Johannesburg - The term “entry-level” just doesn’t sound right when referring to a luxury car, so we’ll call the new Mercedes SL 400 AMG Line launched in South Africa this week a “more accessible” version of the brand’s high-end roadster range.
The 400 might fall at the bottom of a now four-strong SL line-up (behind 500, 63 and 65 models), but with 245kW and 480Nm at its disposal it’s hardly an anaemic offering. Power comes from a twin-turbocharged three-litre V6 which, when paired with Merc’s 7G-Tronic Plus automatic gearbox, equates to a respectable claimed 0-100km/h time of 5.2 seconds. Top speed is, as usual, restricted to 250km/h.
Standard features, as per all current SLs, include Intelligent Light System (ILS) headlights with five preset modes for different weather conditions; Adaptive Damping System which automatically adjusts shock firmness every 10 milliseconds depending on driving situations; a unique Frontbass system which sees rearward-firing subwoofers mounted in the firewall, and clever Magic Vision Control wipers which virtually eliminate momentary blindness caused by windscreen sprayers.
Of course you also get the SL’s retractable vario-roof that converts the car from hard-topped coupé to open-air roadster within a matter of seconds, and incorporates (as a R45 000 option) a cutting-edge party trick called Magic Sky Control which sees the glass roof panel switch from transparent to near opaque at the push of a button.
The SL 400 AMG Line’s not a purebred AMG model like its 63 and 65-badged siblings – instead the AMG designation refers to a styling package that includes a flat-bottomed nappa leather steering wheel; deep front, rear and side skirts; and 19” five-spoke alloy wheels.
Pricing is set at R1 218 653, which is R331 591 less expensive than the V8-powered SL 500. - Star Motoring