Until now, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL hardtop convertible was a closely guarded visual secret, and was only spotted testing with plenty of camouflage. We say “was” because the SL’s promotional brochure has apparently been leaked online well ahead of its official debut.
The shots were picked up by Autoblog.nl, who reportedly pulled them from a German car forum. While Mercedes-Benz is predictably tight-lipped about if the shots are real or not, we don’t hear anyone crying about them being a Photoshop job.
Visually, the first thing one will notice off the bat is that it looks…quite like an SL. The new car preserves much of the old car’s visual DNA, including the protruding grille and long, lightly creased rear deck, as well as the long retractable hardtop, but also sprinkles in a bit of the CLS four-door coupe in the long taillamps and the SLS AMG in the front vents.
Underneath, it’s also business as usual, as the SL will use a full line of Mercedes’ most popular engines. The Europe-only SL350 will likely continue to use Benz’s 3.5-liter V-6, while the SL500 will utilize the company’s new 435-hp, 4.6-liter twin-turbocharged V-8. AMG options will likely include a SL63 variant -- which should pack a 565-hp, twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V-8 -- and a SL65, which will likely use a 630-hp, twin-turbo 6.0-liter V-12.
Autoblog.nl also reports that the new car will be about 309 pounds lighter than the car it replaces. That’s no doubt thanks to the fact that this SL will be an aluminum-intensive vehicle. By weight, the new SL is about 89 percent aluminum.
Expect to see the SL debut in all its glory early next year.