Fans of the stunning SL-Class Roadster have reason to celebrate next spring – the new SL 350 will be available from March 2003 priced at just £56,340 on the road.
Since its UK launch earlier this year, the fifth-generation SL-Class Roadster has been winning accolades and fans with its blend of style, finesse and searing performance. The initial SL 500 was joined this autumn by the thunderous SL 55 AMG. Now the all-new SL 350 has arrived and retains the essence that has made the latest range so popular.
Style has been the SL’s byword since the first racing versions appeared 50 years ago. The SL 350 impresses with its svelte lines – penned by Briton Steve Mattin – and retains the balletic three-piece vario-roof standard on every model. Combining the security and convenience of a coupé with the exhilaration of an open-topped car, the SL’s vario-roof spins and folds into the boot in only 16 seconds. With the roof tucked away, the athletic nature of the car’s new engine can be fully appreciated.
Powered by a new 3724 cc V6 engine (recently introduced in the revised S-Class Saloon), the new SL 350 boasts 245 hp at 5750 rpm, and 350 Nm between 3000 and 4500 rpm. The increases in power and torque are due mainly to an increase in the cylinder bores, from 89.9mm to 97mm, while the stroke remains unchanged at 84mm. A larger cylinder head is also added, and a revised crankcase helps cut down on noise emitted by the engine.
The 0-62.5 mph dash is completed in 7.2 seconds. Top speed, as with all current SLs is limited to 155 mph. Whilst meeting EU-4 emissions standards, the SL 350 has a specially-tuned exhaust to give a delicious sporty rasp under acceleration. Fuel is consumed at a rate of 24.6 miles per gallon on the combined cycle, whilst CO2 output is 276 g/km with the standard transmission.