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Mercedes SL news - SL out - 2008

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Merc’s
New Year makeover continues at pace with the new SL.

We’ve
already seen the SLK and CLS get the nosejob
‘n’ detox treatment, and now it’s the turn of the big convertible, which we already
rate as one of the best-looking drop-tops around. 

The
SL gets a new front end reflecting Merc’s new design philosophy, with a pair of
long powerdomes on the bonnet and a single-bar grille replacing the old
three-bar effort. 

We
like the new triple gills on the front wing with their central strake - very
SL300, but not as aggressive as the vents on the SLR.

Away
from the visual updates, the biggest news is the addition of a baby V6 to the
range in the shape of the SL280. Developing 228bhp and 221lb ft of torque, the
three-litre is expected to return around 30mpg and haul the SL to 60mph in 7.8
 seconds.

We
also hear that the bigger V6 in the SL350 has had a power hike to 311bhp,
though there’s no word yet on whether the SL55 AMG is to be replaced by the
bigger 6.2-litre V8 from the C63: a likely move, but we’re very fond of that
smaller V8.

Inside
the cabin, the SL gets a similar refresh to the CLS, with a new three-spoke
steering wheel and white gauges. Like the SLK, there’s a new variable ratio,
speed sensitive steering system, which should sharpen up the SL’s cornering
without affecting the legendary Merc straight-line stability.

The
new SL is due to be officially unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March and
will go on sale soon after.

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