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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
Mercedes-Benz has quietly dropped the V12 variants from its SL-Class model lineup, leaving the SL600 and SL65 AMG nowhere to be found. This may mean that significant changes could be coming to the SL-class lineup for its 2013 refresh, as Mercedes did confirm that the phasing out of its top models is in anticipation for the SL’s next generation.
The SL600 was powered by a 5.5L V-12 powerplant with 510-hp and 610 lb-ft of torque and was dropped from the 2011 SL-class lineup. For 2012, the SL65 AMG is now noticeably missing, taking away the 604-hp and 740 lb-ft of torque from a twin-turbocharged 6.0L V12. Though there could be several reasons on the removal of the V-12 models from the SL-class lineup, one obvious one would be the pricing and performance offered by the SLS AMG.
While the SL lineup has yet to get Mercedes’ new twin-turbo 5.5-liter V8, that engine will likely spell the end of the twin-turbo V12, producing 518-hp and 516 lb-ft of torque in the E63 AMG and an incredible 550-hp and 590 lb-ft of torque with an AMG Performance Package.