The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL is the latest evolution of the classic high end roadster that dates all the way back to the iconic 50's-era Mercedes-Benz 300SL. The Mercedes-Benz SL is the flagship of the brand's personal luxury arm, offering essentially a two-door edition of the S-Class sedan that has ruled the premium roost for decades. Providing an unusual combination of sleek and chiseled looks as well as excellent power and advanced technology, the Mercedes-Benz SL is well-positioned to continue in its role as the chariot of choice of well-heeled fans of comfortable performance driving.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL.
01. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL Is All-New
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL features a redesigned platform that is intended to give it increased agility compared to the departing model. The Mercedes-Benz SL benefits from a new aluminum chassis that weighs 242 lbs less than the 2012 model, and combined with its aluminum body shell those weight savings push to 275 lbs in total. Moving to aluminum from steel also gave Mercedes-Benz engineers the chance to increase the SL's structural rigidity, and the vehicle benefits from steel tubing reinforcement in its A-pillars as well as ultra-light magnesium panels at the rear of the automobile. The focus on reducing the SL's mass helps to take the edge off of the roadster's plus-size dimensions and give it an extra dose of sporting character compared to earlier editions of the car.
02. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL Features Fresh Styling
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL offers a retouched body shape that gives it additional visual muscle while also moving away from the pointy-nosed aesthetic that had defined so many recent two-door Benz models. A wider front grille, angled headlights with LED running lamps and a long hood define the performance character of the Mercedes-Benz SL, and the vehicle's short rear deck and scalloped sides tighten up the perceived footprint of what is actually a fairly large automobile. Longer and wider than before, the Mercedes-Benz SL has been thoroughly modernized in this latest iteration, bringing with it a cleaner image that is aimed to appeal to shoppers who might be tempted by other more sports car-oriented designs available within the SL's price range.
03. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL Offers A Unique Retractable Hardtop
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL is a two-seat roadster that features a retractable hardtop design, giving it coupe-like proportions when in the raised position as well as superior protection from both noise and the cold. The latter helps to make the Mercedes-Benz SL an excellent convertible choice for drivers facing the reality of four to five months of cold weather each year. The Mercedes-Benz SL's hardtop can also be had with the advanced Magic Sky Control feature which can transform the panoramic glass roof from clear to opaque in seconds, offering the choice between a full view of the sky or protection from the harsh rays of the sun and the prying eyes of passers-by.
04. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL Comes With V-8 Power
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL is outfitted with a 4.6-liter V-8 engine that makes use of twin-turbochargers in order to grind out an impressive 429 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. This power boost over the larger motor found in the 2012 edition of the car (12 percent greater horsepower and 32 percent more lb-ft of twist) is made possible in part through the adoption of direct injection technology. The new Mercedes-Benz SL is also quicker than the 2012 model by almost a full second, sprinting to 60-mph from a standing start in a mere 4.5 seconds. A seven-speed automatic transmission sends the turbo engine's output to the rear wheels.
05. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL Features Advanced Driving Technologies
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL extensive use of aluminum has also translated to its suspension system, with several key components fashioned out of the lightweight yet strong alloy. The Mercedes-Benz SL comes with Agility Control Suspension standard, a feature which automatically adjusts shock absorber response to match road conditions and the aggressiveness of the current driving situation. Those who desire even more handling precision can opt for the Active Body Control system which is designed to keep the SL completely planted no matter how abrupt turning or braking might become. At lower speeds the Mercedes-Benz SL can actually drive itself thanks to the Active Parking Assist feature that can automatically pilot the roadster into an empty spot using ultrasound to guide the way.
06. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL Debuts Magic Vision Control
Magic Vision Control has been highly touted by the German brand's press materials regarding the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL. This new approach to windshield washing combines a single wiper blade with integrated fluid channels that are designed to prevent streaking or splashing when it comes time to clear the windscreen. The wiper blade is also heated, which helps the system better deal with cold weather climates where snow and ice frequently interfere with the ability to provide an uninterrupted view of the road ahead. Mercedes-Benz also touts the fact that the absence of washer spray nozzles means that there is no chance of accidentally dousing SL occupants should the windshield need a cleaning while the top is down.
07. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL Is Offered With An Extensive Equipment List
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL comes with an exquisitely turned-out passenger compartment that offers excellent leather seats with 12-way power adjustments, a Harman/Kardon sound system, the COMAND vehicle entertainment and communications interface, internet connectivity and a voice-controlled navigation system that features a seven-inch LCD screen. A power wind screen helps to protect vehicle occupants from wind buffeting, wood trim dresses up the vehicle's cockpit alongside ambient lighting that comes in several different colors and HID headlights offer a well-illuminated view of the road once darkness falls. Options packages can add features such as heated and ventilated seats, the AIRSCARF feature that is designed to warm the upper body with the top down and a louder Bang & Olufsen surround sound system.
08. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL Is Available In Two AMG Editions
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL can be ordered in not one, but two AMG-tuned variants that add a commendable dose of extra performance to the already potent roadster's personality. The Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG swaps in a twin-turbo 5.5-liter V-8 that develops 530 horsepower and 593 lb-ft of torque, numbers that swell to 557 horses and 664 lb-ft of twist with the optional AMG Performance Package. 60-mph arrives in just 4.1 seconds with the latter installed, making the SL63 seriously quick luxury contender.
For those who simply must obliterate their tires from every stoplight Mercedes-Benz also offers the convertible in SL65 trim, which comes with a 6.0-liter V-12 that grinds out an incredible 621 horsepower and 739 lb-ft of torque thanks to the use of a pair of turbochargers. Each AMG model comes with a seven-speed automatic transmission along with a number of suspension upgrades, steering tweaks and aerodynamic improvements that help to further set these vehicles apart from the standard SL.
09. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL Is Safe
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL is advertised by the automaker as being the 'world's safest roadster.' The Mercedes-Benz SL features the availability of a number of active safety systems, including Attention Assist that keeps tabs on drowsy drivers in order to prod them into pulling over before they fall asleep at the wheel. The SL can also be had with Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control that can automatically brake the convertible should a forward collision be detected, and a full complement of airbags surround the vehicle's passenger compartment and work together with Mercedes-Benz Neck-Pro active head restraints to minimize the risk of injury in a collision.
10. The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL Competes Against A Tough Crowd
The 2014 Mercedes-Benz SL's MSRP crests the $100,000 mark, which puts it in some heady company when looking at the luxury convertible market. The Mercedes-Benz SL can be thought of as a less edgy rival to more track-ready vehicles like the Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet, coming in more along the lines of the BMW 6 Series convertible in terms of handling and attitude. Those shopping in the SL's price bracket might also want to consider vehicles like the Audi R8 roadster and the Jaguar XKR roadster, each of which offers a different take on what premium top-down motoring can offer modern drivers. All in all, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL is up against some of the top names in the automotive industry, a reality which has been a driving force behind this latest upgrade.
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