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The Top Gear car review:Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
For:Breadth of ability, quality, technology
Against:The front end looks are an acquired taste
What is it?
Despite Mercedes’ famous SL line now being more than six decades old, the latest model, all-new last year, is a very worthy continuation of the respected line. It fully respects the heritage of the firm’s GT series, keeping up the tradition of effortless waft with relatively low-key visual impact.
The recipe is traditional and simple: two seats, folding metal hard-top, front–engined and rear-wheel drive. The big news for this version is that it’s all-new, and boasts an aluminium-intensive construction, correspondingly lighter weight and more efficient engines. Even though there’s generally more kit, the 306bhp, V6 SL 350 manages a generational weight loss of 140kg. Which means the new SL is both faster and more efficient than the car it replaces.
Styling-wise, it’s more evolution than revolution: it’s still handsome and muscular, without being caricature, though the new headlights have caused some furrowed brows. Expect the shock of the new to fade with time.