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The all new SL-Class finally got a whole new design. The first real one in 10 years. It is more powerful, more fuel-efficient, faster and lighter. Most of the car is a full-blooded Mercedes-Benz – there are even two AMG versions – but the design generated many mixed reviews. So, let’s see what all the fuss is about.

2013 Mercedes Benz SL

SL550 in action


It is bigger than the predecessor, two inches longer and wider, but it is still 275 lbs lighter. There are two tops available – a glass roof one and a Magic Sky Control one that has the feature of changing the tint. Now, let’s see what the controversy is all about.
Nothing much to complain about in my opinion. They say that the front is overly aggressive, and much more so than the previous version. Well, good! This thing is a sports car the power of which, depending on the engine, ranges from 429 hp to 621 hp. It should damn well be aggressive. The headlights are different- not L-shaped anymore, but bi-xenon with articulating lenses. The hood is long; the feature that is well known for the SL models and this can give you the feeling of power and confidence.

Mercedes Benz SL550

Front side view with the top down

The back, they say, is very conservative, and it doesn’t go well with the front. Ok, here they might be onto something, but it resembles the CLS and that can by no means be a bad thing. It is not as aggressive looking as the front, but it’s very smooth and its simplicity – however non-aggressive – sure as hell doesn’t look bad. Still, it would be better if it were more into the character of the front.

Mercedes Benz SL550 Rear

Rear view

But the side might give us a great explanation why the front and the back look the way they do. After all, the front and the back can be completely independent and different, but the side must work with both since it has to use their features. Somehow I get the feeling that the first thing the designers were sure about was the side view. Looking from the side, the back part seems massive and it pulls the car to the back, while the long hood causes the balance in attention. Oval-shaped windshield continues to the roof that descends a bit quickly to the trunk, but it still keeps that rounded look. In fact, this is what grabbed my attention first. These lines remind us of some older trends in design and I find it simply beautiful. Great side view. Speaking of the roof, it is said that it takes only 20 seconds for it to open or close.

Mercedes Benz SL550 Side

Side view


Ok, the already mentioned Magic Sky Control takes the cake, but there are so many other things here as well. High quality materials, Active Parking Assist, extra room (it is wider and bigger, people will notice the difference) and the Comand multimedia system that combines the communication, multimedia and navigation features and even the internet connection when the car is at a standstill. The menu system in the Comand is one of the best out there.

Instrument Cluster

SL550 Instrument Cluster

The interior is just great. There is enough room, the materials used are “of course” of high quality, everything is easy to read and operate and wherever you look you know it’s a Mercedes-Benz. High quality, style and practicality all in one.

Leather Interior

Luxurious yet sporty interior of the SL550

Engine and Performance Specs

The basic version called the SL550 has a 4.6 l V8 with 429 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, which is significantly better than the previous version. The acceleration to 60 mph takes only 4.5 seconds which is 0.8 second faster. The mileage is said to be between 16 and 25 mpg. The transmission is a 7-speed automatic with manual shift paddles. You can also get the Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control that has worked amazingly well at some other Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

2013 Mercedes Benz SL Class

Slick eye-catching design of the SL550

And this was the weakest version. There are two more – the SL63 AMG and the SL 65 AMG. The first one, apart from the changes in looks typical for the AMG models, has two engine options, both with the 5.5 l V8 with 530 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque, or 557 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque for the AMG Performance Package. The SL65 AMG is even better. It has a 6.0 l V12 engine that produces 621 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque that can launch the car to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds. Now this is a proper beast that can compete with the likes of the Porsche 911 Turbo S . Thank you Mercedes-Benz


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