Mercedes-Benz facelifts CLS, SL, SLK (2008)

Published: 26 April 2007

These don't look much like new cars, what's different?

Very little. Mercedes is preparing a mid-life refresh of three of its classiest models. Just about all the differences you see here on the SLK, CLS and SL are cosmetic and are intended to breathe some new life into the cars. There's very little that Mercedes can do to improve the way the CLS looks. What can be deduced from these spy shots cold weather testing are that it's in line for a CL-like new grille. The black plastic generously wrapped around the rear of the car points towards a fresh set of rear light clusters and a new bumper, but that appears to be it.

What about the SL?

Now pay attention here, because this is a bit more revolutionary. Merc's engineers should have covered up more of the SL's front end, because our photos reveal a suspiciously CLS-esque set of boomerang headlamps. The SL received some mechanical tweaks last year, so it's unlikely to be any different to drive but it will certainly look quite different.

And for the SLK?

Nothing quite as monumental. The SLK is wearing pretty minimal disguise so this will be reflected in the modifications. The SLK is in line for some minor head and tail light alterations, plus new bumpers front and rear. It's hanging on to the aggressive F1-style nose, and we hear it might sprout some triangular bars beneath the nose to imitate the Silver Arrows F1 cars.

So when will the new Mercs hit the showrooms?

No hard dates yet, but all three are expected to be on sale in the UK by around this time next year. Despite the lack of mods under each car's bonnet, the styling cues are worth remembering. There's some speculation that the CLS's boomerang-shaped lights could spread to other Mercedes models.