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by Tim Beissmann

An official brochure of the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class has been leaked approximately one month ahead of the luxury sports convertible’s unveiling at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Uncovered by Dutch website Autoblog.nl, the all-new Mercedes SL adopts the German brand’s new styling philosophy, incorporating an upright grille with a large three-pointed star badge, bold headlights, flowing side panels and a muscular rear end. The front end especially appears to be influenced by the brand’s 2009 BlueZERO concept, while the profile takes its sporting lines from the SLS AMG Roadster.

The interior of the new SL-Class follows the lead of the SLS and SLK, featuring round, propeller-style air vents, a large central screen and a neat cluster of buttons on the centre console.

Destined to arrive in Australian showrooms in the third quarter of 2012, the new SL-Class replaces the ageing flagship convertible, which has been on sale since 2003. Mercedes-Benz has not confirmed prices yet, although the new range is likely to mirror the outgoing one, which starts at $242,780 and tops out at $513,760 for the ballistic SL 65 AMG.

As reported last month, the extensive use of aluminium throughout the chassis and body of new SL-Class will bring weight reductions of up to 140kg, which should drop the SL 350-replacement’s kerb weight below 1700kg.

New features to the 2012 SL-Class include the Front Bass audio system, which integrates subwoofers into the front foot-wells for high-quality top-down audio quality, and Magic Vision Control windscreen wipers, designed to limit overspray into the cabin.

More details on the 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class will be revealed at Detroit on January 9.




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