The 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-series. Lighter, Faster, but also Uglier!

What you’re looking at here is the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-model. Yes, I know we are still in 2011, but this model will make its first public appearance at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI. next month, and when it will go on sale by the middle of next year, it will be classified as a 2013 model.

With that cleared up, let’s take a look at what the wealthy will be driving around in the not too-distant future.

Let’s start with the looks, which at least based on all the press photo’s, doesn’t look to be a very pretty car. When I first set eyes on its head-on shot, I suddenly remembered the line from the children’s tale “Little Red Riding Hood”, the scene where she see’s the wolf disguised as her grandma and says, “Gee grandma, what big eyes you have.”

The new SL’s headlights seem to be a bit too big for its body. They look awkward and unattractive. The rest of the car looks pretty much the same as the outgoing model, only with a few tweaks.

But this is more than just a nip and tuck on the old model. According to Mercedes-Benz, the platform is all new and uses more aluminum than any other model produced by the company. Aluminum helps make this SL lighter than the one it replaces. It now weighs 140-kg less than the outgoing model.

Add more power to a lighter body, and you’ll end up with a faster car. The SL550 for instance now produces 429-hp (a 12% raise) and 516 lb/ft of torque (a 32% jump over the old model). Power is sent to the rear-wheels via a seven-speed automatic gearbox.

Performance numbers for acceleration from 0-100 km/h is just 4.6 seconds, while top-speed in electronically limited to 250 km/h.

As usual, there are plenty of new safety and convenience gadgets on board to keep CEO’s and Doctors happy. I could go into detail, but they’re likely to put you to sleep.

No pricing information yet, but expect those to be similar to the current model, which starts at $129,900.

How well it rides, handles and performs is not known. Hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on one to see what it’s truly like. Stay tuned!

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