Much anticipation is being generated by the upcoming SL’s extensive use of aluminum in its structure and sheetmetal. Significantly lighter than its predecessor, it’s 89% aluminum, which makes it much more interesting to tuners, who don’t have to overcome a whole lot of mass to produce a high performance vehicle. For Mercedes, it’s an excellent way to offer the same performance expected of the SL with smaller engines, thus satisfying customers and CAFE and emissions standards at the same time.
Mercedes uses a combination of cast aluminum and hydroformed aluminum for the structure to meet the exacting crash and NVH standards that the company is known for. And since aluminum is a material that has been extensively recycled in various products, Mercedes has also introduced a few recycled aluminum components which do not in any way compromise safety or quality. The result of this adoption however is up to 80 percent energy savings for producing those parts.
The 2013 SL will introduce many firsts in using aluminum in a mass production vehicle. For-long time customers and admirers of the marque, new technologies from Mercedes are practically expected and desired.