Mercedes SL (2012) caught testing in the snow

Published: 14 January 2010

Last month we brought you some early spy photos of the new 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL on one of its first tests on road. Now we've snapped the coupé-convertible on test in the snows of Scandinavia.

This SL looks like it's been shot! Check out those bullet holes...

That'll be the classic Mercedes development disguise – black cladding adorning most body panels to keep prying eyes at bay. Damn.

But we can still make out enough to sense the new SL will stick with a similar recipe in its next iteration: it'll feature a folding hard top again, and the proportions are clearly visible under this disguise. Make no mistake, this is one very long car.

We hear there will be new aluminium know-how underpinning the next SL to keep the kilos at bay. Codenamed R231, the new SL roadster was co-developed alongside the SLS Gullwing supercar – both share alloy spaceframe know-how to chop weight from the scales.

Engines due for the new 2012 SL

Expect a range of V6 and V8 engines on offer. Most will be petrol, but we wouldn't be at all surprised if Mercedes breaks its duck and offers the next-gen SL with diesel power for the first time. Jaguar is known to be developing a derv-supping XK and the stigma attached to diesel sports cars is rapidly drying up.

And although V12s seem like dinosaurs in this carbon-obsessed new decade, some markets demand the fulsome cylinder count. So it's likely that 12-pot power will be retained, along with a brace of AMG-fettled go-faster roadsters. 

By Tim Pollard

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