The New Generation Mercedes Benz SL-Class Roadster | Part Two (2006)

Revised Mercedes Benz SL-Class Roadster

Mercedes Benz SL-Class (2006)

More dynamism and comfort: Second-generation ABC

The ABC (Active Body Control) active suspension system (standard in the SL 500 and SL 600), which is regarded as one of the milestones of automotive technology, has been refined even further for the new SL-Class. Compared with the predecessor model, body movements in dynamic driving situations have been reduced by up to 60 per cent. This takes the SL-Class into a new dimension of driving dynamics, yet the Roadster still offers the same high level of comfort. Standard in the SL 500 and SL 600, Active Body Control is available as an optional extra for the SL 350. A new steering set-up with a more direct ratio and new valve control logic makes the SL-Class even more responsive. In addition, the brake systems of the SL 350 and SL 500 have been optimised for the increased engine output.

Only subtle updates to the body design were required to prepare the new generation of the Mercedes Benz SL-Class for the future. A new bumper with three large cooling air intakes and a more pronounced "V-shape" as well as fog lamps with chrome surrounds emphasise the power of the two-seater and give it a wider look. These features are complemented by the newly designed, matt-silver-painted radiator grille with three louvres and chrome highlights. The side view is enhanced by new light-alloy wheels whose powerful appearance emphasises the sporty character of the SL-Class. New rear light units complete the styling measures: with their horizontal divisions and red/white clear-lens design, they accentuate the width of the muscular rear of the SL-Class. The new body details harmonise perfectly with the widely acclaimed design of the SL-Class whose exciting and elegant lines are unique and unmistakable.

Enhanced interior: Even more attention to detail

Faced with the task of updating the interior of the SL-Class, the Mercedes designers again found that only discreet changes were required. Measures taken to accentuate the characteristic combination of Mercedes comfort and uncompromising sportiness include the use of even softer leather upholstery, new interior colours, high-quality metal doorsills with Mercedes Benz lettering and embossed aluminium trim elements. Other interior highlights characterised by their particularly attractive look and feel include classic, chronometer-style gauges housed within the redesigned instrument shroud with double topstitching, the new digital clock and the cover of the adjacent ventilation outlet, as well as the new aluminium-look switches for operating the vario-roof. The two-seater can be converted from a Coupé to a Roadster - and vice-versa - in next to no time. Opening or closing the folding roof, a glass version of which is available as an optional extra, takes just 16 seconds.

An even higher level of operating comfort than that offered previously is provided by the optional remote boot-lid release system (which has a button on the boot lid for closing plus a button in the car for remote closing), providing access to the boot at the touch of a button. The standard equipment includes the removable luggage cover which increases the capacity of the boot by 22 litres to provide 339 litres of luggage space - more than any other vehicle in this segment. With a spare wheel fitted in place of Tirefit, the overall capacity is 310 litres. The luggage cover, which can be removed quickly and easily, not only increases the capacity of the boot, but also makes loading considerably easier and enhances usability. When it comes to individualisation, an even wider designo range is available to SL customers with immediate effect. For the first time, the new line-up includes two designo Edition interior appointments packages offering an extremely attractive array of colours and materials. designo Edition I features a classic combination of colours while designo Edition II has a sporty character.

Success story: The original SL with gullwing doors made its debut in 1954

For over 50 years now, the Mercedes models bearing the famous "SL" designation have fascinated sports-car enthusiasts all over the world. The direct descendant of the original "Gullwing" 300 SL Coupé which made its debut in 1954, the SL-Class echoes its design and perpetuates the incomparable success story of the model series. With a worldwide market share of 33 per cent, the SL-Class is the clear market leader in its segment - a position which the model update will help to consolidate. The new-generation SL-Class will have its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show in February 2006; it will appear in the showrooms of Mercedes Benz outlets and authorised retailers from March 2006.

The UK retail list prices of the SL-Class models are as follows (incl. VAT)
Model Basic Price - excl. VAT (£) List Price - incl. VAT (£) OTR Price (£)
SL 350 £52,863.83 £62,115.00 £62,885.00
SL 500 £63,923.40 £75,110.00 £75,880.00
SL 600 £85,489.36 £100,450.00 £101,220.00
Published 18 January 2006 Melanie Carter

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