These are the latest spy pics of the Mercedes-Benz SL — the car with which the forthcoming rear-wheel-drive SLC is set to share selected chassis components and electrical architecture. The seventh-generation SL roadster is due to reach the UK in around spring next year.
Codenamed R231, the new SL has been thoroughly re-engineered as part of a weight-saving programme that’s set to affect all future Mercedes-Benz models.
The biggest change is the adoption of an aluminium body structure in place of the high-strength steel construction of today’s SL. Using solutions first applied to the SLS, the new SL is said to have achieved weight savings of up to 200kg, model for model — and that’s despite an improved level of safety and added standard equipment across the range.
The new two-seater’s styling is a predictable evolution of the familiar SL theme, with a long nose, steeply raked windscreen and relatively long boot aimed at providing space for a folding hard-top.
The car’s styling details closely follow the approach taken with the new SLK. There is a large, open grille, angular headlamps with distinctive LED graphics, a heavily contoured bonnet, signature side air vent, heavily structured flanks and a tapered rear end whose width is emphasised by tail-lights that wrap right around to the body sides.
The new car remains much the same size as today’s SL: 4135mm in length, 1810mm in width and 1300mm in height. However, the wheelbase is slightly longer in a bid to liberate more interior space and provide improved packaging of the folding hard-top for greater luggage capacity.