TORONTO, ON – The all-new 2013 SL continues a tradition that began 60 years ago. For six decades the letters "SL" have been synonymous with a blend of sportiness, style and comfort – infused with groundbreaking innovations. The new SL is no exception as it has been produced for the first time almost entirely from aluminium and weighs considerably less than its predecessor. Its highly rigid all-aluminium bodyshell provides the basis for agile, sporty handling that has been taken to an entirely new level, coupled with outstanding bodyroll and ride characteristics. Even better driving dynamics come courtesy of the new direct injection engine, which is more powerful and economical than the outgoing generation. Other new features include the unique Frontbass system, which turns the luxury sports car into a concert hall – with the top down or up - and the highly efficient MAGIC VISION CONTROL. The 2013 SL 550 celebrates its Canadian premiere at the Canadian International Auto Show, and will be available in showrooms across the country in the spring.
Compared with its successful predecessor, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL offers considerably more comfort and athletic character, setting new standards in the luxury roadster class. This includes amazing everyday usability, making the SL the most versatile of all sports cars. In short, anyone that talks about the new SL is surely talking about the ultimate in passionate, refined motoring.
Dr Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG and Head of Mercedes-Benz Cars: "There are around 900 million cars in the world and thousands of models. But there are only a handful of automotive icons. Our SL is one of them: it has class, it has style, it is the ultimate in comfort and luxury. But it combines all that with incredible sportiness and dynamism. You would struggle to find a car that embodies Gottlieb Daimler's aspiration more perfectly than our new SL: the best or nothing."
Lighter and more rigid: sophisticated all-aluminium bodyshell
The new-generation Mercedes-Benz SL takes the meaning of the famous letters "SL" – super, lightweight – quite literally. Weight reduction across the board is one of the most outstanding design characteristics in the new SL, as was the case in its namesake, the original SL of 1952 with its lightweight tubular frame. For the first time, Mercedes-Benz has implemented an all-aluminium bodyshell in a series-production model. Only very few components consist of other materials. The designers use the even lighter magnesium for the cover behind the tank. High-strength steel tubing is integrated in the A-pillars for safety reasons.
The new aluminium bodyshell weighs approximately 110 kilograms less than it would using the steel technology from its predecessor. "The effect is rather as if a large passenger had stepped out of the car" says Dr Thomas Rudlaff, responsible for the aluminium bodyshell at Mercedes-Benz. "The result is perceptible and measurable. Less weight means improved performance and efficiency. In other words: the driving pleasure increases, and the environmental impact decreases. "
In terms of rigidity, safety and comfort, the aluminium structure is not only lighter but also superior to its predecessor's steel construction. One contributing factor is its intelligent lightweight construction with components optimized for their specific task. As a result, diverse processes are used to make different kinds of aluminium depending on component use. The parts are made by chill casting or vacuum die-casting, worked into extruded aluminium sections or into aluminium panels of varying thicknesses. The outcome - high rigidity and excellent safety combined with low resonance and vibrations.
The new SL is even more comfortable and has more assistance systems on-board than its predecessor, sacrificing some of the weight saved through the aluminium bodyshell as a result. Nevertheless, the scales show some astonishing readings - the 2013 SL 550 weighs around 125 kilograms less than its predecessor. This is due to a host of other intelligent details that Mercedes-Benz has also implemented in the new SL in addition to the aluminium bodyshell.
Driving pleasure: powerful engine and agile suspension
Powerful acceleration, effortless at all speeds, nimble on winding roads – the new SL delivers outstanding driving pleasure. As well as a powerful engine, the SL 550 boasts a fine suspension that is both sporty and comfortable, and also features intelligent lightweight construction. The steering knuckles and suspension arms on the front axle, for instance, are also made from aluminium to reduce the unsprung masses. The same also applies to virtually all the wheel location components on the rear axle.
The new SL is available with two different suspension systems: the Agility Control Suspension comes standard, and the ABC (Active Body Control) is available as an optional alternative.
Both suspension variants are combined with a new electromechanical Direct-Steer system featuring speed-sensitive power steering and a ratio that can be varied in accordance with the steering wheel angle. This provides excellent directional stability and safety when traveling at highway speeds, and adds to the SL’s agility. It also reduces the amount of steering effort required when parking and manoeuvring.
The new V8 in the SL 550 develops 429 hp from its displacement of 4663 cc, which is around 12 percent more than its predecessor despite some 0.8 litres less displacement. Fuel consumption has been reduced while at the same time the torque has increased from 391 to 516 lb-ft – a gain of 32 percent. The SL 550 engine features an ECO start/stop function as standard equipment, while the 7G-TRONIC PLUS automatic transmission has been optimized for fuel consumption and comfort. The fuel economy of the direct injection engine does not detract in any way from the roadster’s sporty character. Quite the contrary in fact - the SL 550 takes just 4.6 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h, which is eight tenths less than its predecessor.
Interior: aesthetic, stylish, sporty
The 2013 SL combines its aesthetically honed profile, which follows the Mercedes-Benz tradition, with a luxurious feel. Premium materials, perfectly finished with great attention to detail define the style and character of the interior.
Compared with its predecessor, the new generation of the SL is much longer (+50 mm) and wider (+57 mm), providing more room for greater comfort in the interior, too. Clear lines create a coherent internal space within this comfortable interior. A generous sweep of fine wood trim extends from the centre console across the dashboard into the doors, creating a pleasant wrap-around effect. A choice of three wood trims and one aluminium trim finish are all available. Perfectly in tune with the roadster's character, the interior combines the unpretentious atmosphere of a high-performance sports car with a comfortable, stylish ambience you would expect from a luxurious touring car.
Design: classic SL proportions
The designers have brought the latest generation of the SL to life with a firm foundation in tradition, but with new perspectives and visions. The result is a stylishly sporty and elegant luxury sports car with balanced proportions that are reminiscent of the classic SL. The long hood gives way to a compact passenger compartment that is set well back. A wide, powerful rear end with a strong racing character provides the finishing touch. Just a few carefully drawn lines define the powerfully sculpted, yet calm surfaces of the flanks. Finely crafted details, a striking rear end as well as ventilation grilles with chromed fins from the dynamic tradition of the Mercedes-Benz design heritage visually emphasize the SL legend.
An upright classic sports car radiator grille clearly identifies the new SL as a prestigious member of the current Mercedes-Benz sports car family. The centrally positioned star is a contemporary reinterpretation of the famous trademark, which now extends into the centre section with its organically flowing contours.
Dynamically slanting headlamps set well to the outside frame the striking front end and give the new roadster its own unmistakable face. The striking sidelights and the horizontal strip of the daytime running lamps in the far ends of the bumper feature LED technology.
Vario-roof: MAGIC SKY CONTROL as an option
The sixth generation of the SL also offers a vario-roof that can be retracted into the trunk using an electrohydraulic mechanism to save space, converting the SL from a coupe to a roadster and back again in a matter of seconds. The new SL offers the option of a unique panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL, which allows the transparent roof to switch between light and dark at the push of a button. In the light setting it is virtually transparent, offering an open-air experience even in cold weather. In its dark setting the roof provides welcome shade and prevents the interior from heating up in bright sunlight. The frame of the roof is made from magnesium, reducing weight by around six kilograms compared with the outgoing model, lowering the vehicle’s centre of gravity and delivering greater agility.
Mercedes-Benz engineers have refined the operating mechanism for the roof and trunk lid. It now takes less than 20 seconds to open or close the roof completely.
Aerodynamics: new standards
• The design of the new SL is not only aesthetically beautiful, it also boasts outstanding aerodynamic characteristics, giving the roadster top marks in its segment in three crucial areas:
• the lowest wind noise, virtually on a par with a closed sedan;
• the best comfort during open-air driving, meaning the roof can stay down even at high speed;
• virtually no accumulation of dirt on the side windows.
Two world premieres: Frontbass and MAGIC VISION CONTROL
The 2013 SL remains true to its tradition as a technological trendsetter with two ground-breaking innovations:
• MAGIC VISION CONTROL is a new, intelligent and highly efficient wipe/wash system. The innovative wiper blade concept always dispenses washer fluid just in front of the wiper blade lip via channels integrated into the blade – in both directions of travel. As a result, no water is splashed onto the windshield during spraying to disrupt the driver's visibility, while at the same time the windshield is cleaned perfectly. The water also stays on the windshield, with no risk of overspray into the passenger cabin when the roof is down. For the first time, a fully heated wiper blade is available as an option that prevents snow or ice from forming on the blade in winter. This heating function also allows warm water to be applied directly onto the windshield for the first time, even in cold temperatures.
• Equally unique is the Frontbass system, which makes intelligent use of the free spaces in the aluminium structures forward of the footwell. These spaces function as resonating chambers for the woofers and mark the first time ever that a sound system has been integrated into the body-in-white. As a result the new SL features clear, rich bass sounds that deliver a concert hall ambience even with the top down. The new layout has the added bonus of freeing up space in the doors and interior.
Both innovations are part of the extensive standard equipment of the new SL.
HANDS-FREE ACCESS: 'kick' to open
The HANDS-FREE ACCESS system is another Mercedes-Benz innovation that provides easy, hands-free operation of the trunk lid. The driver simply moves their foot in the vicinity below the rear bumper. Mercedes-Benz is the only car maker to offer a system that not only automatically opens the trunk lid but closes it as well.
The safest roadster
The SL is the world's safest roadster thanks to the collision-optimized aluminium structure, standard equipment that includes PRE-SAFE® and ATTENTION ASSIST, plus further assistance systems on the same high level as the S-Class. The rigid aluminium bodyshell forms a sturdy passenger compartment along with precisely defined deformation zones at the front and rear ends. The passenger compartment is protected in the event of the vehicle overturning by two roll-over bars and A-pillars made from a mix of steel and aluminium. The restraint systems, including the two-stage driver and front passenger airbags have been further developed, while a head airbag covers the side impact area. An additional thorax airbag in the seat backrest protects the upper body in the event of a side impact. Another new feature is the crash-responsive NECK-PRO head restraints developed by Mercedes-Benz which are also standard equipment in the SL.
One safety highlight in the standard equipment package is the unrivalled anticipatory occupant protection system PRE-SAFE® developed by Mercedes-Benz. If the system detects the imminent threat of an accident, it reflexively activates precautionary protective measures for the vehicle occupants, ensuring that the seat belts and airbags are able to provide maximum protection during an impact.
Additional post-crash measures supplement the integral safety concept and facilitate rapid assistance. Regardless of the severity of the impact, the doors are automatically unlocked after an accident, the interior lighting is activated and the side windows lowered by 50 millimetres to ventilate the interior more effectively. The steering wheel also moves upwards.
Standard: ATTENTION ASSIST
A unique combination of driver assistance systems in the new SL helps prevent accidents, including the standard drowsiness detection system ATTENTION ASSIST.
PRE-SAFE® Brake: autonomous partial and emergency braking in response to a serious risk of a rear-end collision
As an option, DISTRONIC PLUS proximity control can be paired with the standard PRE-SAFE® Brake, which is already well proven in other Mercedes-Benz models. Both work on the basis of the same radar sensors. Once a serious risk of a rear-end collision is detected, the PRE-SAFE® Brake warns the driver and can initiate autonomous braking if the driver fails to react, either preventing the accident or at least mitigating its severity. PRE-SAFE® can also activate occupant protection measures.
Active Parking Assist: automatically manoeuvres into a parking space
Active Parking Assist is new in the SL. Using ultrasound sensors it can identify parking spaces and automatically steer the vehicle into the selected space.
To coincide with the launch of the 2013 SL, Mercedes-Benz will also be offering a special-edition model, the "Edition 1", for a limited period. The "Edition 1" is superbly equipped and comes as standard with a panoramic vario-roof, AMG bodystyling, sports suspension, AMG 19-inch light-alloy wheels, designo nappa leather with contrasting topstitching, AIRSCARF, heated seats, electric draught-stop, ambient lighting and Harman/Kardon® Logic7® surround sound system and much more. The designo crystal silver magno special paintwork is available exclusively for the "Edition 1", along with trim in wave or deep white aluminium.
About Mercedes-Benz Canada
Mercedes-Benz Canada is responsible for the sales, marketing and service of the four brands within the Mercedes-Benz Group in Canada: Mercedes-Benz, smart, AMG, and Maybach. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc. employs approximately 1,300 people in 19 locations across Canada. Through a nationwide network of 13 Mercedes-Benz owned retail operations and 40 authorized dealerships, Mercedes-Benz Canada sold 32,914 vehicles in 2011, the best year ever reported for Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc.
For more information, please contact:
JoAnne Caza 416-847-7550 firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Minielly 416-847-7509 michael. email@example.com
Further information from Mercedes-Benz is available on the internet at: www.media.mercedes-benz.ca