Car News 24 Feb 2016

Mercedes SL Learning to Share

Mercedes SL Learning to Share

Details have been revealed on the new Mercedes-Benz SL Roadster, with its innovative new platform due for 2019. The SL Roadster will have even more in common with the SLK Roaster as part of Mercedes-Benz’s goal to improve the efficiency of their new models. Mercedes-Benz intend to focus on reducing the CO2 emissions, as well as speeding up the time it takes to manufacture the models. These improvements have already been somewhat achieved through the MFA and MRA common modular architectures for front and rear wheel drives. This architecture enables the A Class, CLA and GLA to be manufactured on the same lines, consequently increasing flexibility and accelerating the production process. There’s a possibility for a third architecture to be developed for the SL and SLK replacements. At present, the SL models use a bespoke chassis platform which is to be transferred to the Modular Sports Car Architecture (MSA) by the end of this decade. This architecture is being developed in Germany and is the reason the models share some elements, for example the suspension. All the models which take on this new chassis will be manufactured in Bremen. Despite using the same chassis, the models will be able to vary in length, width, height and wheelbase size in order to retain their individuality. Currently, the lightest SL weighs in at 1685kg; however this will be reduced with the new plans. The manufacturing process will be flexible enough to potentially allow for a lighter soft top roof as well as a more expensive hard top. Subject to demand, there will also be the option for a range of 4-seater SL models as well as plug-in hybrid technology. Mercedes-Benz will be offering the 4-Matic system, since four wheel drive possibilities are becoming so popular in sports cars. Mercedes-Benz want to commit to securing the future of the SL, rather than following in Jaguars footsteps with their plans to axe the XK.

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