Pretty fit for 60

Here’s the first look at a rip­ping road­ster for 2012

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

uber-lux­ury drop-top early this morn­ing to re­veal the lighter, quicker and more ef­fi­cient con­vert­ible that will reach our part of the world in the third quar­ter of 2012.

It will be of­fi­cially un­veiled at the Detroit mo­tor show next month.

This, Merc says, is a largely rein­vented ver­sion of the 60-year-old model name. It is some 140kg lighter than the pre­vi­ous model with new tech rang­ing from BLUEDI­RECT en­gines that achieve prodi­gious per­for­mance with fru­gal con­sump­tion, to the evoca­tively named Magic Vi­sion Con­trol — which turns out to be a wind­screen wipewash de­vice.

A neat new fea­ture is Hand Free Ac­cess which brings con­tact­less op­er­a­tion of the boot lid. The driver sim­ply moves a foot in the vicin­ity of the

rear bumper.

‘‘You would strug­gle to find a car that em­bod­ies Got­tlieb Daim­ler’s as­pi­ra­tion more per­fectly than our new SL: the best or noth­ing,’’ says head of Mercedes-benz Cars Dr Di­eter Zetsche.

The new SL has a choice of two sus­pen­sion sys­tems, semi-ac­tive ad­justable damp­ing as stan­dard and new electro­mechan­i­cal Di­rect-steer speed-sen­si­tive power steer­ing.

The flag­ship SL500 de­vel­ops 320kw from its V8 and there’s a mas­sive torque in­crease to 700Nm. The new V6 of the SL350 is good for 225kw/370nm and 6.8L/100km.

Uber-lux­ury: Next year’s SL is big on power and com­fort yet

light on fuel

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