When Mercedes introduced the fifth generation Mercedes SL in 2002, it was a landmark release, offering the best of both worlds – a coupe mixed with a convertible, together with incredibly fierce performance in the SL55 model.
Eight years, however, is rather a long stint for a car and even though it was given a bit of a cosmetic update six years later, the SL managed to lose its footing as the flagship of the Mercedes range.
More powerful Merc vehicles, like the SLS, have overtaken the SL, leaving it further and further behind as the years have sped by. Even the SL’s younger brother, the SLK, is now in higher demand than its predecessor.
All this will change, though, when the next generation SL arrives, most likely at Frankfurt Motor Show in September this year. It’s going to be a brand new take on the old model, with a chassis based on that of a stretched, fine-tuned E-Class. 2012’s new Mercedes SL will also be more imposing on the outside and far more spacious on the inside.
Featuring Mercedes’ latest ‘Magic’ technology for both the suspension and the retractable roof (Magic Ride Control and Magic Sky Control, respectively), the new SL is set to impress right from the off.
Magic Ride Control sounds very smart indeed. Using sensors to assess the road ahead for imperfections such as cracks and dreaded potholes, it works to alter the suspension accordingly, giving the impression of a really smooth road surface and ultimately providing passengers with a heightened ride experience. Not just that, but you should be able to save money on your car insurance due to it being a lot safer than previous versions.
Magic Roof Control, which will also be offered with the 2011 SLK, works to control sunlight penetration and regulate temperature by darkening the glass roof.
When it comes to the look of the exterior, the front end of the 2012 SL will follow the latest Mercedes fleet theme and the back end will capture the style of the recent CLS.
Interior-wise, expect the SL to go for a more premium look. It will also be providing passengers with more room and, with a longer wheelbase, it’ll be much more comfortable to get in and out of.