The SL 500s design has a sense of rhythm and cohesiveness that makes the SL ever so special. The interlocking ovoid lamps, the slatted grille, or gills, used on all sporting Mercs and the tight-fitting flared front wheel arches deliver class that is seldom attained. The SL is the first road-car application of the company’s Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC) system -a system which sends electronic instructions to the individual brake calipers on the basis of pressure applied on the pedal and the ability of the wheel to cope with the braking force. The system can brake wheels individually, balance braking forces in corners and provides faster, harder braking due to the use of a pump that is constantly maintained at a higher pressure.
The SL’s also features an Active Body Control (ABC) suspension system, which mixes conventional springs and dampers with a hydraulically-controlled servo cylinder that controls the car’s dynamics for the best possible ride and handling compromise.
The hydraulically-controlled servo cylinders located in each of the wheel struts, acting on data acquired from a host of sensors, exert pressure to counteract even the slightest movement from the body.
Ride height is also adjustable and with a mere press of a button you can feel it rise by about 30mm.
SL stands for Sport Light, and Mercedes has made liberal use of aluminium and special steels but the SL still doesn’t live up to its name and tips the scales at a scarcely believable 1.8 tons! Packed with reinforcements to make it rigid and safe, the SL is actually heavier than a Tata Sumo! What’s amazing is that the SL uses all its technology to make it feel lighter than a Honda City.