Mercedes-Benz is striving to achieve not only improved performance but also enhanced handling agility and fuel consumption with the upcoming SL-Class. Seen here are images of the chassis and body which use an extensive aluminium construction. Fuel consumption and acceleration times are expected to drop as a result, with fuel efficiency improving by 30 per cent compared with the current range.
According to a recent Auto Motor und Sport report, the new construction will help to shave up to 140kg off the luxury convertible's existing weight. At the same time, the lightweight shell will be up to 20 per cent more rigid thanks to a number of hydroformed main beams and chilled-cast longitudinal sections.
Since the SL-Class is the S-Class of convertibles, the 2012 model will introduce a number of new technologies and features. These include a 'Front Bass' in-car entertainment system, which includes sub-woofers mounted in the front foot wells to improve sound quality during top-down drives.
The 2012 SL-Class will also get an innovative in-wiper washer system called Magic Vision Control. The system sprays and cleans the windscreen with little chance of overspray entering the cabin when the roof is down.
As reported yesterday, Mercedes-Benz is working on a new 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine. The engine is expected to be one of the powertrain options for the new SL.
The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is set to be unveiled at the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, starting January 10. We'll keep you updated with any prior details, as well as full coverage on the show.
View spy images of the new Mercedes-Benz SL-Class.