What's New for 2013:
- Aluminum body shell
- Electric steering with Direct Steer technology
- Mbrace 2 telematics system
- FrontBass audio system
- Panoramic glass roof
- Optional Magic Sky Control variable transparency glass
- Optional active lane-keeping assist system
- Optional active blind-spot assist system
- Optional Distronic Plus active cruise control with Pre-Safe Braking
- Optional front and rear park-assist sensors with Active Parking Assist
- Optional Bang & Olufsen BeoSound premium audio system
The redesigned 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is a 2-passenger grand touring roadster offered as the SL550, SL63 AMG, and SL65 AMG. The SL63 AMG and SL65 AMG models are discussed in a separate article.
The 2013 Mercedes SL550 is equipped with a power panoramic glass retractable hardtop that lowers in 16 seconds, according to the automaker. Standard equipment also includes 18-inch aluminum wheels, bi-xenon headlights with Active Curve Illumination and Adaptive High-beam Assist, LED running lights, LED taillights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a Magic Vision Control windshield washer system that Mercedes says eliminates the temporary obfuscation of traffic ahead common with typical washer jets.
The redesigned SL550 is equipped with standard sun-reflective leather upholstery, choice between Burl Walnut or Black Ash wood trim, 12-way power-adjustable heated seats with memory settings, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a power wind blocker. Auto-dimming rearview mirrors, universal garage door opener, and a premium audio system with FrontBass speaker technology, satellite radio, HD Radio, CD/DVD changer, and a hard-drive music server are also standard. Additionally, the SL550 includes a navigation system and Bluetooth connectivity with music streaming capability.
Three option packages are offered for the 2013 Mercedes SL550. The Premium 1 package adds a reversing camera, front and rear park-assist sensors with Active Parking Assist, Keyless Go passive entry with push-button ignition, hands-free access trunk with a power closing mechanism, active multi-contour front seats with active ventilation, and an AirScarf neck-heating system. Additionally, the SL550 can be equipped with a Sport Wheel package (19-inch AMG aluminum wheels, sport steering wheel, larger front brakes, perforated rear brake discs) and a Driver Assistance package (active blind-spot assist, active lane-keeping assist, active cruise control with PreSafe Brake).
Mercedes offers additional options on an individual basis. They include matte-finish paint, Bang & Olufsen BeoSound premium audio system, soft-closing doors, premium sun-reflective leather, analog clock for the top of the dashboard, illuminated doorsill plates, and a wood/leather steering wheel. An optional Magic Sky Control feature electrically alters the panoramic glass roof's transparency level, while an Active Body Control suspension upgrade aims to eliminate body roll, pitch, dive, and squat.
Under the Hood
The 2013 Mercedes SL550 has a new twin-turbocharged, 4.6-liter V-8 engine generating 429 horsepower and 516 lb.-ft. of torque. Automatic stop/start technology is standard, and helps to improve fuel economy by shutting the SL's engine off while the car is idling at an intersection or in traffic.
A 7-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters and ECO, Sport, and Manual driving modes is standard, delivering engine power to the car's rear wheels. According to Mercedes, the SL550 accelerates to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.
A semi-active suspension with an Adaptive Damping System offers driver-selectable Comfort and Sport tuning. New for 2013, the electromechanical steering includes Direct Steer technology, which varies the steering ratio depending on vehicle speed and how far the steering wheel is turned.
EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Mercedes SL550 are 17/25/20 mpg (city/highway/combined).
The 2013 SL-Class is equipped with 4-wheel ventilated disc anti-lock brakes with brake assist, torque vectoring brake, predictive brake priming, brake drying, hill-start assist, and hill-hold assist technologies. Additionally, the new SL includes 8 air bags, including knee air bags and head air bags, as well as a traction and stability control system, PreSafe technology that readies the cabin for a collision, pop-up roll bars designed to protect occupants in a rollover accident, and Attention Assist drowsy driver detection technology.
Safety-related options include a reversing camera system, front and rear park-assist sensors, and a Driver Assistance package with active blind-spot assist, active lane-keeping assist, and an active cruise control system with PreSafe Brake technology.
As this overview is written, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has performed crash tests on the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class.