by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

First SL of the new series delivered at the Mercedes-Benz Bremen Customer Center

The first example of the new SL series has been recently delivered to its owner at the Mercedes-Benz Customer Center in Bremen. Klaus Hahn, a furniture store owner from Solingen, Germany, came along with his wife to pick up the roadster. "I've been owning SL roadsters for 20 years, because I like the combination of comfort and sportiness. I find the technology of the new model particularly fascinating.", said Hahn. He opted for an SL 350 version in metallic Cavansit Blue paint job.

Andreas Keller, head of the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen: "For the new edition of this automotive icon, we have designed our body shop from scratch. The new SL is produced almost entirely from aluminum and this site has now become an excellence center for lightweight construction technology. We are very proud that Bremen continues the success story of this cult sports car. "

In 1952, the forefather of the SL was taking part in international grands prix as racing car. In 1954, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the first street-legal model: the legendary 300 SL Gullwing. In 1963, 1971, 1989 and 2001 further generations of the sports roadster followed, which were first produced at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Sindelfingen and, since 1989, at the Bremen facility too. Over 650,000 SLs were manufactured after serial production started in 1954.

The new-generation Mercedes-Benz SL takes the meaning of the famous letters "SL" – super, lightweight – literally. For the first time Mercedes-Benz has implemented an all-aluminium bodyshell in a series-production model. Only very few components consist of other materials. The designers use the even lighter magnesium for the cover behind the tank. High-strength steel tubing is integrated in the A-pillars for safety reasons. The aluminium structure is not only lighter but also proves superior to the predecessor's steel construction in terms of rigidity, safety and comfort. Compared to the previous model, the new SL 350 is 140 kilograms lighter, whereas the new SL 500 weighs 125 kilograms less.

Mercedes-Benz offers the new SL in two distinct versions: SL 350 with a V6 engine and SL 500 with a V8 biturbo unit. The new BlueDIRECT engines deliver 225 kw (306 hp) in the SL 350 and, respectively, 320 kW (435 hp) in the SL 500.

The new SL features two world premieres: the FrontBass system provides a concert hall atmosphere even in an open car. It uses the free space in the hollow aluminum structures in front of the footwell as a resonating chamber for the woofer. MAGIC VISION CONTROL is a new and highly efficient wiper/washer system. The innovative wiper blade concept always applies the washer fluid just in front of the wiper blade lip via the channels integrated into the blade – in both directions of wipe. For the first time, a fully heated wiper blade is available as an option that prevents snow or ice from forming on the blade in winter.

The HANDS-FREE ACCESS system is another Mercedes-Benz innovation which provides hands-free, contactless operation of the boot lid. The driver simply moves their foot in the vicinity of the rear bumper. Mercedes-Benz is the only car maker to offer a system which not only automatically opens the boot lid but closes it as well.

About the Mercedes-Benz Bremen Plant

With more than 12,800 employees, the Bremen plant is the largest private employer in the region. Currently, eight models are produced at the site: the C-Class sedan, the C-Class station wagon and the C-Coupe (together with the Black Series version of the C 63 AMG Coupe), the E-Class Coupe and Cabriolet, the GLK and both SLK and SL roadsters. In 2011, the plant has produced over 313 000 vehicles, which is more than ever before. The market research firm J.D. Power and Associates has awarded the factory last year for its production quality as the best passenger car production plant in Europe. In the future, the facility will play an important role in the Mercedes-Benz production network: it is bound to become a competence center for high-volume series cars with the launch of the next generation C-Class.

Credits: Daimler AG

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