Story and photos by Azfar Hashim
11 Nov 2012

The Mercedes-Benz SL is rich in history, and according to Azfar Hashim, this latest iteration will go down history books as one of the more iconic SL

Introduction, Exterior

If you’re reading this review with much interest, the reason is pretty obvious: you find Porsche’s Boxster “too sporty”, BMW’s Z4 simply “too feminine” and you think the Jaguar F-Type – slated to arrive somewhere in the first half of next year – is just not worth the wait.

And also, a healthy number of moneyed convertible buyers regard the Mercedes-Benz brand very highly. So already, it’s safe to say Mercedes-Benz has a winning product with the SL.

That said, it was good times spent with the new SL350: if you always have the impression that Mercedes-Benz were seamless operators with no driving engagement, lack the sporty intention and appeal only to drivers beyond 40 years young, this convertible will make you think twice. There’s just something that Mercedes has done brilliantly right…

The exterior is definitely more worthy than it’s predecessor. Nothing over the top, not too much lines BUT just enough to extend that sophistication and class that nothing else exude, currently. Don’t get me wrong though – the 981 Boxster is beautiful, but next to the SL, is like comparing Yves Saint Lauren to Chanel. Premium products, but different appeal.   

There’s that chiseled face: matching big grill, designer headlamps and sleek front bumper with the right amount of chrome inserts to make it less boring. Muscular lines on the bonnet and along the sides seem to work well, with air intake on both bonnet and fender further adding that touch of sportiness. Makes you wonder how long they took to get just the bodyshell design approved…

Those alloys are 19-inch big by the way, which fills up all four wheel arches nicely. But the pattern provided - as seen here - doesn’t seem too stylish enough to match the SL; it doesn’t do much justice to compliment the already beautiful exterior. Thankfully, there’s a long list of patterns - 11 to be precise - to choose from the brochure.

Interestingly though, this SL is actually longer (by 50 mm) and wider (by 57 mm) than its predecessor but there’s just no way of telling.

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