Mercedes-AMG SL, R 231, 2015

Revealed in a series of videos earlier today, the facelifted R231 Mercedes-Benz SL has finally been officially unveiled. The sixth-generation Sportlich Leicht roadster has been given a new lease of life via heavily revamped looks, more power and some added tech.

Gone is the ungainly front fascia of the current car – in its place sits a far sleeker design. The reshaped trapezoidal grille has a diamond design (like our A 250 Sport, CLA 200 and CLS 400) as standard, capped off by the traditional large three-pointed star, while the headlights (now with the LED Intelligent Light System as standard) are slimmer and more swept back.

The bonnet has also been reshaped, but retains the dual power domes and twin air outlets with silver strakes. Meanwhile, the AMG Line exterior styling kit is now standard, so all SLs get the larger front air intakes with the characteristic A-wing design.

Mercedes-Benz SL, R 231, 2015

Down the flanks, there are new side skirts as well as larger cosmetic air vents, while the rear gains revised tail lights with full-red lenses along a new rear valence with a diffuser-like design and integrated dual exhaust outlets. Rounding off the exterior changes are a new range of 19-inch alloy wheels as well as new Brilliant Blue and designo selenite grey magno colours.

Little has changed on the inside, save for a new flat-bottomed three-spoke steering wheel, refaced instrument gauges and optional analogue clock, new audio face buttons and new saddle brown nappa leather upholstery. There are some practical additions, however – the folding metal vario-roof can now be operated at speed of up to 40 km/h, and there’s a new electrically-operated automatic boot separator, too.

Also new is the COMAND infotainment system that gets Mercedes me connect suite of recovery and emergency call services as standard, as well as Apple CarPlay connectivity and optional Remote Services. COMAND Online, standard on all but the base SL 400, also receives Internet radio and live traffic information.

Mercedes-AMG SL, R 231, 2015

The range of engines has also been revamped – the base 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 in the SL 400 has been uprated and now produces 367 PS from 5,500-6,000 rpm and 500 Nm from 1,800-4,500 rpm – those figures are 35 PS and 20 Nm up from before. The 0-100 km/h sprint time is now down to 4.9 seconds, while fuel consumption now stands at 7.7 litres per 100 km.

Moving up, the 4.7 litre biturbo V8 in the SL 500 now kicks out 455 PS at 5,250 rpm and 700 Nm from 1,800-3,500 rpm, 20 PS up from before. Zero to 100 km/h takes 4.3 seconds while fuel economy is rated at 9.0 litres per 100 km. On both models the new nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic transmission is fitted as standard.

Mercedes-AMG SL, R 231, 2015

The hi-po Mercedes-AMG SL 63 and SL 65, on the other hand, are unchanged – the former retains the 5.5 litre biturbo V8 making 585 PS at 5,500 rpm and 900 Nm from 2,250-3,750 rpm, while the latter sticks to the 6.0 litre twin-turbo V12 producing 630 PS at 5,500 rpm and a full 1,000 Nm 2,300-4,300 rpm.

Both retain seven-speed automatic gearboxes – AMG Speedshift MCT (now quicker in Sport Plus and manual modes) on the SL 63, AMG Speedshift Plus 7G-Tronic on the SL 65.

Under the skin, the optional Active Body Control (ABC) suspension gets a new curve tilting function first seen on the S-Class Coupé – this enables the car to lean into bends like a motorcycle rider, tilting by as much as 2.65 degrees depending on the road angle and vehicle speed, at speeds between 15-180 km/h.

GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz SL 500


GALLERY: Mercedes-AMG SL 63
GALLERY: Mercedes-AMG SL 65