This is the next Mercedes SL
Merc’s next-gen two-seat cruiser is nearly here; will get lightweight aluminium bodyshell
What you see is the next Mercedes-Benz SL, or at least the insides. This, Internet, is the first all-aluminium Mercedes since ever.
Taking its namesake quite literally (Sport, Light), Mercedes has told us the new aluminium bodyshell sitting underneath the all-new SL weighs around 110kg lighter than a "comparable bodyshell", and reduces the overall weight of the new car by 140kg over its predecessor. If you take the current SL500 as a base, you're looking at a kerbweight of around 1770kg, even less for an SL350.
Merc engineers have used a mere spattering of other materials in the shell, such as magnesium in the rear panel, and high-strength steel-tubing integrated into the A-pillars.
"The effect is rather as if a heavyweight-class passenger had got out of the car and taken his heavy flight luggage too," explains Dr Thomas Rudlaff.
Why are we telling you this? Because the net result of losing a Fat Man With Bags means the next SL should be even faster and pointier than the current model. And fast and pointy is good. It also means those range-topping engines - especially the 63 and 65 AMGs - will have less to haul, and more to shout about.
The new SL will be unveiled in full next month, so till then, enjoy these pics...