Design: Masculine, muscular athlete’s physique

Mar 12, 2012
  • Classic SL proportions
  • Organically interpreted central star
  • Striking sidelights and daytime running lamps
  • Forwards thrust even at a standstill
  • Elegant, racy tail end
The design of every Mercedes-Benz SL has an obligation to a great legend, and yet it is always very clearly looking to the future. The designers have unmistakably showcased the youngest generation of the style-defining roadster on the basis of tradition, but also with new perspectives and visions. This has resulted in a formal identity and the high overall aesthetic quality.
In the interplay between innovation and tradition we have created a stylish, sporty and elegant luxury sports car with the classic, well-balanced hallmark SL proportions: the long bonnet is followed by a compact, set-back passenger compartment. A broad, muscular, racy-looking tail end completes the picture.
Design boss Professor Gorden Wagener: “The athletic, sports star’s physique with its masculine, muscular character says a great deal about the new SL and confidently emphasises its status as the high-performance heart of our brand. At the same time, discerning athletic standards are met by powerfully sculpted surfaces formed by just a few lines and beautifully crafted details. The traditional design elements from our rich history are more than visual quotations. They tell of the courage and the pioneering spirit which have shaped our brand, and reflect these properties in a contemporary way – with enthusiasm and passion. Alongside top technical performance and innovations, it is also this which makes the new SL an unmistakable character.”
The front signals a self-confident presence
Visually, the new SL is clearly marked out as a prestigious member of the current Mercedes-Benz sports car family. At first glance this is evident from the very upright classic sports car radiator grille which has featured on all the Mercedes-Benz vehicles with a sporty character – right from the initial generation of the SL. The central star in the radiator grille points the way to the future: it is a contemporary reinterpretation of the famous trademark, which now runs into the centrepiece with organically flowing contours.
What’s more, on the new roadster the designers have waived the classic
separation of the bumper and the radiator grille. The lower edge of the grille now dips into the bumper, supporting the pronounced V-shape and resulting in more formal presence. In addition to this, the steeply positioned radiator grille lengthens the bonnet in visual terms. Two air outlet grilles, each with two chromed fins, have their roots in Mercedes-Benz’s traditional, dynamic design repertoire. A succinctly sculptured edge – developing from the upright radiator grille – draws across the long bonnet in a taut arch and flows organically into the A-pillar.
Dynamically positioned at an angle, headlamps located far on the outside flank the distinctive front and the broad air intake, giving the new roadster its own inimitable look. It appears masculine and it does also radiate a certain restrained aggressiveness.
The standard-specification ILS headlamps are characterised by very high-quality tubes for the low and main beam which have been styled with great attention to detail, plus a chrome bracket surrounding the main headlamp and the flared arrangement of the indicator lamps and sidelights. All the further functions feature LED technology – such as the distinctively curved sidelights and the horizontal band of the daytime running lamps in the outer sections of the bumper.
The silhouette displays muscles with character
A minimal amount of artistically styled lines define the athletic yet smooth surfaces of the flanks. The shoulderline rises from the headlamps and stretches like a tensed muscle over the entire length of the vehicle and into the tail lights. Side grilles with fins in the front wings stylishly cite the classic SL legend and form the starting point for a feature line. This structures the proportions and lends the vehicle a visual forwards thrust even at a standstill. It tapers out in the tail light as a discreet line.
Free-standing exterior mirrors located on the beltline not only support the modern character of the side view; thanks to this position they also improve vision of the road.
Depending on the engine variant, various light-alloy wheels are available in 17-inch and 18-inch versions. The exquisitely bordered wheel arches are designed for a maximum size of 19 inches at the front and 20 inches (only in the case of AMG) at the rear.
Muscular tail end
A small number of sweeping lines shape the broad, clearly defined tail end. Elegantly flowing and at the same time racy and muscular, it forms the roadster’s distinguished finishing flourish that is so full of character. Thanks to the boot lid with its steel interior and plastic panelling, it has been possible to stow the aerials out of sight inside the vehicle so that they do not interrupt the flowing lines in the rear area. This is also the case with the roll-over protection, which lies hidden from view in the body and is only activated in case of danger.
Tail lights with LED High Performance technology highlight the width of the tail end. They taper inwards to a point and have a discreet kink in the contour. The rear fog lamp is located centrally between two trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes. A horizontal swage line in the lower area of the bumper provides added emphasis of the broad effect.
The colour range for the exterior encompasses twelve different paints. These include the BRIGHT paint diamond white and the special colour cerussite grey metallic SHAPE – the first matt paint in the standard-specification paint range for a Mercedes-Benz model series.
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class: New features include HANDS-FREE ACCESS, which enables the boot lid to be opened and closed without even touching it by making a kicking motion. There is room for two golf bags in the boot.
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class: New features include HANDS-FREE ACCESS, which enables the boot lid to be opened and closed without even touching it by making a kicking motion. There is room for two golf bags in the boot.
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class: Even the basic version of the SL comes equipped with the COMAND Cockpit Management and Data System. There is also the option of the COMAND Online system with internet access and DVD changer. Both COMAND variants come with a highresolution TFT colour display built into the dashboard next to the instrument cluster.
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, exterior, studio
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, exterior, studio
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, exterior, studio
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, exterior, studio
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class: The tail’s width is accentuated by the full-LED tail lights, which taper towards the inside and have a discreet kink in their outline.
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, exterior, detail, studio
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, exterior, studio
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, exterior, studio
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, exterior, studio
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, interior, studio
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, exterior, studio
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, exterior, studio
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, exterior, studio
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, design
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, design
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, design
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, design