2009 Mercedes-Benz SL-class

David Gluckman
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Mercedes has released information about the 2009 SL in advance of its debut at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. The big roadster will get visual changes similar to the recently announced 2009 SLK roadster and CLS four-door coupe.

The most noticeable changes happen up front. Gone are the twin round headlights, replaced by units that appear to be lifted from the CLS. The more-compact lights make room for a wider single-bar grille adorned by a large three-pointed star. That new grille along with the dual "power domes" on the hood recall the progenitor of the SL line - the 300SL Gullwing.

Moving down the side of the Merc we can see gill vents aft of the front fenders which replace larger openings on the last SL. Like the 2009 CLS, the SL gets new side-view mirrors that house arrow-shaped turn indicators. Changes to the rear are minimal and include a new diffuser and trapezoidal exhaust tips.

Interior alterations are also subtle. A new corporate three-spoke steering wheel shows up - the same we've seen on the updated CLS and SLK. Mercedes-Benz's Airscarf - first seen on the SLK roadster - will now be an option. The system blows warm air around occupants' necks to keep things comfortable in cool weather, extending convertible season that little bit later. An upgraded multimedia/navigation sound system is standard.

North America will continue to get four models - the V-8 SL550 and V-12 SL600 and SL65 AMG remain mechanically unchanged. New for 2009 will be an SL63 AMG, replacing the SL55 - AMG offerings will now mirror those of the CL- and S-classes. We expect the SL63 to produce power figures similar to the myriad other 6.2-liter V-8 applications - around 518 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque.

We'll get more details at the show in early March. For now, have a look at the images below to see what's changed.

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