2017 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Preview
By Christian Wardlaw, November 18, 2015
- Revised front styling for a sportier appearance
- Improved power-retractable hardtop functionality
- More powerful SL450 serves as entry point to the lineup
- New 9-speed automatic transmission for SL450 and SL550
- Curve setting added to Active Body Control suspension
- Enhanced drivetrain performance and Dynamic Select programming for AMG models
- Standard automatic emergency braking system
- New safety technologies added to Driver Assistance package
- Apple CarPlay with Siri Eyes Free added to infotainment system
- Expanded Parking Pilot capabilities
- New Saddle Brown leather color
- Brilliant Blue and Selenite Grey exterior colors
The updated 2017 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is available in SL450, SL550, AMG SL63, and AMG SL65 model series. A 2-seat convertible with a power-retractable hardtop, the SL is a grand touring car priced from about $90,000. Mercedes introduced the roadster at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Mercedes-Benz says that the iconic 300 SL Panamericana racing car served as the inspiration for the reworked styling that debuts on the 2017 SL-Class.
The front end is new, with LED headlights, reshaped grille featuring a standard diamond-pattern texture, and a bumper with larger air intakes. The hood is also redesigned, featuring dual power domes that give the SL-Class a leaner appearance.
Sporty AMG body styling is standard for 2017, along with larger 19-in. aluminum wheels. The AMG SL63 adds new side skirts with silver chrome trim while the AMG SL65’s side skirts use high-gloss chrome accents. Around back, subtle changes update the car’s appearance, with taillights with full red lenses an obvious change for 2017.
New paint colors include Brilliant Blue and Selenite Grey. The AMG models are now offered with a Night package, which blacks out certain exterior details for a sportier look, and the Exterior Carbon Fiber package adds more bits and pieces of the material.
Revised instrumentation and clock face detail are designed to update the SL-Class models’ interior, and Saddle Brown leather is a new color choice for 2017. The LED ambient cabin lighting expands to three colors: Solar Red, Polar Blue, and Polar White.
Additionally, the SL’s automatic trunk separator automatically moves down when the top is lowered, and moves up if the top is raised. Owners will no longer be required to manually execute this function.
As has always been true, Mercedes-Benz supplies a wide range of paint colors, leather selections, wheel choices, and optional equipment that allows the 2017 SL-Class buyer to tailor the vehicle to specific preferences.
Under the Hood
Thanks to a power increase for 2017, the SL’s standard twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V-6 engine now makes 362 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque. To celebrate, this model’s name switches from SL400 to SL450. The SL550 continues with its 449-horsepower, twin-turbocharged, 4.7-liter V-8 engine.
Both of these versions of the car receive a new 9-speed automatic transmission for 2017. New Dynamic Select technology provides the driver with five different driving modes from which to choose, including a Curve setting that works with the optional Active Body Control suspension to reduce the effects of lateral acceleration on occupants when the car is rounding a corner or a curve.
The Mercedes-AMG SL63 and AMG SL65 models continue with the same powerful engines they’ve used for several years. In 2017, however, the AMG SL63’s 7-speed dual-clutch transmission is revised for improved responsiveness, and the driver uses new aluminum shifter paddles to take control of gear changes. Both AMG models have a standard rear differential lock for 2017, as well as AMG Dynamic Select driving programs calibrated specifically for these models.
Active Brake Assist is new for the 2017 SL-Class. Previously known as Collision Prevention Assist Plus on other Mercedes models, this automatic emergency braking system works to avoid collisions even when the SL-Class is traveling backwards, according to Mercedes, and it includes a front and rear cross-traffic function.
For 2017, the Driver Assistance package gains several new safety-related features. Steering Assist is added to the adaptive cruise control system, designed to automatically center the vehicle in the lane of travel. The Pre-Safe Brake technology adds pedestrian detection, and new Pre-Safe Plus technology prepares the car’s cabin and its occupants for an unavoidable rear-impact collision.
The SL’s infotainment system gains Apple CarPlay and Siri Eyes Free for 2017, and Mercedes installs two USB ports in the center console to make it easier to connect devices, play music, and perform other functions. Additionally, the optional Parking Pilot technology adds perpendicular park-assist to its resume.