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2012 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class

2012 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Review

(0 Stars)  Elegant, effortless top-down motoring.

Reviewed by Automobile Magazine on

Overview
The new SLS AMG roadster encroaches on the SL's territory, but that doesn't make this topless tourer any less fabulous. It is available in two flavors, the very fast SL550 and the effortless SL63 AMG with its 518-hp V-8. Both cars use a seven-speed automatic transmission, but the AMG car has a clutch in place of the usual torque converter to create the feel of sportier, snappier shifts. The optional AMG performance package raises the top speed to 186 mph and adds a limited-slip differential; larger, two-piece front brake rotors; and a track-focused tune for the Active Body Control system. Active Body Control is standard on all SLs and uses hydraulic cylinders to continuously tweak the suspension and eliminate any trace of unwanted body motions. Unfortunately, electronic brakes greatly reduce pedal feel, and the SL550's variable-ratio steering does it no favors. Still, SLs are well-built, comfortable cruisers with stunning performance capabilities--especially given their heft. Standard equipment on the convertibles includes a panoramic roof, parking sensors, and Airscarf, which titillates the back of your neck with warm air for comfortable cold-weather, top-down cruising. For an extra $2010, the folding hard top can be fitted with a panoramic glass panel that lets the sunlight in even when it's too cold to lower the roof.

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