Facelifted Mercedes-Benz SL range

Mercedes-Benz have comprehensively overhauled the SL range. While experts will notice minor differences on the outside, the big changes are under the skin with a seven-speed automatic transmission for the V6s and V8s, and power increased on the now 5.5 litre SL 500 to 388 HP. The six-cylinder SL350 now produces 272 HP, while the flagship SL 600 biturbo V12 has 517 HP and 830 Nm of torque. O - 62 mph on the latter is reduced to 4.5 seconds.

The cars now have Active Body Control (ABC) active suspension system as standard in the SL 500 and SL 600 and an option in the SL350. The ABC means that compared with the predecessor model, body movements in dynamic driving situations have been reduced by up to 60 per cent.

Exterior changes include a new bumper with three large cooling air intakes and a more pronounced "V-shape" as well as fog lamps with chrome surrounds, and a newly designed, matt-silver-painted radiator grille with three louvres and chrome highlights. The light-alloy wheels are new, as are the rear light units complete with horizontal divisions and a red/white clear-lens design.

Things have been mostly left alone inside, but the new car does have the use of softer leather upholstery, new interior colours, high-quality metal doorsills with Mercedes-Benz lettering and embossed aluminium trim. There's also the chronometer-style gauges now housed within the redesigned instrument shroud with double topstitching, a new digital clock and new aluminium-look switches for operating the vario-roof.

In the UK, Mercedes quote the following on-the-road prices:

SL 350 - £62,885.00
SL 500 - £75,880.00
SL 600 - £101,220.00

Text: Classic Driver
Photos: DaimlerChrysler

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