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

3.5/5.0

Price, Packaging and 3.5/5.0

Safety: 4.0/5.0

the wheel: 3.5/5.0

X-factor:

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

PRICE AND EQUIPMENT

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.

PACKAGING AND SAFETY

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 ).

COMPETITORS

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 lazy craft of a car. The steering was direct than in the SLK and the SL’s was closer to neutral. As it was, the SLK as close to neutral as Switzerland but without the same prohibitions. The SL very lively in a corner without being too lively. steering and suspension working in it was responsive, but not erratic or nervous.

within the SL 350, you might fault with the seats, were a bit flat in the cushion, but were supportive and comfortable. though, the interior was attractive, and comfortably practical (or even comfortable). To illustrate, the three-spoke wheel was surprisingly elegant, with an airbag located in the

The seat-mounted Airscarf feature is for keeping warm the parts the system wouldn’t otherwise Reading about Airscarf, easy to think ‘oh, just a gimmick’, but it worked a mini-sauna for the neck.

Instruments in car were a lesson in legibility and for other car makers to follow. readable, even in direct — even from the side of the car.

As a driving the SL 350 was nicer from the point of of this tester than any of the SLK It — and the other SL models — just basically more like a pure of Mercedes-Benz design philosophy the smaller sportscar.

Moving up to the SL 500 provided the first to sample V8 power in the SL. Frankly, the SL 500 impress as much as the V6. If you really the performance of a V8 allied to performance beyond that of the SL 350, you as well go the whole hog and buy the SL 63 AMG. If the doesn’t stretch that far save your money.

The interior was relaxing and featured the two-tone grey leather, inserts and suede trim as the SL 65 Suede trim on the roof and roof headlining added to the of the cabin.

Even though the fitted to it displaces 6.2 litres, the SL 63 AMG is so we’re told, in tribute to the 300 SEL 6.3 the 1960s. Whether or not you remember the sedan, you won’t forget the SL 63 AMG driving it!


There’s a pregnant from the engine in the split after stamping the accelerator all the way to the floor, but then all Hell loose as the transmission kicks — up to four gears. and the engine emits a noise than a fruit smoothie in an blender.

Yet, when the over, the engine returns to a state in which there’s no discernible engine noise, from 3500 to 4000rpm.

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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