Introduced in early 2012, this generation of Mercedes-Benz’s iconic SL droptop is now bit long in the tooth, so the car gets updated for 2017 with a new front end, a few additional convenience features, and a nine-speed automatic transmission for non-AMG models.
There aren’t many changes to the existing four-model SL lineup. The V-6-powered 2017 Mercedes-Benz SL is now called the SL450 (instead of SL400), and its twin-turbo 3.0-liter engine makes 33 extra hp for a total of 362 hp. The V-8-powered SL550 carries over its engine, a 449-hp, 4.7-liter twin-turbo V-8, as do the two AMG variants–the SL63 and its 577-hp, 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8 and the top-dog SL65 with its 621-hp, 6.0-liter twin-turbo V-12. Both the SL450 and SL550 models gain a new nine-speed automatic for better fuel economy, while the AMG models soldier on with a seven-speed automatic.
Visual changes are mostly noticeable up front, where the new SL displays a larger grille, more rounded headlights, and a reshaped lower fascia. The taillights are also larger than before, and the overall effect brings the roadster more in line with the stylish and swoopy Mercedes-AMG GT sports car. The 2017 Mercedes-Benz SL’s interior mostly stays the same, though it does now offer Apple CarPlay capability for the Comand infotainment system.
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz SL’s power retractable hardtop also gets a few revisions, as it can now raise and lower at speeds up to 25 mph. There’s a new automatic trunk separator that blocks off the portion of the trunk that is taken up by the folded top as soon as the driver lowers the roof. It then automatically moves back to the expanded cargo mode when the top is raised again.
Don’t expect pricing for the 2017 Mercedes-Benz SL to change too much; the current base SL400 starts at $84,925. The updated roadster will hit dealerships in spring 2016, so look for more details to arise in the next few months.