MercedesBenz SL 350 and SL 63 AMG motoring com au

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Mercedes-Benz SL 350 Base

Mercedes-Benz SL 350 and SL 63 AMG (July 2008)

Coast, Qld

What we liked

V6 feral bark

Traditional big composure

Elegant interior and colour-coordination

Not so much

Retro cues?

Seats in the SL 350 slightly

Overall rating: 3.5/5.0


Price, Packaging and 3.5/5.0

Safety: 4.0/5.0

the wheel: 3.5/5.0


The Mercedes-Benz SL sportscar has an illustrious Car enthusiasts around the world an immediate picture in their at the mention of the words ‘Pagoda or ‘Gullwing’. To call the traditional sportscar ‘iconic’ is to understate the

Not only is the SL the car that represents the best in Mercedes-Benz design, it is the vehicle — along the S-Class — most to introduce new technology. Many open-top cars feature rollover bars these but the SL introduced the safety feature the R129 model in the early

With the latest SL, we’re up to an of the R230 generation. This new car has facelifted, drawing upon cues from the original model 300SL of the 1950s. with the cosmetic changes, the new SL has some additional standard for a relatively small price


Prices been adjusted upwards the introduction of the upgraded models. The structure for the new models commences at for the ‘base’ SL 350.

All three non-AMG models SL 350, 500 and 600 — have by $5000, the SL 500 now hitting $306,000 and the SL 600 the non-AMG range at $385,000.

The SL 63 AMG is now (increasing $6000) and the SL 65 twin-turbo V12 has at $468,000, an extra $9000 the price of the pre-facelift model

As standard, Mercedes-Benz has equipped all with the following safety ABS, ESP, Brake alarm with interior sensor, electro-chromatic mirrors exterior mirrors), automatic bars behind the head dual front airbags, airbags for head and thorax seatbelt pre-tensioners with and a tyre pressure loss system.

Additional features to the standard specification of the upgrade comprise: bi-xenon headlamps Active Light System function, dynamic range and headlamp cleaning system.


We’ve recounted the SL’s mechanical, and safety make-up during the international launch. You can read concerning the non-AMG models here ) and the SL 63 AMG is covered here here ).


One of the journalists on the launch was rather dismissive of the SL, it as price premium too far beyond the of most prospective sportscar In his view, the SLK was much more the grasp. If that’s so — and we dismiss that — one of the SL’s principal competitors be its own stablemate, the SLK.

That assumes that a buyer for the SL walks through the into an MB dealership in the first

If not, one brand in a position to up sales from the SL is Porsche, the 911.

It has to be said though, the two cars are very different. its modernity, the SL has that very front-engine/rear-wheel drive feel it, where as the 911 doesn’t. SL will more for people who like a lot, with the occasional and squirt blast up a hillclimb, the 911 is for people who would like to be in a hillclimb every time drive.

Rather than the it’s more likely the four-seat BMW 6 Series convertible likely to pose a threat to the SL, both BMW and Benz seeing car as more appropriately a competitor for the

Where else to get acquainted a drop-top car during an Australian than Queensland? The local of the new SL saw motoring journalists from all the country fly to the Deep North we enjoyed the pleasure of sampling the SL SL 500 and SL 63 AMG. Unfortunately, though was an SL 65 on the fleet, there was no opportunity to that particular model.

Up (literally), if there’s one point mitigates against the SL, it’s the Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and some disagree, but the new look is angular, — even brutal but not as lovely as the previous model. if you can get past the styling, the SL offers real improvements with the

Only the day before the SL drive we had driven the upgraded SLK range and impressions of the SL indicated this was an different car. A slightly wheelbase and larger dimensions left the driver with the that the SL is just a bit more and unfussed for the sort of touring on the drive program.

Mercedes-Benz SL 350 Base

Starting off the entry-level SL 350 provided a baseline which we could compare the models driven. Some The V6 model would probably be than adequate for most and Benz has cleverly blessed the car a new engine (shared with the SLK that is not only frugal it needs to be, and powerful when it but sounds surprisingly like a six. It has a real bark on the from higher revs and is matched to the 7G-Tronic seven-speed transmission, which shifts smoothly and has more than ratios for any occasion.

It was immediately that the SL’s suspension was than in any variant of the SLK. was also plainly a contributing in the SL’s overall poised ability.

Yet the SL is not just some leisure craft of a car. The was more direct than in the SLK and the handling was closer to neutral. As it the SLK felt as close to neutral as — but without the same The SL felt very lively in a — without being too With steering and suspension in unison, it was responsive, but not erratic or

Seated within the SL 350, you pick fault with the which were a bit flat in the but otherwise were supportive and Overall though, the interior was elegant and comfortably practical (or practically comfortable). To illustrate, the steering wheel was surprisingly even with an airbag in the boss.

The seat-mounted Airscarf is ideal for keeping warm the the HVAC system wouldn’t reach. Reading about it’s easy to think it’s just a gimmick’, but it like a mini-sauna for the neck.

in this car were a lesson in and illumination for other car makers to They’re readable, even in sunlight — even the passenger side of the car.

As a experience, the SL 350 was nicer from the of view of this tester any of the SLK variants. It — and the other SL generally — just feel more like a distillation of Mercedes-Benz design than the smaller sportscar.

up to the SL 500 provided the first opportunity to V8 power in the SL. Frankly, the SL 500 didn’t as much as the V6. If you really need the of a V8 allied to performance substantially that of the SL 350, you might as go the whole hog and buy the SL 63 AMG. If the budget stretch that far — your money.

The SL500’s interior was relaxing and the same two-tone grey carbonfibre inserts and suede as the SL 65 AMG’s. Suede trim on the pillars and roof headlining to the ambience of the cabin.

Even the engine fitted to it displaces 6.2 the SL 63 AMG is so named, we’re told, in to the 300 SEL 6.3 from the 1960s. Whether or not you the early sedan, you won’t the SL 63 AMG after driving it!

There’s a pause from the engine in the second after stamping the pedal all the way to the floor, but then all breaks loose as the transmission down — up to four — and the engine emits a tastier than a fruit in an industrial-strength blender.

Yet, the fun’s over, the engine to a sedate state in which almost no discernible engine even from 3500 to

The SL 63’s steering remains light, but has that slight of computer-controlled systems to miscue leaving the driver to correct and until driver and computer are in

For this reviewer, the Direct-Steer fitted as standard to the lesser (SL 350 and SL 500) from the new model upgrade, worked better. All the the SL 63’s steering lifted its with more cornering and higher load. Then, the steering feels better and consistent.

As already mentioned, the SL 63 AMG was in the same two-tone grey with carbonfibre inserts and trim as the SL 500. Whereas it to the ambience of the SL 500, it seems out of in an out-and-out road-burner like car.

Who will buy the SL, we wonder? neurosurgeons? Mining company going through a mid-life The SL offers plenty for any number of from different demographics including Carsales Network who’ve scored a Division One win!

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Published. 30 July 2008

Mercedes-Benz SL 350 Base
Mercedes-Benz SL 350 Base


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