The next generation of Mercedes SL models are likely to weigh considerably less than the current boulevard cruisers thanks to the addition of carbon fiber body panels. According to a report by Reuters, a Japanese textile company called Toray Industries will make the carbon fiber weave for Daimler. The parts will be manufactured at Toray’s facility in France. Toray has experience in carbon fiber, supplying the weave to Ferrari for some of its past models.
According to Toray spokesman Yoshitaka Yamagata, the SL will be the first Benz model to use the new parts, starting in 2012.
BMW recently announced it would produce carbon fiber parts for its future models at a new facility in Washinton State.
Also helping to reduce the overall weight of the next-gen SL are a new generation of engines, with turbocharged smaller displacement motors replacing the larger naturally aspirated powerplants.