The new model is the sixth-generation of Mercedes’ luxurious grand tourer and convertible, which began with the original 300SL ‘gullwing’ model and following roadster back in the 1950s.
Living up to its German ‘Sport Leicht’ designation, the new 2013 SL-Class features an aluminum body plus a host of other weight saving modifications that ensure it weighs a substantial 308 pounds less than the model it replaces.
So far only two models have been revealed, the V-8 powered SL550 that we get here in the U.S. (SL500 in other markets), as well as the entry-level SL350 powered by a V-6.
One of the standout features is the retractable hard-top, which now comes with a light magnesium frame and glass roof piece. It takes less than 20 seconds for the roof to go up or down, which it will do so near-silently. It's also transparent, either as standard glass or the optional Magic Sky Control roof, which can be made transparent or dark at the push of a button.
Stay tuned for the car’s debut next month at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, press days for which commence on January 9. The Motor Authority team will be heading to Detroit to bring you all the latest info and live photos from the show, but in the meantime click here for our ongoing coverage.