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2012 Mercedes SL Spied

Fri, 31 Dec 2010

2012 Mercedes SL caught testing

When the fifth generation Mercedes SL hit the headlines back in 2002 it was a revelation, offering as it did the best of a coupe and a convertible and a completely bonkers performance version in the SL55.

But eight years is a long time in the life of a car – even with a cosmetic facelift in 2008 – and the SL has lost its way as the flagship of the Mercedes range. More powerful cars like the SLS have put the SL in to the shadows, and even its little brother – the Mercedes SLK – is probably more desirable.

But all that will change when the next generation SL arrives – probably at Frankfurt 2011 – as a new car from the ground up. Based on a stretched and tweaked E-Class chassis, the new 2012 Mercedes SL will be bigger on the outside and roomier on the inside.

It will feature Mercedes latest ‘Magic’ controls for both the suspension – Magic Ride Control – and for the retractable roof – Magic Sky Control. The Magic Roof Control – which is also going to be available on the 2011 Mercedes SLK – darkens the glass roof to control heat and light.

Magic Ride Control looks extremely clever. It uses sensors to read the road ahead for imperfections – potholes, cracks, lumps – and adjusts the suspension to suit to give a ride optimised to the road surface. Let’s hope Mercedes give it enough processing power to deal with UK roads.

Visually, the 2012 SL will get a nose which follows the latest family theme at Mercedes and a back end that follows the lead set by the latest CLS. Inside you can expect the SL to go further upmarket, offer more space and be easier to get in and out of thanks to the longer wheelbase.

The 2012 Mercedes SL could well re-ignite Europe’s love affair with the Sport Leicht.

By Cars UK