SA gets 'more accessible' Merc SL

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.

The Mercedes-Benz SL 400 AMG Line is powered by a twin-turbo 3-litre engine that punches out 245kW and 480Nm. It is priced at R1 218 653.

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