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Mercedes-Benz — December 15, 2011 at 9:19 am

Lighter, More Powerful New SL


The new Mercedes-Benz SL arrives next spring with all-aluminum construction, weighing at least 250 pounds less than its predecessor. Plus, its 4.7-liter direct-injection twin-turbo V8 makes 429 horsepower to the old car’s 382. Torque? The current SL 550’s normally aspirated 5.5-liter is good for “only” 391 lb-ft while the new car churns up 516 lb-ft.

Mercedes says the zero to 60 mph time for the 2012 SL will be 4.5 seconds, which they claim to be eight-tenths of a second faster than the 2011 SL. But Car and Driver says the last SL got to 60 in 4.9 seconds. Still, nearly half a second is a nice improvement.

Perhaps the new car’s lighter weight and standard stop-start function will result in better economy, too. The previous SL managed 14 mpg city and 22 mpg highway according to the EPA.

But it could be heavier and slower and still be a winner. Just look at it.