Shina Peller’s new Mercedes SL550 is magical – see photo

Shina Peller’s new Mercedes SL550

Lagos-based socialite and owner of Quilox Club, Shina Peller, has some sort of affinity for Mercedes-Benz cars, but more particularly for the Mercedes-Benz SL550.

Four years after the son of the late famous magician, Prof. Peter Peller, got himself a white Mercedes-Benz SL550, which reportedly cost him N20m, he has again bought another Mercedes-Benz SL550.

It’s just that this time around; his new ‘machine’ comes in a red camouflage colour and reportedly cost about N27m.

The businessman got the car to commemorate his 41st birthday which held recently in Lagos.

Expectedly, the birthday man celebrated the event with top celebrities in the Nigerian entertainment scene, including Tuface Idibia and his wife, Annie; Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick; the Chief Executive Officer of Five Star Music, E-Money; and Fuji musician, Kwam 1.

The all-powerful, luxurious SL550

The Mercedes-Benz SL550 belongs to the SL class. It offers relaxed luxury and willing power and also delivers nimble moves when called upon.

Over its 60 years on the market, the Mercedes-Benz SL has gained power, size, and a great deal of luxury. It offers a driving experience that can become intense — but only if the owner wants it that way.

The SL isn’t a sports car in the classic sense, but a very luxurious two-seat convertible that manages to blend nimble on-road behaviour with seemingly effortless power. It provides a unique mix of attributes that distinguishes it from the elegant Jaguar F-Type, the Porsche 911 range, the Chevrolet Corvette, and the brutal but undeniably fast Dodge Viper.

If the current design is any indication, the SL is working its way back gradually to the glory days of Mercedes two-seaters. If you never cared for the bank vaults penned by Benz in the early 1990s, the exuberantly wide, brash new SL is a crisp, masculine relief. It’s emphatic from the front, charming with the top down, and a bit of a mismatch from the rear where the tapered look and taillights seem to come from another car or another studio entirely.

The cockpit is executed with precision, drilled with aviation-style vents, and implanted with a big LCD screen.

On the road, the SL is more of a grand tourer than a pure sports car. You’d actually prefer the SL’s base two-mode suspension, with or without the sport wheels and brakes, to the exotic and expensive Active Body Control upgrade. The cheaper setup’s “sport” mode feels more like “comfort,” but the stock SL handles wide sweepers with grace, albeit with a fair amount of body roll.

The SL’s electric power steering doesn’t offer up much in the way of feedback, and quickens the further it moves off-centre, which makes for some uneven transitions. Human brains can handle that much data, but adding on the active suspension, which resists roll, feels like overload. The ride flattens out as promised, but it also adds another complex handling dimension that’s not as linear or as predictable as a more conventional setup.

The SL550’s V-8 engine produces 449 hp and 516 lb-ft. It accelerates to 60 mph in the mid four-second range, and its combination of a downsized V-8 engine, a seven-speed automatic, and a stop-start system also manages to earn a 20-mpg combined EPA fuel-economy rating.

All SL models come with Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment system, which includes a 7.0-inch display screen, a DVD changer, web browsing with Google search functionality and an available navigation system.

Among the list of the SL’s impressive standard and available creature comforts are Airscarf neck vents and the folding hardtop with available Magic Sky Control, which turns the roof’s glass panel dark like a pair of pricey sunglasses.

A Bang & Olufsen sound system can replace the standard Harman Kardon setup; this would mean more bass but at a higher price tag.

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