New Mercedes SL steals thunder from the 911

RUUPCHARTERS, Belgium — The third-generation Mercedes SL has gone. No word on what they’ll do to the fourth-generation SL, but the successor is already cruising the ranks of the show car. Daimler-Benz, Mercedes’ parent…

New Mercedes SL steals thunder from the 911

RUUPCHARTERS, Belgium — The third-generation Mercedes SL has gone. No word on what they’ll do to the fourth-generation SL, but the successor is already cruising the ranks of the show car. Daimler-Benz, Mercedes’ parent company, announced this week that it is manufacturing the third-generation Mercedes SL, a long-wheelbase and long-exhausted race car with enough power to ruin your lunch.

See photos and video of the new Mercedes SL here.

To emphasize its performance credentials, the third-generation SL incorporates some fundamental updates that help it reclaim its podium place as the most powerful car in its class. An adaptive suspension with adaptive damping can manage a 3,800-pound load at low speeds with a 3.9-second 0-60 time, and enough extra boost to cover the road with relative ease at 62 mph (100 km/h). Even when you step down the power, it’s still plenty fast enough to negotiate nearly any road.

That thirsty power means that the new Mercedes SL now has a staggering 482 hp of torque (144 hp more than before), which means that as long as you hold the pedal to the metal to merge with the tail of a pine-dotted highway, your vehicle will help you make the turn with confidence.

Fortunately, you still have the opportunity to enjoy some luxury. The beautiful new interior, which has some discreet tweaks to make the dash look more sporty, offers a full array of creature comforts with a little something extra thrown in for good measure. You’ll find the typical 15.2-inch multi-touch display screen, along with optional navigation, 13 speakers, center stack navigation speaker surround, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as the usual safety gear like electric power steering and four airbags.

Three-wheeled race cars make a great instrument for demonstrating how power might feel, but there was a time when a full length full scale cross-country drive like the one in the new Mercedes SL was rare, so for many people the sports car will serve as a supplement to their driving. It seems like a fine way to travel the country if you’ve got the cash, and just know the Mercedes SL will entertain you and not leave you in a car wreck.

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