Updated: More pics of 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL facelift

Updated: More pics of 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL facelift

Updated: We now have the first completely undisguised images of Mercedes’ facelifted SL convertible ahead of the new car’s world debut, rumored to be at March’s Geneva Motor Show. The current model is arguably one of the most stylish and elegant cars on the road but our initial impression of this facelifted version is one of disappointment. The side profile still looks great, however the headlights look strange when viewed front-on.

Original: Just a few days ago we brought you pictures of the latest SLK 55 AMG, and now we have the first official picture of the SL 65 AMG, Mercedes’ flagship roadster. As early as February of this year we were giving you previews of what the SL facelift might look like, and it seems we were pretty much on the money. The one major difference in the new look is the rear fascia and diffuser, which are unique to the new facelift and not found on any other model in the SL line. The news that accompanies the new pictures also confirms Mercedes will be offering an SL 63.

The picture released today only shows the new SL 65 from a rear three-quarters view, so other visual details are obscured. The powerful and prominent rear diffuser that holds the quad-exhaust tips, two at either side and the large, aggressively styled taillights dominate the view from behind. What we can see of the side looks similar to the outgoing model, and the front end, which is not shown in this picture, will doubtless hold a few surprises.

Power still comes from a 6.0L V12 in the SL 65 AMG, churning out a massive 450kW (612hp) and 1,000Nm of torque. The SL 63 AMG will get its power from a large-displacement V8 that pumps out 386kW (525hp) and 630Nm of torque. Both will be available with the AMG SpeedShift MCT 7-speed. For those with an eye toward fuel consumption and emissions, neither car is going to win any ‘green’ awards, but the figures aren’t as bad as you might think, given the massive power statistics. The V12 in the SL 65 AMG burns 15.1L of petrol per 100km traveled, and emits 362g/km of CO2 along the way. The V8 in the SL 63 AMG is somewhat more economical at 13.9L/100km and 330g/km CO2.

No word yet on pricing, but expect things to start out somewhere north of $180,000 like the current SL 65 AMG.