Starting in July, Mercedes will replace the 3.5 liter V-6 engine will be replaced with an all new 3.0 liter, twin turbocharged V-6 engine that will sling the car to 100 kph (62 mph) in 5.2 seconds while delivering over 36 mpg (in European fuel economy testing) with lower emissions than the current car. So equipped, the car will be known as the Mercedes-Benz SL400 Sport.
The present SL (and upcoming Mercedes 400 SL) is the 6th generation of roadsters that trace their lineage back to the original 300 SL, introduced just after World War II to race in Europe and North America. In 1954, Mercedes Benz introduced a road-going version of its lightweight, and called it the 300 SL (SL = “sport licht”). The car was successful on both road and track, but it is not its record of race wins that fans remember most about that car – it is the iconic “gull wing” doors of the 300 SL coupe which made an automotive fashion statement that persists even today, in the all-electric Mercedes SLS super car.
Still, this is about the new Mercedes SL400, and, among its many features, two stand out. The first is Magic Vision Control, which makes the windshield washers an integral part of the wiper system so that you and your passenger won’t get wet if you operate the washers with the top down. The second is the Frontbass sound system, which mounts the woofers for the stereo inside the massive floor supports for the cockpit, increasing bass response. Just the thing for listening to music on the autobahn.
Despite its $122,000 starting price, the new Mercedes SL400 Sport model is billed as an “entry level” ride. That’s a lot of money, sure, but it’s only about a quarter of what those old, original 300 SLs sell for today!