2013 Mercedes-Benz SL is the most aerodynamic sports car ever

Article by Christian A., on March 19, 2012

The new Mercedes-Benz SL – the most aerodynamically efficient sports vehicle – is now on sale. It has a cd of 0.27 for the 350. Not since the 1959 Porsche 356A has there been a sports vehicle as aerodynamic as this.  Dr Teddy Woll, a Mercedes-Benz aerodynamicist, disclosed that the Porsche had a drag coefficient of 0.29.

He added that over the last 50 years, this trend has been for higher drag as engine and wheels became larger. With the new SL, the trend has been reversed. The B-class with an eco package has an even lower coefficient, being at 0.24. However, reducing a drag is a constant struggle.

The industry, at best, has only paid lip service to aerodynamic efficiency, if not largely ignored, for many years. However, the need for even lower carbon dioxide emissions is giving new thrust for the works of the aerodynamicist.

The impressive figure of the SL has been accomplished without resorting to tricks such as having a spoiler or lip on the back of the boot lid. Woll related that achieving a low drag is a gradual, meticulous approach. One of the obvious methods is smoothing the airflow on the underside and above the vehicle.

The SL's shape assists with long front and back overhangs. Then, there are also the not-so-obvious ones. For one, achieving the ideal shape to lower drag and noise for the A pillars was a challenge.

They need to prevent water from dripping off the front screen and the side screens, while still enabling smooth airflow. The solution to this dilemma is a small channel that catches the water and brings it up and over the top. In the same way, a groove in the top of the door mirrors traps water coming off the front of the mirror and brings it down to run off the bottom edge rather than the side windows.

The latest edition of the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class being offered to the market is the sixth in its family of racing cars since 1952. To be consistent with its tradition generation after generation, the SL is ushered into the world as a leader for all its matching roadsters made by competitor brands because of its top-of-the-line value. MB is primarily offering the latest SL with V6 and V8 engines for the SL350 and SL500 respectively. These BlueDIRECT engines work on 320 kW (435 hp) in the SL500 and 225 kW (306 hp) in the SL350—which is a whopping 12 percent increase over its older brother.

In addition, the all-new Mercedes-Benz SL-Class gives new definition to its moniker “SL” which spells out as super-light—as it now falls into the lightweight division of the Mercedes. MB is executing an all-aluminum bodyshell in the production of this series of the droptop. This new improvement makes the newborn 110 kilograms lighter compared to the previous setup of the series which has sheet steel for its bodyshell. Even with the development, it boasts of being safer and stronger than the former. The Benz accomplished this by implementing a strategic mix of materials consisting of aluminum components and alloys, magnesium and a little dose of high-strength steel which are specifically built for this beauty.

The fresh SL provides more comfort and safety tools than its predecessor and thus, it offsets some of the weight saved by its use of an aluminum bodyshell. Howevver, the numbers remain highly interesting. In fact, the new SL500 (which is 1785 kg) and the SL350 (which is 1685 kg) weigh about 125 kilograms and 140 kilograms lighter than the former releases of the series.

These figures do not only amaze fans of the Mercedes-Benz but also significantly contribute to the SL’s incredible performance.

The dynamics of the new roadster astonishes the man behind the wheel with cornering passion and exemplary performance. Wheel control has never been more accurate with its front (+ 38 mm) and rear (+ 77 mm) axle, giving the driver a more secure driving experience with more control at high speed. The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class has become more responsive and will certainly give sporty drivers the thrill and pleasure they seek.

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