in Germany suggests the company is working on a modular chassis for the next SL-Class and SLK-Class, and it would be just one of many rumored changes for the droptop models.
Mercedes-Benz is recalling 130 SL-Class roadsters built between January 16, 2013 and April 30, 2013 over concerns that the vehicle's airbags won't fire if a very light person is in the passenger seat. The issue rests with what's called the Occupant Classification System.
By now we're familiar with the new-car introduction dance steps: first the leaks, then the sneak peek, then more leaks, then the official reveal with photos, then videos, then the auto show circuit. We're at penultimate step with the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL, and after the jump you'll find its SLS-like nose punching its way through scenic landscapes.
Though the SL range was updated less than a year ago with the addition of several new engines and some minor mods to the car's exterior, the stylish coupe will be coming in again for an upgrade that should carry it out until the all-new model arrives in 2012. A number of prototypes have been spotted testing both in the icy temps of Scandinavia and more recently at the world's highest paved road at Mt. Evens in Colorado.