2014 Mercedes-Benz SL400
Naturally aspirated engines seem destined for the endangered species’ list as forced induction makes its way into nearly every mainstream category. The latest example is the new SL400 roadster Mercedes announced today. It’s a direct replacement for the SL350 roadster with the only real change centered around the new 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6.
The new biturbo V-6 might be down on displacement from its 3.5-liter predecessor, but it makes up for it with power — 26 extra horses and 81 extra pound-feet. Mercedes says 0 to 62 mph time will drop 0.7 seconds, doing the deed in 5.2 seconds on its way to its 155-mph governed top speed. While Mercedes does have a nine-speed transmission available for use, the German automaker decided the current seven-speed unit would suffice for the SL400.
The biturbo V-6 was first seen last year in the E400 sedan, though it made less power. Like that engine, the SL400’s mill features some pretty snazzy tech to create tire-turning torque while keeping the EPA (and customers’ wallets) happy. Its direct-injection fuel system features Piezo injectors that squirt fuel up to five times per power stroke for an even burn. The pressure at which they operate is varied based on engine mapping and certain conditions. Lighting the fuel is an ignition system that creates multiple sparks over during the same power stroke of each piston. Just like the fuel, the individual spark events are variable in their timing — all in an effort for the cleanest, most power-producing burn possible.
Mercedes says the SL400 will get 32 mpg while producing minimal tailpipe emissions.
Updated 08/27/14: Mercedes has released pricing details for the SL400. The model also has extra options that you can have installed at a cost.
Click past the jump to read more about Mercedes-Benz SL 400.
2014 Mercedes-Benz SL400
Horsepower @ RPM:333 @ 5250
Torque @ RPM:354 @ 1600
0-60 time:5.2 sec.
Top Speed:155 mph
Mercedes hasn’t mentioned any exterior updates from the SL350 to the new SL400 besides the appropriate badging swaps. That’s all well and good, as the SL-Class is a beautiful car that was redesigned in 2012. Even though its going on three years old, the design doesn’t look dated or tired.
The SL-Class features a few nifty gadgets on its outside like MAGIC VISION CONTROL which works with the windshield wipers by only squirting washer fluid on the wipers alternating leading edge. It’s MAGIC SKY CONTROL also helps with outward visibility. The power-folding hard top comes with a panoramic glass insert above the passengers, giving a open-air feel even with the top up. The driver can switch the glass between transparent and opaque at the touch of a button. This sort of technology was first seen on Mercedes’ Maybach limousines.
Current SL-Class pictured
Like other manufacturers, Mercedes seems to be taking the reduced-displacement, forced-induction route.
Like we mentioned before the jump, the new SL400 comes with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo (or biturbo as Mercedes calls it) V-6 making 333 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a conventional seven-speed automatic that powers the rear wheels.
Like other manufacturers, Mercedes seems to be taking the reduced-displacement, forced-induction route. This not only helps increase power from a smaller, lighter engine, but also helps increase the car’s overall fuel economy. Sure, folks shopping for a $100,000 two-door roadster probably aren’t overly concerned about how the EPA rates their fuel consumption, but it does help Mercedes meet those looming CAFE standards.
Since the SL400 will take the lowest spot in the SL-Class lineup, we expected it to begin just under $100,000. What we didn’t expect was its $84,925 (including destination) price tag, well below our initial estimate of $95,000.
A handful of options are available with the SL400, including a Premium 1 Package for $4,900, a Sport Wheel Package for $2,000, and a Driver Assistance Package for $2,950.
2015 Mercedes-Benz SL400 - Base Pricing
Jaguar has see quite a revival since the F-Type’s release in 2013. The Roadster has proved to be a wonderful car will great balance, poise, and plenty of power. Though it only come with a soft top, the F-Type doesn’t neglect the luxuries of a grand tourer. Like the SL-Class, the F-Type comes with different engine options designed for different buyers.
Starting out, the F-Type is powered by a 3.0-liter, supercharged V-6 making 340- to 380 horsepower (depending on trim level) and a raucous 5.0-liter, naturally-aspirated V-8 making 495 horses and 460 pound-feet of torque.
Prices for the F-Type Roadster start at $65,500 for the standard trim and climbs to $77,000 for the ‘S’ Trim. The most powerful F-Type is the ‘R,’ whose price starts at $99,000.
The 6-Series is offered in two different trim levels, both having the option of xDrive, BMW’s all-wheel-drive system. The base 640i comes with a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder making 315 horsepower. The 650i has BMW’s powerful 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 making an impressive 445 horsepower. Both engines are backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission that features Sport and manual shift modes.
Like the Jaguar, the 6-Series comes with a fabric soft top. While it may permit more sound to enter the cockpit while driving, the ragtop does keep the car’s overall weight down and lowers the center of gravity.
Pricing for the 6-Series starts at $82,900 for the 640i while adding xDrive bumps the price to $85,900. Upgrading to the 650i puts the base price at $94,200 while the 650i xDrive starts at $97,200.
The addition of the SL400 to the SL-Class lineup seems to be a smart move on Mercedes’ part. It potentially lowers the base price to the SL-Class while helping bump up the corporate CAFE fuel-economy average.
The benefit of downsizing engine size and bolting turbos or a supercharger on has been realized in other cars across the world, though Mercedes hasn’t been ignorant of that. This car is just the continuation of the replacement of displacement for a good cause. It’s because of increased technology and better engineering that we’re able to enjoy high-horsepower engines with good fuel economy. Otherwise, we’d be right back in 1973 with 120-horsepower V-8s strangled with smog-absorbing devices that also absorbed all the fun. Those were certainly dark days.
Source: MBUSA SL