There’s a new generation of Mercedes-Benz SL due for the 2013 model year. And the company is making lots of weight-saving measures to this well-loved roadster, starting with the body, which is predominantly aluminum, plus a few magnesium parts here and there, along with some high-strength steel placed judiciously for a rigid and safe structure. Taking this and other heft-shedding ploys into account, Benz claims a 2013 SL550 will be around 310 pounds lighter than its predecessor. That’s not all. Magic Vision Control renders old wipers and washers old-fashioned. Washer fluid (which may also be heated) comes spraying out of channels laser-cut into the wiper blade. No more vision-blocking splats of water on the windshield. And instead of having subwoofers in the back, like most cars, the new SL has them mounted into the footwells, bringing a “concert hall ambience” to the audio system even with the roof down.

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