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      11-24-2012, 12:16 AM   #1
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2013 Mercedes-Benz SL550 - Matte Grey Metallic - mini review/VID/pics

Well, my dad just replaced his '09 SL550 with the new '13 SL550... and let me tell you, there is quite a big difference, in almost all departments (for the better!)

First... the basic facts:
4.6L V8, twin-turbocharged
429 hp @ 5,250 rpm
516 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800 rpm
7-speed auto (with paddle shifters)
weight: ~3,947lbs (heavy... but like 1000 lbs lighter than the outgoing model)

Here is a short walk-around video featuring the exterior with the hardtop both up and down, the car on and off, and the interior both on and off. Hopefully more stuff coming soon!



Mini review:
This car is absolutely SEXY in person. I know there was some controversy over the looks, and I agreed when I first saw the car online, but in person (and maybe it's because of the matte finish) it is a good looking car!

The matte finish is amazing. Looks great up close and from afar. Probably my favorite part about the car.

The interior is great. Actually quite different from the outgoing model. My dad opted for the more expensive seats, and they are extremely comfortable. Heated seats, ventilated (cooled) seats, and the 'air scarf' which will warm your neck when the top is down. Plus 4 different massage options

I think the video speaks for itself considering the styling. One thing I didn't show was the top going down. It opens and closes quite quickly, and the windscreen is a nice touch (the outgoing model had a clunky manual one that you had to put on yourself....)


Now onto performance
This car is FAST... for a base model, REALLY fast... And with the torque numbers, you can imagine how much pull it has. The turbos and extra torque really make this car noticeably much faster than the outgoing model!

Compared to the old model, it really feels much lighter, and the transmission is much less clunky. The old model was disastrous if you put it in manual and tried to shift yourself - the revs were all over the place and it was slow shifting. The new model is much improved, and although not as fast as my DCT, pretty quick shifting.

Probably the coolest thing about the car is that if you put it in Eco mode, set the suspension to comfort and leave it in auto, it will go fast if you step on it, but will cruise and coast like a normal Grand Tourer - PERFECT for someone like my dad. BUT... switch the suspension to sport, put it in sport mode, hit the manual button and turn off traction... you have a beast on your hands! I didn't push the car too hard because it needs to be broken in, but when at operating temperatures I pushed a bit. As said earlier, in sport mode if you just touch the accelerator you are gone. The handling is typical Mercedes though - Very electronic and a bit upredictable at times with oversteer.

I was also disappointed that they didn't equip a nicer exhaust. Again - typical Mercedes. You do get that V8 grunt and a nice shallow undertone, but the exhaust is very muffled and low key. Probably what is to be expected from a Grand-Tourer for the older generation who has a few bucks to spend. The AMG models are for the track guys and street racers (SL65 produces over 700lb/ft of torque with a V12 )

I haven't been able to really push the car because of break in... and I'm going back to school on the east coast on Sunday. Come winter break, I'll definitely have some more time with the car and be able to explain in more detail the performance specs. But for now, enjoy the video above, and here are a few pictures from my iPhone5 (higher quality Nikon shots coming soon)













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      11-24-2012, 05:05 AM   #2
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something about this car just makes me think 'dated'
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      11-24-2012, 05:28 AM   #3
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Nice!! Renntech lowering module to get rid of that wheel gap! Maybe the Renntech ecu software too

I'm digging the matte color, not so much those wheels though.
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      11-24-2012, 05:44 AM   #4
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I think they really screwed up the styling on this one.

The previous generation SL looks so much sleeker and sportier, in my opinion.

The tail lights of the new SL especially just look dated and less modern than its predecessor.
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      11-24-2012, 01:56 PM   #5
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Interestingly enough, it doesn't seem dated at all in person. The lights are extremely 'futuristic' and the technology is astounding. The older model was quite sleek, and very classic SL, but the tech wasn't there, both inside and out. The 6-speed was clunky and slow if you didn't allow the car to do its thing and even though it was a naturally aspirated V8, it redlined at about the same RPM as this model. And the speed and handling difference is really something when you drive both back to back.

I will admit the wheels look odd from afar, but they look great close up. Same with the styling. But that's my opinion.

There are some things I miss from the old car, but I would say that this model is a complete improvement.


EDIT:
On another note, I don't think I would have this car over my 335is. I love the exhaust and handling feel of my car and really do believe that the SL is a true grand tourer for an older person. It's quite refined, but steering is very electronic as I stated and the transmission is still a bit slow. Definitely a 'passenger's car'

(Now the SL 63/65 ... That's a different story!)
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      11-24-2012, 02:08 PM   #6
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I hate to say it, despite all its improved gadgetry and power, it's officially just a heavy sled with rockets (like most Benzs / AMGs). I respect it has more power, increased torque, etc, but it's styling isn't better than the last SL, and it does look awkward (even in person) from some angles. The lines are simply messy and the car is too slab sided. I guarantee that the front and rear are going to get a face lift in the next 24 months. The angular approach Benz try to undertake here was a mistake.

All in all, if I were in the market for a car like this, I'd rather spend less money and get a nice second hand SL63 optioned out from the last generation vs. this new one. Better yet, I'd just get a M6 with all the options.

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      11-24-2012, 02:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S65NAPWR View Post
I hate to say it, despite all its improved gadgetry and power, it's officially just a heavy sled with rockets (like most Benzs / AMGs). I respect it has more power, increased torque, etc, but it's styling isn't better than the last SL, and it does look awkward (even in person) from some angles. The lines are simply messy and the car is too slab sided. I guarantee that the front and rear are going to get a face lift in the next 24 months. The angular approach Benz try to undertake here was a mistake.

All in all, if I were in the market for a car like this, I'd rather spend less money and get a nice second hand SL55 optioned out from the last generation vs. this new one. Better yet, I'd just get a M6 with all the options.
I personally agree with some of your points, but again, this is my dads car. He will never push it near its potential and really just wanted a nice GT type car where he can put the top down. He also personally will never buy used and he also prefers the styling and interior appointments of Mercedes over BMW and Audi. If it were me ... M6 all day.

But for the market it is aiming at, I think the SL does a perfect job. And he did have the outgoing model, and we both personally like this new one quite a bit better.
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      11-24-2012, 02:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I personally agree with some of your points, but again, this is my dads car. He will never push it near its potential and really just wanted a nice GT type car where he can put the top down. He also personally will never buy used and he also prefers the styling and interior appointments of Mercedes over BMW and Audi. If it were me ... M6 all day.

But for the market it is aiming at, I think the SL does a perfect job. And he did have the outgoing model, and we both personally like this new one quite a bit better.
Totally agree, for the market they are aiming at this car does its job. I do like the paint job though, makes the car look nicer than the typical white / silver ones you see on the road.

Next up, you've got to chip out that 335is if you haven't already. That thing is a beast when tuned.
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      11-24-2012, 02:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S65NAPWR View Post
Totally agree, for the market they are aiming at this car does its job. I do like the paint job though, makes the car look nicer than the typical white / silver ones you see on the road.

Next up, you've got to chip out that 335is if you haven't already. That thing is a beast when tuned.
Looking into JB4 or Dinan. Probably this winter or summer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Team Plutonium View Post
Meh. Old man's car.
For the most part, I agree... And my dad is an older man haha. Perfect car for him.
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      11-24-2012, 02:47 PM   #10
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[quote=SaMaster14;13045612]Looking into JB4 or Dinan. Probably this winter or summer.

I think ESS makes stuff for your car too, they are pretty solid. I'd stay away from DINAN just because they are over priced and with your car there are so many other safe and tested alternatives already who offer more bang for your buck.
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      11-24-2012, 02:48 PM   #11
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[quote=S65NAPWR;13045626]
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaMaster14 View Post
Looking into JB4 or Dinan. Probably this winter or summer.

I think ESS makes stuff for your car too, they are pretty solid. I'd stay away from DINAN just because they are over priced and with your car there are so many other safe and tested alternatives already who offer more bang for your buck.
Thanks for the tip. Dinan is quite expensive. Ill check out ESS.
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      11-25-2012, 06:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
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something about this car just makes me think 'dated'
The wheels and bumpers reek of planned obsolescence. I'm putting money on it blossoming post-facelift.
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      11-26-2012, 04:05 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S65NAPWR View Post
I hate to say it, despite all its improved gadgetry and power, it's officially just a heavy sled with rockets (like most Benzs / AMGs). I respect it has more power, increased torque, etc, but it's styling isn't better than the last SL, and it does look awkward (even in person) from some angles. The lines are simply messy and the car is too slab sided. I guarantee that the front and rear are going to get a face lift in the next 24 months. The angular approach Benz try to undertake here was a mistake.

All in all, if I were in the market for a car like this, I'd rather spend less money and get a nice second hand SL63 optioned out from the last generation vs. this new one. Better yet, I'd just get a M6 with all the options.

Attachment 787392
100% agree with the previous gen sl.
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      11-26-2012, 04:14 AM   #14
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Nice car but it really doesn't suit the matt paintwork, cars like this need to be sparkle!
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      11-26-2012, 08:17 AM   #15
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Sad to say but I agree on previous SL. Even the pre-facelift model still looks great. I really wanted to like the new SL but even when I seen spypics I could tell it wasn't going to be all that. I respect the fact its lighter and the interior looks good, but overall it's disappointing. Front/rear lights and the nose are ugly.
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      11-26-2012, 10:15 AM   #16
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Some clown near me replaced his red SLS with a 2013 black SL, talk about a major downgrade, especially in style. Really not feeling the exterior of this one. The interior is great though.
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      11-26-2012, 11:08 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
Some clown near me replaced his red SLS with a 2013 black SL, talk about a major downgrade, especially in style. Really not feeling the exterior of this one. The interior is great though.
Not sure why someone would go from SLS to SL... the SL is like the 'baby SLS' kinda. did he get the SL65? (that may not have been the biggest downgrade)

Regardless, again, having driven and seen both the last model SL550 and the new SL550 in the garage, on the road, etc... I still like this new one (and not just because my dad just got one). Idk, I really do like the styling. Maybe because my dad's '09 SL didn't have the AMG package like this one? Or the fact that he got it the first year it was released - so now it feels dated to me?

I love the matte color and do think the car stands out. The older model was sleek, but this model truly is a different car (its turbo-charged, not NA, its wider and longer, but lighter). Handling is actually very similar, same with steering - there is just more power and WAY more torque, the throttle is incredibly responsive in sport mode.
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      11-30-2012, 12:51 PM   #18
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Looks good. The only thing holding it back are the wheels. They look good but with the matte finish they are a little too plain IMO. SL are great cars for what they are made for.
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      11-30-2012, 01:06 PM   #19
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Looks good. The only thing holding it back are the wheels. They look good but with the matte finish they are a little too plain IMO. SL are great cars for what they are made for.
definitely.

And I'm curious to see what the wheel options are for the 63 and 65. I know the ones on my dad's car are the 'AMG package' wheels for this new SL.
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      11-30-2012, 01:14 PM   #20
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congrats.
my personal fav is the 280SL that's within my reach. the older i get the more i like classics.
i also like the last gen's facelifted SL, but the new one is quite stunning at night. i was walking with gf at night and the new SL rolled by, the sound and the lights are something to remember.
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      11-30-2012, 09:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
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congrats.
my personal fav is the 280SL that's within my reach. the older i get the more i like classics.
i also like the last gen's facelifted SL, but the new one is quite stunning at night. i was walking with gf at night and the new SL rolled by, the sound and the lights are something to remember.
Definitely. My dad had the 09 SL550 (facelifted last gen) and I loved it. But I personally think this new car is an improvement in almost every way.

The classics are amazing too! I know my dad had one of the old SL models a while back. When you needed to actually manually take the top off and store it (no convertible top was built yet)
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      12-01-2012, 02:13 AM   #22
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Sorry but the car isn't aggressive enough to pull of the matte grey. maybe with some really agressive aftermarket wheels it would. It also needs the Renntech lowering module because that wheel gap is disgusting
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