Mercedes unveiled its seventh-generation SL at the LA Auto Show last month, and the new car is expected to hit showrooms sometime in 2016. While the last generation SL only came out a few years ago, the new version has undergone many bold changes, making the upgrade worth it for diehard Mercedes fans.
If you plan to enroll in auto mechanic courses, read on for a brief history of Mercedes’ classic model, and get the inside scoop on the interior and exterior specs featured in the all-new 2017 SL.
An Auto Mechanic Student’s Guide to the History of the Mercedes SL
It all started in 1954 when Mercedes released the 300 SL, which is also commonly referred to as the “Gullwing,” due to its upward-opening doors. The SL designation comes from the German Sportlich-Leicht, which translates into Sport Lightweight.
The infamous Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing.
The model was originally a hardtop coupe with a four-cylinder engine, and it became available in a convertible roadster version by 1960. The next big change came in 1963 with the 230 SL. This model boasted a newly-designed 2.3 litre, six-cylinder engine that was mechanically fuel injected. Larger engines weren’t available on the SL until several generations later, when the 420 SL was released in 1986 with a 4.2 litre V8.
Things got interesting in the 1990’s, when Mercedes began producing cars with their sports division AMG. In 1995 the company produced the rare SL 73 AMG, which was equipped with a powerful 7.3 litre V12 engine that could produce 525 horsepower.
Students taking auto mechanic courses likely know that today, the SL is available in 4 different engine variations, including a 6.0 litre turbocharged V12 that puts out 612 hp.
A Look at the SL’s New Design for Students in Mechanic Courses
The facelift on the SL’s body design gives it a truly elegant and sporty look. The front end features LED headlights accented by the customer’s choice of carbon fiber or chrome. Compared to the last SL model, the 2017 version has rounded tail lights and several wheel options—all at 19 inches.
One of the most interesting features of the SL’s new design is a two-piece hardtop roof that fully retracts with the push of a button while the car is moving at speeds up to 40 km/h. The roof has the option of Mercedes’ Magic Sky Control—glass roofs that can go from clear to opaque with the push of another button. It also comes with Magic Vision Control, which enables water hoses (that are built into the windshield wipers) to spray in both directions directly in front of the blades.
Students Enrolled in Auto Mechanic Colleges Will Love the SL’s New Engine
Students enrolled in auto mechanic colleges would definitely love to work on the new Mercedes SL engine. The base model’s twin-turbocharged V6 comes with an additional 34 horsepower compared to the current version, raising the total output to 362 hp. Mercedes developed a new 9-speed automatic transmission called the 9G-TRONIC, which is featured in the 2017 SL in order to back the engine. There will be 2 AMG versions available— the SL 63 will pack a V8 that puts out 577 hp, and the SL 65 will have a massive 6.0 litre twin-turbo V12 capable of producing 621 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque.
Check out this clip of the 2017 SL at this year’s LA auto Show:
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