Mercedes-Benz will officially launch its new SL sports car line, this Summer. And The Car Connection has learned that the automaker intends to hold the line on pricing, at least with the SL550 model that serves as the foundation of the line-up. In fact, with added equipment, the Mercedes-Benz SL550 will effectively be discounted for the 2009 model-year, a company official suggested.
While formal numbers won’t be announced until the New York Auto Show, next week, The Car Connection has been told the 2009 Mercedes SL550 will come in at around $97,425, the same as the outgoing ’08, despite significant changes to body, powertrain and other critical systems. Engine specs on the new model have been bumped to 382 horsepower and 391 foot-pounds of torque, for example.
The 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL550 will also come standard with the sporty AMG body kit, previously a $4800 option. (The same will be true on the 12-cylinder 2009 Mercedes SL600.)
There will be only one primary option package offered with the 2009 Mercedes SL550, the $3750 Premium 1 Package, which will add:
• keyless ignition;
• an electronic trunk closer;
• the new Airscarf system (which blows warm air out of the headrests); and
• heated seats.
But a few other, standalone features, such as larger, 19-inch AMG-style wheels, will also be available through Mercedes-Benz dealers.
Look for the three other models in the U.S. Mercedes-Benz SL line-up, the Mercedes SL600, the Mercedes SL63 AMG and the Mercedes SL65 AMG also to come in close to 2008 sticker prices. The 2009 version of the SL65, a 604-horsepower, biturbo V-12 behemoth capable of launching from 0 to 60 in barely 4 seconds, should sticker at $188,025, with absolutely everything standard.
One thing will be missing from the 2009 Mercedes-Benz SL line-up, at least initially. The hardtop sports car will not be imported with the new Direct Drive system, which uses a mechanical control system to constantly vary not just steering effort, but steering ratio. That technology will be delayed, State-side, until the 2010 model-year.