2015 Mercedes-Benz SL400 brings uncharacteristic frugality to the SL lineup

2015 mercedes benz sl400 announced

Typically, when a carmaker unveils a new model it has more power than its predecessors, not less.

Yet that’s exactly what Mercedes-Benz has done with the latest addition to the SL-Class lineup. Rather than top the existing V8 and V12-powered SLs (which would be pretty difficult), it’s decided to emphasize efficiency with a base model.

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL400 packs a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 like the one used in the European-market E400 sedan.

That may sound less impressive than the twin-turbocharged V8s used in the SL550 and SL63 AMG, or the twin-turbo V12 in SL65 AMG, but the V6 produces a stout 328 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque.

That’s enough to propel one of the world’s most luxurious two-seat cars form 0 to 62 mph in 5.2 seconds, and on to a top speed of 155 mph.

However, the SL400’s biggest selling points will likely be increased fuel economy and a lower price, which Mercedes will refrain from revealing until closer to the car’s U.S. launch. According to Autoblog, that will be sometime this fall.

Mercedes hasn’t offered a V6 SL in the U.S. since the 1998 SL320, but has sold them continuously in Europe. The SL400 replaces the less-powerful, naturally-aspirated SL350 there, so it’s actually an upgrade for Continental buyers.

The SL400 may not be as fast as its siblings, but for those who can do without ultimate power, it should be a more practical alternative to the existing models with the style and luxury one would expect of Mercedes’ indefatigable drop-top.

Cars

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…
Cars

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.
Cars

Lexus LC convertible concept teases a new open-air flagship

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Lexus LC convertible concept adds open-air motoring to the sleek LC's resume. But Lexus won't commit to a production version of the car just yet.
Cars

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.
News

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.
Cars

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Cars

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.
Cars

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.
Cars

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.
Cars

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.
Cars

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.
Cars

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.