The 2017 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class isn’t scheduled to debut until next week at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show, but photos of the facelifted sports car have already hit the web. They show some mildly-updated styling that seems heavily influenced by the AMG GT.
Posted by World Car Fans, the photos include the “standard” SL, as well as the sportier SL63 AMG and SL65 AMG variants. The biggest visual change seems to be a new front end with headlights and other elements referencing the newer AMG GT, plus a textured grille on non-AMG models that resembles ones from different Mercedes coupe models.
Full specifications will be released next week, but there shouldn’t be any radical changes. There are currently four SL-Class variants: two non-AMG, and two AMG. The SL400 has a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with 329 horsepower, while the SL550 uses a 4.7-liter twin-turbocharged V8 with 449 hp. The SL63 AMG’s 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 generates 577 hp, and the SL65 sits at the top of the range with a 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12, good for 621 hp.
Interior shots show a larger display screen, indicating some changes to the infotainment system. There also appears to be a new controller for the Dynamic Select system, which allows drivers to adjust the car’s behavior with multiple programmable driving modes. There may be other changes as well, although they may be limited given that this is just a facelift.
The SL is one of Mercedes’ most iconic models, but its mission has changed over the years. With its signature gullwing doors, the original SL was a full-on sports car designed for competition, and built to show Mercedes’ technical prowess. The current SL is a more laid-back cruiser, with a folding hardtop and lots of luxuries. The more hardcore performance role has been ceded to the AMG GT. That makes the SL a little less exciting, something Mercedes is likely looking to combat with this update.