Whether you desire a clapped-out coupe or stand-up sports saloon, or want to hike up your commute with the ease of an L5, the Mercedes SL is happy to satisfy either end of the market.
Reker Weijma, head of Mercedes SL design team, is very proud of the Range Rover Velar, a perfect match between sporty and luxurious that epitomises everything he wants the SL to have. The Velar is built from the ground up to be a SUV with the same luxury, elegance and sublimity as the SL, yet it’s also fantastic on the road. Weijma wasn’t one for such tight definitions.
“I actually look at what people want in their car and give them the car they want. If it’s a sports saloon, you’ll get it.
“Whatever the occasion, we want to make the car look the way it feels. Not just to look attractive but to have more intelligent design. I like cars that look as if they would have never stopped. Mercedes people care what we do for cars,” says Weijma.
Weijma and his team would not want the SL to look like anything, and they have given us an example of that by removing the taillights as a contrast to the dramatically swooping body. This results in a shape that allows it to float higher in the air, creating a vertical line of contrasting lines that you can then read simply by looking into the SL and adding in the rear lights.
“We see the car as we see it when we look at the car. It’s not only what we see. We also try to imagine what the people in our company would see it in,” says Weijma.
For this reason he completely restructured the inside of the SL, making it more spacious and luxurious than any model before. It feels like a deluxe aeroplane cabin with a sleek, modern look. The colours are bright and dynamic and the matte plastics can be harsh on your back or crease you in rough weather.
“The SL is more contemporary, more open. It’s not like any vehicle out there. We want the cars to look good, be expensive and nice, be the best and distinguish themselves. It’s not just about the drive,” says Weijma.
“We take care of details. They make the difference between good and good. It’s not a car you pick up for the sake of it, it’s about the investment we’ve made in this vehicle, the effect of the design, the quality of the materials.”
With this approach to driving it, we’d expect nothing less.