The Mercedes SL has a long and venerable history. Its lineage dates to the 1950s, when the iconic 300SL Gullwing brought the company to the forefront of high performance sports cars. As the years progressed, however, the SL underwent some significant design changes. In the past decade, the SL has been more soccer mom than road warrior, a luxury car better suited to suburban cruising than high-speed racing.
The 2009 redesign promises to change all that, however. The new SL class is leaner, sportier and higher powered than its most recent predecessor. Replacing the marshmallow softness of the exterior lines is a sleek and crisp body that is built with aerodynamics in mind.
Under the hood, the SL is ready to roll. The base models, the V-8 powered SL 550 and the V-12 SL 600 promise more horsepower and more torque than ever before. However, hardcore power enthusiasts may want to hold out for the SL 65 AMG instead.
The new bad boy of Mercedes Benz, the SL 65 AMG is one of the most awaited new car releases in a long time. The 6.0 L V-12 has been tweaked to draw a full 670 horsepower, capable of rocketing the car from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.9 seconds. This is made possible in part due to the car’s lightweight carbon-fiber composite construction, which reduces the weight by 551 pounds.
Of course, you might have gotten used to the luxury that the SL class has come to represent. Fortunately, a return to sportiness does not mean a loss of luxury. With safety features that include a roll bar that automatically deploys just before a rollover, and technological touches such as Mercedes new AIRSCARF, which gently blows warm air at neck level for top-down winter driving, it is clear that the new SL blends the best of both worlds. After all, if you are going to barrel down the highway at 195 mph, you might as well do it in comfort, right?