When Mercedes launched the R231 SL-Class, it was a big deal. The car had been improved mechanically and electronically in many key areas, but there was one problem: it was kind of ugly. Not ugly like the Nissan Juke, but still it was a pretty sad follow-up to the design for the R230.
To help improve the Mercedes image, the company has facelifted the SL, and the results are great. Apparently the designers felt that the grille was oriented the wrong way before, because it has the appearance of almost being flipped the opposite direction. The headlights are slimmed down and have been pushed more to the corners, with LED units standard.
Buyers will get more 19-inch wheels designs, including a new 10-spoke layout with a high-gloss black finish.
Also reworked is the front fascia, which is bolder and more “dynamic” as Mercedes likes to say. The A-wing design is a nice touch, as are the chrome accents. The hood now features two powerdomes, which just make the car look a little more athletic.
The interior was also touched up with a new gauge cluster design that’s supposed to add to the sporty nature of the car. New ambient lighting colors have been added, for when owners want to set the right mood.
Mercedes didn’t stop just at looks to improve the SL-Class further. Active Body Control, which tilts the car’s body by as much as 2.65 degrees during cornering, is no longer exclusive to AMG models. If a buyer goes with it, the Eco mode on the Drive Select system is swapped with a Curve mode.
Another big upgrade makes a mechanical rear differential lock standard for the AMG SL63 and SL65, which used to be included in an optional package. The seven-speed transmission has been upgraded and aluminum shift paddles.
Shoppers will be able to get their hands on the updated Mercedes SL in the spring of 2016.