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We have seen pictures of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-class before, first when pictures from its brochure got leaked, followed by the official release of images and specs about a month ago.
However, its unveil at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI., is the first time it has been shown in the flesh. Like its predecessor, it has a folding metal roof, and the air scarf system, which blows hot air on your neck, perfect for driving with the top down even on cold days.
What is new about this new SL is its nearly all-aluminum construction. Due to this light-weight material, this new SL is 175 lbs lighter than the out-going model. Couple its lighter weight with the new 4.7-liter, turbo-charged, V8 which produces 429 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, and you’ll end up with a very quick rear-wheel drive car. 0-60 mph in the SL550 model now takes just 4.5 seconds. Top speed is electronically-limited to 155 mph. You can bet, faster AMG-models are also going to be offered shortly after this model goes on sale.
If you like gadgets more than performance, not to worry, the new SL has plenty of toys to keep you happy. There is the MAGIC SKY Control, which makes the panoramic glass in your retracting hard-top go from clear to dark. So it is truly a convertible for all seasons and all types of weather.
There is also the MAGIC VISION Control, which is an advanced wiper system, which features wash nozzles that send washer fluid directly onto the wiper blade, and also would heat the water on colder days, so give a nicer, cleaner wipe from the start.
The audiophiles will no doubt love the new Frontbass system. This audio system utilizes the space in the footwell, which now features extra speakers. With sound coming from all corners, the idea is to give a full orchestral experience to the cars occupants.
The 2013 SL550 will go on sale in spring.
GALLERY: 2013 Mercedes SL550
See AutoGuide’s First Look Video of the new SL below:
Mercedes-Benz‘s all new 2013 SL looks extremely impressive, but up until now we’ve only been treated to a collection of photos and a wall of specifications. Now the German luxury car manufacturer has made our day by releasing a trio of videos showcasing their new SL-Class which is set to have its official unveiling at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show.
Now sitting an impressive 300-lbs lighter than its predecessor, the new SL will sport a 4.6L V8 powerplant with 429-hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. Each video highlights the newly developed technology in the 2013 SL, ensuring that we’re all well aware that it’s sporty and light while packing an all-new aluminum body.
And besides, the new SL Roadster looks absolutely gorgeous in motion. Go treat yourself to the trio of videos showcasing the new 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL after the break.
Mercedes-Benz promises that we’ll see the next-generation SL in all its glory before the year is over, and more details have been released as they work towards their goal. The revamped SL roadster will feature a body shell made of 89-percent aluminum, making it almost 310-lbs lighter than its predecessor.
In addition to the lightweight body, the new SL will also feature Magic Vision Control, a new intelligent, high-efficiency windscreen wiper/washer system. The system channels water to the windscreen just in front of the wiper blade lip in the direction the wiper is moving. The result will probably be something revolutionary when we witness it in person; we’ll no longer have to see water splashing on the windshield while it cleans itself.
Mercedes will also be utilizing the free spaces in the aluminum structures in front of the footwell as resonance spaces for bass loudspeakers, giving the new SL a unique FrontBass system. The result will give the SL a concert hall ambience even with the top down.
The aluminum body won’t just be lighter, it’ll also be safer and more rigid. Mercedes employed different processes to make different various types of aluminum based on what the component’s function would be. In a complete breakdown, the body shell features 44-percent cast aluminum, 17-percent aluminum sections, 28-percent aluminum sheet metal, 8-percent steel and 3-percent of other materials. Mercedes also addressed the potential sound issues of aluminum with plenty of consistent sound insulation.
GALLERY: 2013 Mercedes SL Concept
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.