World Dream Cars Update

New Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

>> Monday, 4 February 2008

Bonoriau latest review:

Mercedes-Benz has announced the introduction of its new-generation SL-Class in April. The vehicle will make its public debut in March in Geneva, and head into Benz outlets and dealerships in Europe the following month.

The world's most successful premium roadster in its class will now feature two six-cylinder models in the shape of the SL 350 and the new SL 280 as well as the familiar SL 500 with a V8 engine and the top-of-the-range SL 600 with a V12 powerplant.

The new entry-level SL 280 will have 228bhp of power and a peak torque of 300Nm for figures. Meanwhile, the SL 350 will be powered by a newly-developed, extremely high-revving 3.5l V6 engine boasting an impressive output of 311bhp (16% up from before), yet with a fuel consumption figure that is 0.4 litres per 100km lower than that of its predecessor.

The flagship engines in the SL line-up remain the eight-cylinder unit in the SL 500 developing 382bhp and the V12 powerplant in the SL 600, which develops 509bhp thanks to twin turbochargers.

As would be expected, the SL will have even more features pasted on, with such items as AIRSCARF neck-level heating. The system, so called because it distributes air at just the right temperature through the head restraints, forming a warm, invisible "scarf" around the driver and front passenger, is just the thing for top-down driving in the winter.

Having celebrated its world premiere in the SLK Roadster in 2004, the system has been modified by Merc engineers for the new SL generation.

Now, the blower and heating are incorporated in the head restraints of the integral seats: two small ventilators suck in air behind the head restraints and channel it through the electric heating element to ensure rapid heating. The temperature-controlled air then flows out of special openings on the front of the head restraints and warms the occupants' head and neck areas, with individual selectable heating temperature available.

Size 255/45 R 17 wide-base tyres and 17-inch light-alloy wheels are fitted as standard on the new SL 280 and SL 350 models, whereas the SL 500 Roadster runs on 18-inch wheels shod with 255/40 R 18 tyres. The SL 600 model gets 18-inch ten-twin-spoke light-alloy wheels with 255/40 R 18 tyres at the front and 285/35 R 18 tyres at the rear.

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