What’s this then?
You’re looking at the new Mercedes-Benz SL 400, available from July.
The engine. The SL 400 edges out the old SL 350 as the entry-level model in the range. It’s entry-level only by default, though – there’s more power than before, it’s quicker, and it’s similarly economical.
What powers it?
A new twin-turbo V6. The SL 350’s V6 was naturally aspirated, but the turbochargers make up for the drop in displacement from 3.5-litres to 3-litres. Power has climbed to a useful 333 horses and torque is now 354 pounds-feet, a jump of over 80 lb-ft compared to the old engine.
The 0-62 mph sprint has dropped from 5.9 to 5.2 seconds as a result, top speed is maintained at a limited 155 mph, and nature will love you as the new engine is Euro 6 emissions compliant. Your wallet may love you just a little less, as combined fuel economy has actually dropped slightly from 37.7 mpg to 36.7 mpg. Not enough to break the deal, but we thought we’d warn you anyway.
Available only in ‘Sport’ trim, buyers get 19″ AMG five-spoke alloys as standard, along with AMG front and rear aprons and side skirts, a boot lid spoiler in body colour and sports suspension. Mercedes’ chequered flag-style instrument cluster makes an appearance, as does a flat-bottomed steering wheel, brushed aluminium trim and AMG floor mats.
Go on then, tell me the bad news…
Actually, it’s not that bad – pricing is more or less identical to the outgoing 350, at 72,500. Move up to the SL 500 Sport and you’re looking at a bill for 81,915. Mercedes has bumped up power on the 112,510 SL 63 AMG (it now produces 585 horses) and as ever, the SL 65 AMG tops the range at 170,815.
Plenty. We’ll point you in the direction of Maserati Gran Cabrios, Porsche 911 Cabriolets, the Bentley Continental GTC, BMW’s 6-Series Convertible and even the Ferrari California, if you have your eye on one of the AMG models.
And in a line:
Mercedes’ entry-level SL gets a little less entry-level.