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Welcome arrow Articles arrow Car Reviews arrow Mercedes-Benz SL500
Mercedes-Benz SL500 PDF Print E-mail

The latest addition to the impressive Mercedes-Benz line-upis its fantastic two-seater sports coup?-cabriolet, the 5.5 liter V8 SL500.? Not suitable for everyone, but an amazingsports model that continues the prestigious line for Mercedes-Benz.

The most recent model in Mercedes-Benz extensive line-up isthe new SL500, equipped with a silky V8 engine, which in turn is mated toMercedes? award-winning seven-speed automatic transmission. Optional ? readcheaper ? are a six-speed manual gearbox or a five-speed automatic.? Power output from the big V8 is a healthy 388bhp, or 285 kW, while peak torque is achieved between 2,800 and 4,800 rpm,reaching 530 Nm.? The result of all thisgives the SL500 a sprint time from a standstill to 100 km/h of just 5.4seconds, while maximum speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h.

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The latest SL-Class has had a significant facelift andfeatures new lamps, a more prominent radiator grille and ?gill-like? trimpanels on the front wings.

The folding metal roof of the SL can disappear at the pressof a button and takes just 16 seconds to lower into its own compartment. TheMercedes-Benz engineers in Germany have gone to a great deal of trouble toensure that with the roof folded, there is still room for luggage.? The roof mechanism is extremely clever andallows even golf bags to be carried in the boot, with the roof down; roof upthe boot is cavernous.

A novel ? extremely useful ? feature is a ?hill-hold? devicethat enables the driver, by pressing once hard on the brake, to activate a fullbrake-on system until the merest touch on the accelerator releases it; perfectfor traffic conditions, particularly on inclines.

Inside the car, the instrument cluster shroud featuresimproved shading, while there is a 3D instrument cluster with hanging needlesand a sporty multi-function steering wheel in a three-spoke design with a mattchrome decorative insert.

Although the SL500 is only a two-seater, there is a greatdeal of luggage space behind the seats, including lockable storage boxes.? There are a number of other storagecompartments dotted around the interior, including one under the passengerseat.

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The interior itself is, as you would expect, extremely wellfinished and includes cruise control, automatic climate control, a premiumsound system of 510 Watts with no fewer than 10 speakers.? Electrically controlled seats ? with twomemories ? are standard, while for colder climes the seats have a heatingmechanism.?

The handling is almost perfect due to the light weight ofthe SL ? the bonnet, front wings, doors and boot lid are all aluminium ? whilethere is little roll in the corners.

The suspension is firm and there is some tire thump overuneven surfaces, but this is a sports car after all and the noise is not particularlyintrusive.? Indeed the ride is extremelycomfortable in all driving situations.

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The C63 that featured in these pages recently (Gazette July 12) had hip-hugging seatsthat are quite narrow for European backsides, but with the SL-Class the comfortis exemplary.? No complaints whatsoeverabout the accommodation.? In addition,the seat belts are integral with the seats precluding any contorted attempts toreach a remote belt.? Access to the rearis achieved by an electric switch on top of the backrest which slides the seatforward, although in reality there is little useable space behind the seats.

The SL500 is not for everyone, and is certainly not cheap.? The official Mercedes-Benz website lists onlythe SL350, which is priced at 11,790m baht; the SL500 would have to bespecially ordered.? For more informationgo to www.mercedes-benz.co.th



 

 
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