I had the chance to drive the new R230 last week. I drove over in my 98 sl600. At first glance with the two parked side by side, the new car appears smaller but is actually larger. The nose is lower and the tail is higher. The trunk space is much greater in my 98. The front end of the 230 is beautiful - much more modern and appealing than my 98. The r230 is the first modern SL that would really look good in red! The R230 drove a bit more nimbly (?) than my 98 but the steering was sometimes vague and over boosted. The power was way less than my 600 but the throttle response was better ( may have something to do with my 600 having over 200k miles!). I don't think the new car will hold up as well - so much plastic and even a few squeaks on the new 230 - surprising. The retractable top is cool but it didn't look very steady going up and down - sort of yawing side to side. The car still drives like a heavy touring car - even the SL55 will be no 'throw it around' sports car. Overall I give the new SL a thumbs up but i'll wait for the resale prices to plummet - which they will after about 2 years - so many will be built. I also noticed that the new car was harder to see out of than my SL and the top of the A-pillar was about 3 inches from my forehead.