• Mercedes SL facelift – full details

    The leak of the official photos for the facelifted Mercedes SL kind of blew the covers off the new car ahead of its LA show debut. But now they’ve been formally pulled back we can tell you more about how the car has been updated.

    Fussier up front, but clearly still an SL

    Fussier up front, but clearly still an SL

    In appearance the shape is recognisably an evolution of the existing R231, arguably a little better resolved in proportion if a little fussier in detailing around the front and rear bumpers. Overall it has to be considered an improvement though, the SL regaining some of its earlier elegance.The substance of the changes are centred around a boost in power for the twin-turbo V6 powered SL400 from 333hp and 354lb ft to 367hp and 369lb ft, the adoption of the 9G-Tronic gearbox for the 400 and V8-powered SL500 (still 455hp) and option of S-Class Coupe style Active Body Control with curve tilting. As standard the suspension gets continuously variable dampers with additional S+ mode in the settings with the option of AMG Line suspension with a 10mm ride height drop and – quote – ‘harsher’ springs and anti-roll bars.

    The SL63 and SL65 AMG also get styling updates and some detail changes, including a now standard limited-slip differential, revised steering and faster shifts for the AMG Speedshift MCT gearbox in the SL63. The five-mode AMG Dynamic Select – including Race function – familiar from the GT and new C63 now features too.

    Power hike from 333hp to 367hp in the SL400

    Power hike from 333hp to 367hp in the SL400

    The real meat of the updates are not mechanical but in the gadgets and gizmos. The LED Intelligent Light System is now standard across the range and the number of ways the SL will intervene and prevent you driving into stuff would, on the face of it, make it sound uncrashable. There’s a challenge for someone… If you’re up for it you need to be able to defeat Active Brake Assist, now known as Collision Prevention Assist Plus, and the optional Driving Assistance Package with Distance Pilot Distronic, Steering Pilot, Active Brake Assist with cross-traffic function, Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Pre-Safe Plus and optional Parking Pilot.There are changes to the roof and boot too, the former able to complete its folding process at up to 25mph while the latter can be opened with a swipe of your foot under the rear bumper.

    More details and pricing info when we have them!