The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

First Look: 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL550 and SL600

January 28, 2008

TUSCALOOSA, AL – The 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL arrives with a significant face-lift. The most obvious alterations are aesthetic, but there are also subtle revisions to the interior and the mechanical package. The 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL550 and 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL600 reach U.S. showrooms in mid-May.

The SL features a six-point radiator grille, power domes in the hood, new instrument dials, three-spoke steering wheel, and a new aero diffuser beneath the bumper. Every SL bound for the United States will incorporate the AMG body-styling kit as standard equipment. However, the most noticeable departure of the AMG kit from the standard model is a redesigned front valance that forms a Z-shape with the front grille. The standard car’s valance describes a V-shape.

The 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL also features a new hard-disk satellite navigation system with sufficient capacity for music storage, as well as a version of the Airscarf system pioneered by the SLK. Now, the heating elements and fans are incorporated into the seat’s head restraints, producing a flow of hot air around the driver’s head and neck.

In Europe, the big news is the introduction of two new V-6 engines for the SL, but neither will be come to the United States. Instead, the U.S.-specification SL will continue to feature either the 388-horsepower 5.5L V-8 or the 517-hp twin-turbo 6.0L V-12.

At the moment, the SL550 accounts for 86 percent of sales, and Mercedes expects this to continue. The SL600 accounts for three percent of the SL mix, with the remaining 11 percent comprising the AMG models.

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