Launched in 2012, the sixth generation of the Mercedes-Benz SL is nearing a mid-cycle facelift, which will hopefully correct some of its not-overly elegant styling and bring it more in line with the current Mercedes-Benz design language. Until then, the Stuttgart carmaker decided to celebrate the 60th anniversary of a major motorsport success with a limited-edition version of its largest roadster. Back at the 1955 "Mille Miglia" endurance race, a stock 300 SL with race number 417 managed to come first in the production sports car class and fifth in the overall standings, leaving a number of racing prototypes behind.

Celebrating both the race triumph and that specific 300 SL, the new Mercedes-Benz SL "Mille Miglia 417" special edition will be launched at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, with both the SL400 and the SL500 (550 in the U.S.) getting the package as an option — for a premium, naturally. Ordering is said to commence from 7th April, 2015, with the SL63 and SL65 AMG being oddly skipped from the program.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL 417 Mille Miglia Edition.

Exterior

2015 Mercedes-Benz SL 417 Mille Miglia Edition High Resolution Exterior
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Speaking of which, the wheels measure 19 inches at the front and 20 inches at the rear, giving the models a drag-racer look.

As you would expect, most of the differences sported by the SL Mille Miglia 417 Edition are to be found on the outside. The model comes with the an AMG bodykit and AMG Performance wheels standard, but those are not the only distinctive bits. Red highlights are found on the from just about every angle, with the front bumper featuring a red aerodynamic lip, while the sporty color is also found on the rear spoiler, the brake calipers and the surrounds of the AMG Performance wheels. Speaking of which, the wheels measure 19 inches at the front and 20 inches at the rear, giving the models a drag-racer look.

Both the SL400 and SL500/550 Mille Miglia 417 come with magnetite black metallic paint, but buyers may also choose designo night black magno (pictured) or designo cashmere white magno matte paint. Designo diamond white bright is also available, but the standard red accents work best with the "frozen" matte black from designo – but maybe that’s just me. Further distinctive features include the "SL Mille Miglia 417" badge on each side gill.

Interior

2015 Mercedes-Benz SL 417 Mille Miglia Edition Interior
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The black floormats have red edging and feature an embroidered "1000 Miglia" logo as well.

Continuing the "red is better" philosophy started by the exterior, the SL Mille Miglia 417’s interior is also adorned with a multitude of red accents, most of them contrasting with either black nappa leather or carbon fiber. The AMG seats are standard, as is the black center console with contrasting carbon-fiber inlays and red edging. Engulfed in Nappa leather, the headrests feature an embossed carbon fiber-like structures and also have embroidered "SL Mille Miglia" logos. Red edging is also featured outlining the black door panels and red armrests, while the sports steering wheel is engulfed in red and black Nappa leather and also features an embossed carbon fiber-like finish. The black floormats have red edging and feature an embroidered "1000 Miglia" logo as well.

Drivetrain

2015 Mercedes-Benz SL 417 Mille Miglia Edition High Resolution Exterior
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The SL500/550 moves courtesy of a twin-turbocharged, 4.7-liter, V-8 that delivers 429 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque.

Curiously, the SL63 AMG and SL65 AMG models don’t get a Mille Miglia 417 special edition, with the special package only arriving on the lesser SL400 and SL500 (again, called SL550 in the U.S.). As a refresher, the SL400 represents the base model in the lineup, being powered by a twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter, V-6 with 329 horsepower and 355 pound-feet of torque on tap. The SL500/550 moves courtesy of a twin-turbocharged, 4.7-liter, V-8 that delivers 429 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. Both models are paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission, while the electronically controlled Active Body Control (ABC) air suspension is sadly optional. This means that despite the Mille Miglia 417 models looking like they mean business, those wanting something that also goes like it’s on rails will have to opt for the AMG versions.

Prices

2015 Mercedes-Benz SL 417 Mille Miglia Edition Exterior
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As with most special goodies from Mercedes-Benz, the Mille Miglia 417 special-edition package comes with a hefty premium over the base models. Buyers will need to shell out an extra EUR 14,800 (approx. $16,900 as of 2/17/2015) for the SL400 Mille Miglia 417, while those who want the V-8 model will only have to pay an extra EUR 12,800 (approx. $14,604 as of 2/17/2015).

Competition

Jaguar F-Type Convertible

2016 Jaguar F-Type AWD Convertible Exterior
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We saw the F-Type AWD Convertible live at the LA Auto Show.

While the F-Type Convertible is not exactly a direct rival for the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, some of its features make it good enough to be cross-shopped with the roadster from Stuttgart. Somewhat directed at the SL400, Jaguar offers the standard F-Type Convertible with a supercharged, 3.0-liter, V-6 with 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. While it sounds miles better and even offers a bit more horsepower (but less torque) than its German counterpart, the F-Type Convertible is actually slower than the SL400, with or without the Mille Miglia 417 package.

Unfortunately, the SL500/550 doesn’t have a direct counterpart at Jaguar, but those wanting more oomph from their F-Type Convertible can always opt for the F-Type R, which comes with a supercharged, 5.0-liter, V-8 with 550 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. As an extra, the F-Type Convertible can be also optioned with all-wheel-drive for the V-8 and the mid-level V-6 versions, something that the Mercedes-Benz roadster doesn’t offer.

Porsche 911 Carrera Cabrio

2009 Porsche 911 Carrera
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Again not a direct rival for the SL Roadster on paper, the convertible version of the Porsche 911 nevertheless has almost always been cross-shopped against its Stuttgart neighbor. Sporting an array of naturally aspirated or twin-turbocharged flat-six engines at the rear, the 911 Carrera Cabriolet lineup offers something for just about everyone. The Mercedes-Benz SL400 in Mille Miglia 417 guise or not can be countered by the standard 911 Carrera Cabrio, which is powered by a naturally aspirated, 3.4-liter, flat-six, which deliver 350 horsepower and 287 pound-feet of torque.

Equal in performance to the SL500/550 model, the 911 Carrera GTS Cabriolet is powered by a naturally aspirated, 3.8-liter, flat-six with 430 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. Unlike the SL Roadster, the aforementioned 911 models can be paired with either a seven-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch PDK.

Conclusion

2015 Mercedes-Benz SL 417 Mille Miglia Edition High Resolution Exterior
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In theory, I think it’s cool for Mercedes-Benz to commemorate one of the 300 SL’s successes in motorsport, especially since the current SL could really use some styling updates. On the other hand, neither the SL400 or the SL500/550 have many things in common with the original "Sport Leicht" (Sport Light) model. In fact, the new Mercedes-AMG GT is a more worthy successor to the gull-winged supercar in terms of character. That said, the Mille Miglia 417 special edition brings a lot of much-needed eye candy to the luxury roadster. Now, if only the upcoming mid-cycle facelift would repair that front end, because this package certainly didn’t do much in that regard.

  • Leave it
    • Far from cheap
    • No AMG versions allowed
    • Doesn’t increase performance

Press Release

Mercedes-Benz celebrates the 60th anniversary of a memorable motor racing success with an extraordinary special model of the SL Roadster. Its name commemorates the unexpected victory of a 300 SL in the production sports cars class at the 1955 "Mille Miglia", one of the world’s most challenging long-distance races. What’s more: the SL Special Edition "Mille Miglia 417" provides a special experience of the unique symbiosis of maximum comfort and motor racing spirit that traditionally characterises every SL. The Special Edition adds a distinctive note, among other things, with red exterior highlights and fine materials in the exclusively appointed interior.

2015 Mercedes-Benz SL 417 Mille Miglia Edition Exterior
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The Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster is more than an icon. Passion shapes its character and its charisma – in the past and today. Legendary vehicles and their stories dominate the model history. One of them is told by the SL that started the famous "Mille Miglia" in 1955 with race number 417 at 4:17 am. After 11 hours, 29 minutes and 21 seconds it had completed the race distance of 1597 kilometres on public roads from Brescia to Rome and back. Driven by the American private driver John Fitch with assistance from his co-driver Kurt Gessl, it crossed the finish line to great acclaim in fifth place of the overall standings and as the winner of the production sports cars, leaving numerous racing prototypes behind. Production 300 SL cars also took second and third place in this class.
After 60 years the new SL Special Edition "Mille Miglia 417" now expresses the laudatory proclamation about this victory and the car with race number 417. For this reason Mercedes-Benz also integrated the legendary number "417" into the badge of this special model as a reminder – a symbol for the passion that helps shape the charisma of every SL Roadster.

2015 Mercedes-Benz SL 417 Mille Miglia Edition High Resolution Exterior
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Performance, pronounced sportiness and innovative roadster comfort are hallmark fundamental features that also distinguish the Special Edition "Mille Miglia 417". The 6-cylinder engine in the SL 400 with 245 kW (333 hp) and the eight-cylinder in the SL 500 with 335 kW (455 hp) enable top sporting performance. As standard, ESP® Curve Dynamic Assist, an adaptive adjustable damping system, and in particular the optionally available unique Active Body Control ABC deliver sporty lateral dynamics while offering outstanding comfort at the same time.
The design of the Special Edition meets high aesthetic standards and underscores its spirit with stylish red highlights. Red is the colour of the lip on the front spoiler, and a red trim strip on the rear spoiler contrasts with the matte carbon. Red brake callipers gleam through the spokes of the black AMG Performance wheels, which sport subtle red surrounds and have diameters of 19 inches at the front and 20 inches at the rear.
The Special Edition "Mille Miglia 417" comes as standard with a magnetite black metallic paint finish. Optionally the two designo night black magno and designo cashmere white magno matte paint finishes or the designo diamond white bright shiny paintwork are also available. The designo paintwork lends the vehicle an individual and exclusive character.

2015 Mercedes-Benz SL 417 Mille Miglia Edition High Resolution Exterior
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Mercedes-Benz has further upgraded the luxurious yet sporty interior with fine materials and meticulous master craftsmanship. The AMG Line seats as well as the black centre console with contrasting inlays and red edging are eye-catching features. The leather headrests sport an embossed carbon structure and an embroidered "SL Mille Miglia" label. Red edging also outlines the black door centre panels with red armrests. The easy-to-grip steering wheel is wrapped in red and black nappa leather with sporty embossed carbon structure and bolsters the sporty ambience. The trim elements have a matte carbon finish. The black floor mats with red edging sport an embroidered "1000 Miglia" label.

The SL Special Edition "Mille Miglia 417" is available as an SL 400 and as an SL 500 model. The price premium for the classy and extensive optional extras that lend the SL Roadster a special flair is EUR 14,800 for the SL 400, and EUR 12,800 for the SL 500 (net). The Special Edition can be ordered from 7th April.

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