2014 Mercedes-Benz SL400
Naturally aspirated engines seem destined for the endangered species’ list as forced induction makes its way into nearly every mainstream category. The latest example is the new SL400 roadster Mercedes announced today. It’s a direct replacement for the SL350 roadster with the only real change centered around the new 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6.
The new biturbo V-6 might be down on displacement from its 3.5-liter predecessor, but it makes up for it with power — 26 extra horses and 81 extra pound-feet. Mercedes says 0 to 62 mph time will drop 0.7 seconds, doing the deed in 5.2 seconds on its way to its 155-mph governed top speed. While Mercedes does have a nine-speed transmission available for use, the German automaker decided the current seven-speed unit would suffice for the SL400.
The biturbo V-6 was first seen last year in the E400 sedan, though it made less power. Like that engine, the SL400’s mill features some pretty snazzy tech to create tire-turning torque while keeping the EPA (and customers’ wallets) happy. Its direct-injection fuel system features Piezo injectors that squirt fuel up to five times per power stroke for an even burn. The pressure at which they operate is varied based on engine mapping and certain conditions. Lighting the fuel is an ignition system that creates multiple sparks over during the same power stroke of each piston. Just like the fuel, the individual spark events are variable in their timing — all in an effort for the cleanest, most power-producing burn possible.
Mercedes says the SL400 will get 32 mpg while producing minimal tailpipe emissions.
Updated 08/27/14: Mercedes has released pricing details for the SL400. The model also has extra options that you can have installed at a cost.
Mercedes hasn’t mentioned any exterior updates from the SL350 to the new SL400 besides the appropriate badging swaps. That’s all well and good, as the SL-Class is a beautiful car that was redesigned in 2012. Even though its going on three years old, the design doesn’t look dated or tired.
The SL-Class features a few nifty gadgets on its outside like MAGIC VISION CONTROL which works with the windshield wipers by only squirting washer fluid on the wipers alternating leading edge. It’s MAGIC SKY CONTROL also helps with outward visibility. The power-folding hard top comes with a panoramic glass insert above the passengers, giving a open-air feel even with the top up. The driver can switch the glass between transparent and opaque at the touch of a button. This sort of technology was first seen on Mercedes’ Maybach limousines.
Like we mentioned before the jump, the new SL400 comes with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo (or biturbo as Mercedes calls it) V-6 making 333 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a conventional seven-speed automatic that powers the rear wheels.
Like other manufacturers, Mercedes seems to be taking the reduced-displacement, forced-induction route. This not only helps increase power from a smaller, lighter engine, but also helps increase the car’s overall fuel economy. Sure, folks shopping for a $100,000 two-door roadster probably aren’t overly concerned about how the EPA rates their fuel consumption, but it does help Mercedes meet those looming CAFE standards.
Since the SL400 will take the lowest spot in the SL-Class lineup, we expected it to begin just under $100,000. What we didn’t expect was its $84,925 (including destination) price tag, well below our initial estimate of $95,000.
A handful of options are available with the SL400, including a Premium 1 Package for $4,900, a Sport Wheel Package for $2,000, and a Driver Assistance Package for $2,950.
2015 Mercedes-Benz SL400 – Base Pricing