Cars - Mercedes Benz

Road tests and reviews of the latest Mercedes Benz models available in South Africa

2016 Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster

By Franky Johnson

Currently in South Afrivca, the Mercedes-Benz SL range comprises four petrol engines. The SL 400 comes with a 4.0-litre V6 engine (175 g/km of CO2), which produces 274kW – 25kW more than its predecessor – and has a 0-100 time of 4.9 seconds. The SL 500 features a 4.6-litre V8 motor (205 g/km) with an output of 339kW – allowing it to reach 100kph in 4.3 seconds.

The Mercedes-AMG SL 63 features a 5.5-litre V8 engine (234 g/km CO2) with 436kW, meaning it can sprint from 0 to 100 in just 4.1 seconds. The SL 65 comes with a 6.0-litre V12 engine (279 g/m), which has an output of 470kW and an exceedingly quick 0-100 time of only four seconds.

Mercedes-Benz’ 9G-TRONIC PLUS automatic gearbox now comes as standard on both the SL 400 and SL 500, replacing the 7G-TRONIC automatic transmission. The Mercedes-AMG SL 63 features the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 7-speed automatic, while the SL 65 comes with AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS 7G-TRONIC 7-speed automatic gearbox.

The new SL is generously equipped as standard. The SL 400 and SL 500 AMG Line models come with: Apple CarPlay™; LED Intelligent Light System with Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus; Parking Pilot; COMAND Online; DYNAMIC SELECT; 18-inch alloys (design dependent on model); MAGIC VISION CONTROL; Attention Assist; Active Brake Assist; and Active Bonnet.

The Mercedes-AMG SL 63 and SL 65 adds extra equipment, including: AMG high performance composite braking system; AMG DYNAMIC SELECT; AMG performance steering wheel in nappa leather; AMG Sports Exhaust System; AMG sports suspension; and ‘V8 BITURBO’ lettering on the front wings (‘V12 BITURBO’ for SL 65).

The entire SL range is optionally available with Night Package. Night Package consists of 19-inch AMG alloy wheels with a seven-twin-spoke design (20-inch alloy wheels with a cross-spoke design available on SL 63 and SL 65); a diffuser trim strip and front splitter in high-gloss black and exterior mirror housings in high-gloss black.

Active Body Control including Curve Tilt Function – first launched on the S-Class Coupé – means the SL’s chassis with active suspension now includes a curve tilting function enabling the vehicle to lean inwards by up to 2.65 degrees, similar to a motorbike, this further enhances the SL’s ride comfort.

The KEYLESS-GO Comfort Package allows the vehicle to be accessed without the driver having to touch the key. Additionally, the convenient HANDS-FREE ACCESS function includes fully automatic opening and closing of the boot lid with a simple ‘kicking movement’ under the rear bumper.

Inside, the SL 400 and SL 500 come with the new aluminium trim with dark longitudinal grain as standard, while SL 63 and SL 65 come with as standard with the AMG carbon-fibre trim. A light carbon grain trim as also been added as a no-cost option. Brilliant Blue has now also been added to the SL’s colour palette, and, like its other metallic colour options, is available at no extra cost.

Mercedes-Benz has now added the SL 400 Edition to the new SL line-up. The SL 400 Edition will be limited to just a couple hundred vehicles. Standard equipment includes: AIRSCARF; KEYLESS-GO Comfort Package; reversing camera; Driving Assistance Package (consisting of: Distance Pilot with Steering Pilot; Active Brake Assist; Active Blind Spot Assist; Active Lane Keeping Assist; PRE-SAFE® PLUS); electric draught stop; ambient lighting; and velour floor mats.

Customers can add the Luxury Package which includes: Active Body Control including Curve Tilt Function; Harman Kardon® Logic 7® surround sound system; Active Multicontour Seat Package; climatised seats including seat heating and ventilation; and power closing for doors and boot lid.

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