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2016 Mercedes-Benz SL500 Overview

John Diether
Automotive Editor - December 8, 2015

The quintessential roadster from Mercedes-Benz, the SL500 carries on the marque's tradition of luxurious open-air motoring for two. The lucky passengers also enjoy the thrill of twin-turbo V8 power and a level of comfort on par with many luxury sedans.

What's New for 2016

The SL500 receives new lighting and bumpers at the front and rear. A nine-speed automatic replaces last year's seven-speed unit, and the brand's sophisticated Active Body Control suspension is available for the first time.

Mercedes-Benz SL500

Choosing Your Mercedes-Benz SL500

Mercedes-Benz SL500 Interior

The rear-drive SL500 packs a 4.7-liter twin-turbo V8 that lays down 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission and adaptive suspension system complete the mechanical setup. Expect to rocket from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

The SL500 features a power hardtop with an integrated glass roof panel and a power wind blocker. Inside are ventilated and massaging leather seats with dual memory and 16-way power adjustments. Other standard goodies include a Harman Kardon sound system, navigation, a neck-level heating system known as Airscarf, an automated parking system, and your choice of wood, aluminum, or carbon fiber interior trim.

The available Sport Wheel package adds 18- or 19-inch AMG wheels, upgraded brakes, and a sport steering wheel. There's also a Driver Assistance package with adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation with automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, and lane keeping assist.

One of the more worthy individual options is Magic Sky Control, which allows you to adjust the tint on the glass roof panel. Performance fans will appreciate the newly available Active Body Control suspension, which virtually eliminates unwanted body motions during spirited maneuvers. More novel add-ons include infrared night vision, soft-close doors, a split-view infotainment screen, and the ultra-premium Bang & Olufsen BeoSound audio system.

CarsDirect Tip

If your primary concern is performance, the Active Body Control suspension ($4,050) will be money well spent. It's hard to overstate how controlled and stable the SL500 feels with this highly advanced system at work.

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Mercedes-Benz SL500 Rear Quarter