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Mercedes-Benz SL -- the enduring classic

August 27, 2008 |  3:19 pm

The 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL isn’t strictly a new generation, but it has receivedautos cars Los Angeles Times 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL SL550 AMG a comprehensive reworking -- not just in its styling but also in the driving experience. Keeping the same 2003 body style, the re-worked 2009 SL is a driver’s car again. Not necessarily an all-or-nothing, tightly focused terror on the tarmac, but it can lope along an interstate or attack a canyon road with the same high degree of finesse.

The suspension has been tuned for the better, blending comfort with control and poise. A new seven-speed automatic gearbox handles shifting duties with extreme efficiency and the engines -- in keeping with the times -- manage to perform the trick of developing more power yet returning better fuel consumption and fewer emissions.

Gullwingmb500"Six Generations of Mercedes-Benz SL" here>>

As an entry-level model starting at $95,900, the SL 550 is perfectly fine with a 5.5-liter V-8 and 382 horsepower. Then again, the SL63 AMG (6.2 liters, 525 hp), with an even more driver-focused chassis, does sound tempting, as long as the check for $132,000 isn’t an issue. If that isn’t enough, the SL 600 (5.5-liter V-12, 510 hp) goes for $136,000. Or the SL65 AMG (6.0-liter V-12, 604 hp) won’t leave the showroom for less than $190,700. But if this current generation performs like SLs of the past, each model should retain much of its value and, one day, may even sell for way more than its original price. Check out the SL gallery to see why this car has always been special.

-- Colin Ryan

Photo: Mercedes-Benz