Monday, April 27, 2015

Mercedes-Benz SL400

When the words 'Mercedes-Benz SL' come out of your mouth, there are a few things you need to be aware of before you go on any further.First of all, this car is legendary, having been born 60 years ago as the famous 300SL. So if you'd like to have high expectations when it comes to it, be my guest. Second of all, and more important, you need to be aware that this is one of the most versatile luxury Roadsters ever made.

The Mercedes-Benz SL is a lot like a luxury watch brand. Not everyone can afford it, but there are plenty of different models to choose from, be it elegant, sporty, stylish and so on. You're spoiled for choice.

Such is the way with the SL line-up. It's available in 4 different versions, each of them able to directly challenge specific versions of pretty much any other luxury convertible in the world.

Of course, there are the top dogs, the SL 63 and SL 65 AMG, where both of them can knock on the door of any Ferrari California, BMW M6 Cabrio, Jaguar XKR Convertible, Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabrio, Aston Martin V12 Vantage Roadster and Vanquish Volante and so on. Those two are basically as good as any SL Merc can get.

However, the one I've been driving is the entry-level SL 400 - a car that can only go against the likes of the BMW 640i Cabrio, Porsche 911 Carrera Cabrio, Jaguar XK Convertible and Maserati GranCabrio. Normally, all these cars would have been SL 500 rivals, but Mercedes went and got rid of the old SL 350 and the much faster SL 400 was born.

Thanks to its twin turbocharged V6 engine, this car is a lot faster and more efficient than the older naturally aspirated V6, but we'll get into all of that a bit further on.