14 December 2011

2013 Mercedes Benz SL fully revealed

It was only a couple of days ago that the grainy brochure scan hit the internet, revealing the new Mercedes grand open air motoring, now the new roadster has been revealed in all its aesthetic detailing ahead of its planned Detroit Motorshow in January 2012.

The car exterior surfacing draws heavily from the junior Merc SLK and range-topper SLS AMG with typical modern Mercedes styling cues such as angular headlamp and mascular body panels. The rear end of the car has some current-SL motif in its large, sweeping wraparound taillights, but the detailing is just any other modern Merc. The grille is more upright, with prominent tri-star emblem at dead centre. Strong character lines can be find running from A-pillar base all the way passing the headlight inner tips, before merging with the grille surround in one crisp, uninterrupted sweep of lines. Headlights is big and edgy.
The interior follows the current Mercedes-Benz interior design, that is modernism with a touch of retro-ism, especially in the area of aircond vent which are circular and expensively well-finished. The instrument panel and floor console follow the theme sets by both the SLS AMG and SLK roadster in their flat fascia and console for minimalist appearance. The devil is in the detailing, whereby the switchgear, buttons, rotary knob, ICE systems as well as climate controls are superbly finished in expensive-looking brighwork. The IP, console and door trim are all leather-upholstered, signifying the flagship status of the new SL in Mercedes product range.
The technical detail are scarce at the moment, as Mercedes is still holding back the detail of the drivetrain package for their new roadster. What is clear, and has been recently communicated by Mercedes, for now is the chassis construction of the 2013 SL. Mercedes has gone a great length in videos and image displaying the white body of the SL to emphasize the almost exclusive use of aluminium in its build-up. This results in a massive 140kg weight reduction! The new SL maintains the used of folding aluminium hard-top as per current car.

The body panel is 89% aluminium. The only exception are for the A-pillar which, due to its criticality, is made of high strength steel. The rear panel is made of magnesium, which is even lighter than the aluminium (and more expensive too!). The aluminium for the body shell application adopt the latest technology in their manufacturing method, including chill or vacuum die casting for the nodes and the optimized extrusion for beams. The breakdown of structural aluminium type is 44% cast aluminium, 17% extrusion segments and 28% stamped sheet (with variable thickness).  The result, apart from the aforementioned 140kg weight saving, is 20% increase in rigidity, increased crash worthiness and better NVH management.

The full gallery of the car can be found after the jump.