With an output of 285 kW/388 hp and 530 newtonmetres of torque, the newly developed V8 engine in the SL 500 offers everything that is expected of a powerful sports car. The eight-cylinder unit has a displacement of 5.5 litres and is one of the most powerful engines in its displacement class. The SL 500 accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 5.4 seconds (predecessor model: 6.2 seconds). Despite the 26 percent boost in performance, the fuel consumption (NEDC combined) matches that of the predecessor model at 12.2 litres per 100 kilometres.
The 2007 Mercedes SL-Class has newly developed exhaust systems: the particularly stirring and powerful engine note has been specially tuned to enhance the driving experience while still offering exceptional comfort on even the longest trips. Mercedes-Benz equips the V6 and V8 models of the new SL-Class with the 7G-TRONIC seven-speed automatic transmission as standard. 7G-TRONIC Sport, which is available as an optional extra, allows shifting to be performed up to 30 percent faster in manual "M" mode; furthermore, this package features steering-wheel shift paddles similar to those used in Formula 1.
The ABC (Active Body Control) active suspension system (standard in the SL 500 and SL 600), which is regarded as one of the milestones of automotive technology, has been refined even further for the new SL-Class. Compared with the predecessor model, body movements in dynamic driving situations have been reduced by up to 60 percent. This takes the SL-Class into a new dimension of driving dynamics, yet the Roadster still offers the same high level of comfort. Standard in the SL 500 and SL 600, Active Body Control is available as an optional extra for the SL 350. A new steering set-up with a more direct ratio and new valve control logic makes the SL-Class even more responsive. In addition, the brake systems of the SL 350 and SL 500 have been optimised for the increased engine output.