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Boulevardiers rejoice! Mercedes SL scrubs up for 2016

Published: 18 November 2015

► New Merc SL blows in to LA show
► First pictures of 2016 model year
► Fresh look, extra tech galore

Where better to launch your GT convertible legend than Los Angeles? The new 2016 model year Mercedes-Benz SL bowed in at its world debut at the 2015 LA auto show ahead of a showroom launch in the spring. 

It's a modest nip 'n' tuck for the most stately of boulevard cruisers, with a mild refresh to the design, more powerful engines, the latest nine-speed automatic transmission and a host of small techincal upgrades.

The new 2016 Merc SL range in full

Most engines are upgraded, with even the base V6 gaining 35bhp. The line-up looks like this:

  • SL400 3.0 V6, 362bhp, 369lb ft, 155mph, 4.9sec 0-62mph
  • SL500 4.7 V8, 449bhp, 516lb ft, 155mph, 4.3sec 0-62mph
  • SL63 AMG 5.5 V8, 577bhp, 664lb ft, 155mph, 4.1sec 0-62mph
  • SL65 AMG 6.0 V12, 621bhp, 737lb ft, 155mph, 4.0sec 0-62mph

The vast majority of buyers will be well serviced by the SL400, judging by our recent drive in the 'starter' SL. Do you really need something faster than this sub-5.0sec 0-62mph roadster? If you do, be prepared to sacrifice the V6's 175g/km CO2 rating for emissions plummeting to 205/229/279g/km depending on your chosen cylinder count. You have been warned...

What else is new on the facelifted SL?

Note the new bumper, bonnet and headlamps on the 2016 model year SL; it's a subtly tweaked look, most noticeable at the front where the bulging bonnet power domes, LED headlamps and new radiator grille mark out the new car. All models now get the AMG styling kit as standard and there are new alloy wheel designs too.

But many of the tweaks are to software and equipment. The new 9G-Tronic nine-speed auto now has Dynamic Select switchable driving modes to set up the car for pampering or performance; the roof now operates at speeds of up to 30mph; Apple CarPlay is supported; and the boot divider is automated to split the space for roof and luggage.

See the new Mercedes SL roadster family in UK showrooms by April 2016. And click here for more information on the range.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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