2011 Night Edition pricing announced
Next generation SL under cold weather testing
Photography from Mercedes-Benz, MercedesHeritage.com, Detroit News, Auto Express
We don’t want to forget about the current and soon to be released offerings from Mercedes-Benz. The current lineup of new models available from your local dealer ranges from the stylish, crisply drawn C-class models to the sophisticated and edgy new E series. The new SLS Gullwing is garnering much of the automotive press today but a bone stock new SL550 is a very competent, stylish personal roadster. And there is the Smart car program if you need something in which to toodle around town. What a fabulous line-up of cars.
What’s going on with the SL range? The current car arrived in 2002 to enormous acclaim. This author feels the 2003 SL55 to be the most technically and visually significant SL since the original Gullwing. Almost 500hp in a gorgeous off-the-showroom floor SL. Quite an audacious SL from Mercedes-Benz.
The superbly balanced, voluptuous original R230 series shape was spot on and immediately rendered the blocky previous generation positively prehistoric. However, this car is approaching the end of its production life, nine years and counting. The recent facelift to align the nose design with the “face” of the rest of the models stimulated sales but buyers are beginning to look toward the next generation.
2011 Night Edition
Will the hip 2011 “Night Edition” signal the end of the series? We have some new data on what may be the last of the R230 generation SLs. We learned from 35 year Mercedes sales veteran, Tony Spencer, that the Night Edition’s matte finish black will be a metallic. Very interesting. After the matte satin black color is applied, the final clear coat will contain the metallic matter. The paint code for this “designo Night Black Metallic” is 056.
Here is the order data and codes for this unique new SL:
Paint: 056 designo Night Edition Black Metallic (Matte Finish)
Upholstery: 831 Black Premium Leather with Silver Contrast Stitching
Trim: 736 Hand-Polished Black Ash Wood Trim
P01 Premium 1 Package
321 Wheel Package
067 Illuminated Door Sills
413 Panorama Roof
831 Premium Leather Upholstery
Deliveries are scheduled to begin in Spring of this year with pricing around $119,255. And remember, only 100 units will be constructed.
2012 and Beyond
The next generation SL is largely finalized and definitely under hot/cold weather testing in various parts of the globe. The images below verify this and signal the beginning of the speculative game centering on the new car’s final shape. Current Mad Max road warrior camouflage betrays little of the new shape but automotive artists are beginning to challenge their rendering software to give us glimpses of possible designs.
Speculation has the next generation SL debuting at the 2012 Paris Motor Show and production moving from Bremen to Stuttgart. Did the sensual sculpture we saw in January at the Detroit Auto Show give us a secret glimpse of the “face” for the new SL? Many insiders think so. And the more upright nose profile seems logical in light of new EU pedestrian-protecting laws that will influence many new designs.
We have plenty to look forward to in the next generation SL. If it is half as dramatic and groundbreaking as the R230 series was in 2002, we will see another world beater from the silver star.
Tony Spencer (408-345-2255) can answer any questions you may have regarding current and future Mercedes-Benz products.
Roy Spencer, editor MercedesHeritage.com
Please post your comments below.