2013 Mercedes SL550: Re-engineered, but Revolting

LOCATION SPOTTED: Newtown Lane (East Hampton Villag
  • Acceleration 0 to 60: 4.0 sec
  • Braking 60 to 0: 105 ft
  • Quarter Mile: 12.5 sec at 114.0 mph
  • Slalom: 66.7 mph
  • Skidpad: 0.94 g
Additional Specs:
  • Engine: 4.7 liter DOHC twin-turbo V8
  • Power: 429 hp
  • Torque: 518 lb-ft
  • Transmission: 7-speed auto
  • Wheelbase: 101.8 in
  • Curb Weight: 4100 lbs
  • MPG: 16/24 (city/highway)
  • MSRP: $106,000 (with no options)

With its redesigned aluminum chassis, which is 300 lbs lighter, and its dramatically improved engine, one would think that this text-book GT car has become the epitome of the evolution of the best luxury sports car on the market; wrong.

Previous SL’s have always maintained a shape that is both pure and masculine, with clean lines all around. This new SL looks poor at best, kind of like the Porsche Panamera. However, where it lacks in good looks, it gains in technology, performance and power. This car will appeal to the rich stock-broker analyzing statistics who would buy this wolf in pig’s clothing (yes, “pigs clothing, because it is ugly), because of the truly breathtaking numbers it puts down.

This car is an absolute marvel of technology. The new lightweight construction methods have produced absolutely astounding results. This car’s 4.0 second 0 to 60 run, baffles the mind. When you consider that this new car is over one full second quicker to 60 than the previous version, and that it puts down fuel economy numbers that aren’t actually depressing; 16/24 MPG.

In the end, it is really difficult to justify Mercedes’ new SL as a truly complete package. The car is brilliant in several technological ways, but it fails in one very important one; panache. Of course it looks expensive, and it is expensive, but it just looks a rich banker’s wife all done up in plastic surgery and botox. Who wants to look a that?!

BOTTOM LINE: This car is like the Porsche Panamera Turbo; Rediculously fast and comfortable, but as a styling excercise, it fails. So, at the end of the day, aren’t expensive roadsters’ looks the only thing that matters in the Hamptons?