Mercedes SL: 10 years in the making.

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The top one is the all new 2013 model.
While the car at the bottom is the 2003 model.

I have never seen such little progress in a design, in 10 years.
This is quite amazing.
I am sure the new car is better in every other way. But design isn’t one of them…

Conversation 22 comments

  1. I think MB is petrified and cannot imagine itself snapping out of chasing its tail design wise. And when you add on top of that poor reliability in the last 20 years, you can tell that quite a few customers just want that logo in their driveway…

  2. I like subtle redesigns better than radical redesigns, especially if the original car looked great already. I'm sure Mercedes knows not to mess with this iconic cars design.

    I think the new 911 looks great, btw.

  3. I like subtle redesigns better than radical redesigns, especially if the original car looked great already. I'm sure Mercedes knows not to mess with this iconic cars design.

    I think the new 911 looks great, btw.

  4. From the side it looks good. Believe it or not it doesn't even look that bad in video, but pictures are the death of it

  5. This car is probably expensive to develop and although it sells for a lot, they don't sell very many so updates are more gradual and less often. It's still a nice car although I can't help but think the new model would have been groundbreaking in 2003, but now is nothing special while the 2003 model would be groundreaking for 1993.

    The 2003 model will age better, regardless. The CLS' styling language is getting old fast.

  6. Vince,

    Are you serious when you say that you are "sure the new car is better in every other way"?

    It's a Mercedes. They've been getting worse every generation since the mid 80s.

    Odds are very good that it will be built cheaper, be less reliable, and almost impossible to service once the warranty runs out.

  7. They did as much as they could without changing the folding roof, which appears to be pretty much identical to the outgoing model.. they even relocated the gas cap! I still prefer the current model though.

  8. well, am no fan of the design as for me it does not flow really well, but the Suzuki Swift, and Mini amd the Bentley Conti GT are way more similar to their past models than this one..

  9. The front of the new one looks like it belongs on a tractor. The rear end design and the roofline is probably the weakest part of the whole car. When the current SL arrived, it was decent, but underwhelming. I think that it's the default choice for many people who need something for the Neiman Marcus parking lot. The new one looks much worse than the one it's replacing, which isn't all that great to begin with.

  10. The folding top restricts what can happen. Everything from the beltline up has to be pretty much the same. The trunk probably can't change much either.

  11. This is an expensive car, it should look more than like a MCE! Just sayin! Doesn't matter, I can't afford one, but If I could, I wouldn't buy one!

  12. I remember when the 2003 came out. I said to myself, that car has beautiful lines and will be an instant classic. Like a Aston Martin or certain Jags. Ten years later the 2003 SL still looks better than its replacement.

  13. I'm not sure why people state mercedes can't change the design much due to the retractable top. Ummm…they can redesign that too. For the cost of this car they should have put more effort into it. Look at the difference between the last gen C Class sedan and the current one. This was a waste of time.

    I'm sure plenty of douche bags will buy them though.

  14. Ummm… Some of you need to get in tune with the latest developments. You are still thinking M-B has big quality issues.


    The quality glitches that plagued M-B during the 2000-2006 time period are long gone. For example, look at the reviews of the latest C-Class. They call the build quality "Bank Vault Strong."

    M-B's ranking in initial quality surveys aren't the very best in the industry. But they're near the top.

  15. I disagree, Vince. The new one has a much shorter front overhang, much more pronounced side scoop, no wrap-around bumper line about its middle, more glass area, different tail-lights and an R107-inspired grille. Plus, they too a lot of weight out. You can argue both sides of which one looks better And obviously, EU pedestrian-impact regs have taken their toll which alters the proportions, not for the better. I still think they've changed the SL quite a bit and yet still kept continuity as MB should.

  16. I agree with you Vince.. I'm really disappointed with this design. I love the CLS, SLS, C, E-classes but despise the SL, SLK, M, GLK-classes. Mercedes design is almost in a sense schizophrenic.

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