Mercedes SL350 and SL500 buyers in Europe can select a new check box on the options sheet. It's the SL-Class sports package, and it comes with five-spoke wheels, silver-painted front brake calipers and perforated brake discs at the rear wheels to heighten stopping power. Minor performance mods include a sport air cleaner in the SL350 installed to give it a throatier growl. The 7G-TRONIC automatic gets a manual-shift program and paddle shifters. Merc says the tranny programming decreases shift times by 30 percent. Inside are a few tweaks including silver contrast stitching, black fabric roof liner and aluminum trim, and Nappa leather. Prepare to pony up nearly 3000 euros for the extra bits.
Sports package for the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
Sporty looks and technical highlights
The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is now available to order with a sports package comprising exclusive details that inject a new and thrilling sense of flair. Inside, it is primarily the silver-coloured contrast stitching, perforated leather and aluminium trim in a fresh new look that set the tone for the sporty and luxurious ambience. Outside, large wheels in a thrilling five-spoke design dominate the picture, while setting off the silver-painted front brake callipers to particularly stunning effect. Perforated brake discs at the rear wheels help endow the Roadster with excellent stopping power. Finally, the 7G-TRONIC Sport transmission with steering-wheel shift paddles further intensifies the sports car sensation felt when sitting inside the Roadster bearing the mystical letters "SL".
Ever since the world-famous 300 SL Gullwing Coup was premiered over 50 years ago, the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class has ranked as one of the most fascinating and coveted cars in the world. Now in its fifth generation, the current SL-Class has lost none of this mystique and excels in all the same ways as its predecessors, by offering sophisticated design, groundbreaking technology, exceptional comfort and immense driving pleasure. A new equipment package from Mercedes-Benz, which is available to order now, gives the two-seater an even sportier, individualised look thanks to a host of refined details both inside and out.
The new large 19-inch wheels (8.5 inches at the front with 255/35 ZR19 Y tyres, 9.5 inches at the rear with 285/30 ZR19 Y tyres) are the most striking visual feature and deftly underscore the extra-special status of the SL-Class with sports package. Their sensational, newly devised design comprising five twin spokes with very straight lines and a hubcap cover featuring the Mercedes star and laurel wreath instantly attracts the gaze of any onlookers. The wheels' visual impact is reinforced by the fact that they afford an unimpeded view of the attractively styled front brake callipers, which have been specially painted in silver for the sports package and marked with the Mercedes-Benz lettering. The high-performance brake system lives up to these sensational looks, assisted by perforated brake discs at the rear wheels too. Dark-tinted tail light units form a further distinguishing feature.
Innovations on the technical side include a sports air cleaner that produces a richer sporty sound in the SL 350. The chief technical highlight of the new sports package is, however, the 7G-TRONIC Sport seven-speed automatic transmission, the only passenger car transmission of its type in the world. Apart from a manual shift program, the new transmission also comes with steering-wheel shift paddles in both the SL 350 and the SL 500. The paddles allow drivers to shift through the seven gears without having to take their hands off the multifunction steering wheel, just like in a racing car. What's more, 7G-TRONIC Sport is capable of shortening gearshift times by as much as 30 per cent.
In the interior, silver-coloured contrast stitching on the seats, steering wheel, dashboard, centre console, selector lever gaiter, armrest as well as the door linings (and in the rear of models with Exclusive nappa leather appointments) creates an unmistakable emphasis. The same applies to the borders of the high-grade velour floor mats. A roof liner trimmed in black fabric, new-look aluminium trim as well as the perforated leather adorning the steering wheel and selector lever further underline the car's sporty aspirations.
When the model received its most recent facelift one year ago, the engine line-up, driveline and suspension were all tuned for even sportier performance. Ever since, a new V6 and V8 power unit together with even more powerful V8 AMG and V12 engines have been delivering yet more dynamic motoring pleasure in the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, allied to an even greater sense of effortlessly superior fun at the wheel. The second-generation "Active Body Control" suspension in the SL and its more direct steering for that extra touch of sportiness are equally as impressive.
The new sports package offers customers an enticing way of further enhancing and personalising this legendary dream car. It is only available for the SL 350 and the SL 500 in conjunction with black leather appointments (standard in the SL 500). It is priced at 2975 (incl. VAT).
Spy Photos: 2009 Mercedes SL AMG [internal]