We don't know who is to blame for leaking these scrumdidlyumptious images of the 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL, but we're glad they did. These 34 high-res images give us a sneak peek at what Mercedes has in store for its hard-top convertible, which includes among other things an entirely new front end. The new face on the SL incorporates headlights with a more modern shape. The new eyes flank a grille with just one crossbar that's punctuated by s solid medallion bearing the iconic three-pointed star logo. New fender vents have also been added, the design of which has been aped from the more hyperbolic vents found on the McLaren SLR, but we actually like these understated gills more. A new rear apron can also be seen out back where the SL's buttocks has been freshened, as well.
Inside we see the new three-spoke steering wheel and white gauges that Mercedes showed us in the updated CLS last week. The center console has also been updated and an oversized screen for the nav system sits front and center. We also noticed something strange on the back of the headrests: a pair of fans appear to be embedded in each. What are they for, extra thrust? We don't know and likely won't until Mercedes releases official information on the new SL.
Since these 34 images didn't come packaged with an official press release, we can't tell you what's new under the skin of the SL, either. We can say that the SL55 AMG model is due to be replaced by the SL63 bearing the brand's monster 500+ hp, 6.3L V8. There also seems to be a new V6 of some sort in the works based on the number of pics referencing such a motor in the gallery below. We'll have more information once Mercedes gets officially official about the new SL, but until then enjoy the prerelease pics.
UPDATE: At least one new V6 engine in the SL range is probably the 3.0L V6 that debuted in the new CLS 280 with 231 HP and 221 ft.-lb. of torque, which should provide the big 'vert with decent performance and above average fuel economy.