Mercedes-Benz-Blog TRIVIA: From "Sport Light" to SL Legend - PART IX


Stuttgart, Germany, Feb 20, 2002

2001: A new gemstone in the SL legend

* Tradition and state-of-the-art engineering
* Sensotronic Brake Control
* Suspension with Active Body Control ABC
* Safety newly defined
* From roadster to coupe in 16 seconds
* With 306 hp from standstill to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds
* Exclusiveness as standard
* The fragrance, color and shape of an exclusive interior

With the launch of the latest SL generation in Hamburg in the summer of 2001, once again a car has been put on the road, whose technical innovations point the way far into the future in much the same way as the 300 SL racing sports coupe of 1952 and the Gullwing in 1954 did in their day and age. Its internal designation: R 230.

The stylistically fascinating sports car with its ground-breaking engineering, now in the fifth production-series generation, continues the living legend of SL dream cars. With its globally unique combination of ultramodern electronic powertrain systems, this SL provides an unprecedented smooth and at the same time dynamic motoring experience that comes with the highest possible levels of handling safety. With these qualities, the car sets new standards not only in the sports car segment but in automotive engineering in general.

Tradition and state-of-the-art engineering

The sweeping dynamism of the new SL's lines arouses likeability, joy and fascination. The designers have discreetly incorporated elementary details of the Gullwing, to create a link with the legendary history of these models.
Among these details ranks, above all, the SL radiator with its four-eye face, an identifying feature in a new, dynamic interpretation. The bi-xenon headlamps under their transparent lenses provide for unmistakable light design.

Other typical SL features harmonize stylishly with new elements from the up-to-date Mercedes-Benz form language, preparing the ground for a successful future of the roadster.

Sensotronic Brake Control

The list of technical innovations and world firsts is headed by the electro-hydraulic brake system, Sensotronic Brake Control or SBC for short. It cooperates with the familiar Electronic Stability Program (ESP®) and Active Body Control (ABC), the latter reducing bodywork movement and any tendency to skidding while cornering or braking to a minimum.

Sensotronic Brake Control is at the same time the first step into the world of future "by wire" systems which will transmit the drivers' instructions electronically – by cable or wire – rather than mechanically or hydraulically. The most important performance features of SBC include the highly dynamic buildup of brake pressure and the reliable sensing of driver and car behavior by means of sophisticated sensor technology.

For instance, the system identifies a rapid change of the driver's foot from the accelerator to the brake pedal as an indication of an emergency situation – and automatically raises the pressure in the brake lines while at the same time moving the brake pads to the brake discs so that the former can be pressed against the pads with full force and without delay as soon as the brake pedal is depressed. The effect: a stopping distance that is some three percent shorter in an emergency braking maneuver.

Thanks to variable brake power distribution depending on tire contact forces and wheel slip values, SBC also enhances safety when braking on corners or difficult road surfaces. With greater dynamics and precision, SBC improves upon the performance of Brake Assist and Electronic Stability Program (ESP®).

This unique package of highly efficient electronic control systems is expected to usher in revolutionary developments in automotive engineering in the fields of powertrain, handling safety and dynamic handling control.

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