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Looking beyond the conservative design of the vehicle you'll find a modernised aluminium bodyshell. Weighing only 1,785kg, the new model is 125kg lighter than the previous version.
The SL500 is powered by a twin turbocharged 4.7 litre V8 producing 429bhp, an increase of 49bhp on the old Mercedes. Despite this, fuel consumption has been reduced by 22%, to 31mpg. The standard SL350 containing a 3.5 litre V6 exceeds this, making 302bhp while returning 41.5mpg.
It's difficult not to be fascinated by a car that sounds this good. The engine is just as content burbling along at low speeds as it is when flexing its muscle on an open road.
Emphasis was put on improving the driving experience for the new SL, and it's obvious that its stiff aluminium build has improved this dramatically. Even on rough roads, there is no shaking which usually affects open top vehicles.
An additional option is a Active Body Control system, giving the Mercedes a smooth ride along with roll free cornering. The SL500 is still a Grand Tourer as oppose to a sports car, displayed by its vast weight once you rapidly accelerate.
There is an extensive list of equipment available, but the highlights are a Front Bass system, wiper blades with small holes that apply screenwash, meaning you won't get splashed with the roof off. On top of this, Magic Sky Control allows you to alter between transparent to opaque by pressing a button.