Mercedes-Benz's redesigned SL -- long the grande dame of the luxury roadster segment -- is longer and lighter than the outgoing model and gets a new all-aluminum body.
The sixth generation of the SL will debut next month at the Detroit auto show and will go on sale next spring. The SL line originated in 1954 with the now iconic 300SL Gullwing model.
The 2013 SL550 is almost two inches longer than the current version at 181.8 inches. The wheelbase is one inch longer at 101.8 inches. But switching to an aluminum body cut the curb weight by about 275 pounds to an estimated 3,947 pounds.
The SL550 will be powered by a new 4.6-liter direct-injection V-8 engine.
Pricing hasn't been disclosed but likely will be close to today's vehicle, which starts at $104,525 for the SL550 and $141,315 for the SL63 AMG. Prices include destination. A new-generation SL63 AMG will go on sale later in 2012.
SL sales have waned as the current model, which debuted in 2002, has aged.
Sales peaked at 13,717 in 2002. SL sales remained at 10,000 or more until 2006 when they fell to 8,462. Through November of this year, sales dropped 39 percent to 1,350.