For the first time in a very long time, the Mercedes-Benz SL has lost weight. Coupled with a more advanced transmission and stop/start technology, we're expecting better than ever fuel economy for the SL roadster, though the EPA hasn't yet confirmed its ratings.
The SL's new body is crafted almost entirely from aluminum panels. And though there's a raft of new electronic equipment installed as standard equipment, the net savings of 275 pounds reverses a generation of weight gains in the chunky two-seater.
It's slimmer, which helps handling, and the SL's also outfitted with stop/start technology, which shuts off the engine at longer pauses like stoplights, and automatically restarts when the accelerator is pressed. Some drivers may find it annoying, but it contributes to what Mercedes claims will be a 30-percent improvement in gas mileage on the U.S. cycle. The feature can be disabled via an Eco button on the console, but it must be switched off each time the car is started by the driver.
The SL also has an Eco driving mode, one that slows out shifts noticeably and remaps fuel delivery.