Mercedes has got down to show that you would be able to train an outdated canine new methods with somewhat added assist from AMG. And that is the end result: the brand new Mercedes-AMG SL, which arrives having been developed in Affalterbach by the model’s efficiency wing, “combining the sports activities vehicles and driving dynamics of AMG with the consolation and opulent attraction of Mercedes,” in accordance with AMG boss Philipp Schiemer.
Fewer than one per cent of the vehicles bought by Mercedes all over the world had been sports cars in 2020, representing 17,800 of complete gross sales of greater than two million. Maybe, then, it’s a shock to see that the SL has been given a brand new lease of life when its smaller SLC sibling has been axed. However Mercedes and AMG have gone again to the drafting board with this new mannequin, which it needs to place as a sportier providing extra in step with the unique 300 SL of 1954.
To realize this, AMG has developed a completely new platform for the SL referred to as Modular Sports activities Structure (MSA), which shall be shared with the next-generation AMG GT on the very least, whereas a number of key modifications to the automotive’s design have been launched, to reposition it.
Key to the brand new MSA platform is a light-weight aluminum spaceframe upon which the brand new SL’s bodyshell sits. A fabric combination of aluminum, metal, magnesium and fibre composites has been used to realize rigidity that exceeds that of the AMG GT in some parameters, however crucially implies that the brand new SL’s physique shell construction has 18 per cent elevated torsional rigidity over the outdated mannequin’s.
It’s a scalable platform and we’ll see different new fashions use it; for instance, the subsequent AMG GT has already been confirmed on the MSA by Mercedes. A number of powertrain configurations and electrification are doable, however for now Mercedes has confirmed a pair of V8 fashions and has promised an E-Efficiency plug-in hybrid mannequin due sooner or later within the SL’s lifespan.
The brand new SL is a 2+2 roadster with a folding material hood; the soft-top has been reintroduced for a decrease centre of gravity and for weight discount of 21kg over an equal folding exhausting prime. Mercedes says it takes 15 seconds for the roof to open or shut, a course of activated by way of a panel on the centre console or by the use of a menu on the touchscreen infotainment system, and doable at as much as 37mph. Though the automotive goes again to a cloth roof, Mercedes design boss Gorden Wagener insists that it’s a contemporary contact. “We are going to by no means do retro design,” he instructed us.
The outside design carries over no half from some other Mercedes mannequin however is in key with the model’s present design language. The entrance finish makes use of a Panamerica model grille with vertical slats however is differentiated from the AMG GT with triangular headlights. The passenger cell is extra in the course of the automotive, to create area for the 2 booster seats behind the driving force and passenger. The sloping rear finish sports activities a pair of properly outlined shoulders over the rear axle, whereas on the rear is an extended bootlid with an built-in spoiler, quad exit exhausts and enormous triangular LED taillights. Additional energetic aerodynamic underbody components are non-obligatory.
Wheels starting from 19 to 21 inches in dimension shall be accessible, and since the SL is now an AMG mannequin, a sporty AMG bodykit with a large entrance splitter and air deflectors is commonplace match. Mercedes Digital Gentle matrix LED headlights with projector features are additionally included as commonplace on the brand new SL.
New Mercedes-AMG SL: engines and chassis
From launch the brand new SL is powered by a turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine accessible in two energy ranges, each sending drive to a 4MATIC four-wheel-drive system by way of a nine-speed computerized gearbox.
The vary kicks off with the SL 55 4MATIC, which options the well-known 4.0-itre V8 biturbo engine, producing 469bhp and 700Nm of torque. Mercedes claims 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds, with a prime pace of 183mph. The opposite choice patrons may have from launch would be the SL 63 4MATIC, which has 577bhp and 800Nm. The time for the 0-62mph dash drops to three.6 seconds and prime pace climbs to a claimed 195mph.
Each vehicles emit from 268g/km of CO2 and have a median financial system determine from 23.9mpg. The extra highly effective SL 63 model comes as commonplace with energetic engine mounts, which stiffen or slacken mechanically, in a lot the identical manner as an computerized adaptive suspension system. These are an choice on the SL 55.
For the primary time within the mannequin’s historical past, the SL goes all-wheel drive, with a totally variable 4MATIC system that may distribute torque between the entrance and rear axles. The SL 55 is provided with AMG Experience Management metal suspension with adaptive dampers, however the 63 comes geared up with AMG Lively Experience Management, which incorporates hydraulic anti-roll stabilisation alongside the adjustable damper system. It additionally receives a limited-slip rear differential; once more, that is non-obligatory on the 55.
4-wheel steering is obtainable on each fashions. As much as 62mph, the rear wheels can flip in the other way to the entrance axle by as much as 2.5 levels, to help turn-in and low-speed manoeuvrability. Above 62mph, the rear wheels flip in the identical course because the fronts, for higher stability.
An E-Efficiency hybrid model of the brand new SL has been confirmed. Nevertheless, Mercedes has not but revealed if this shall be based mostly on the brand new plug-in hybrid V8 system within the AMG GT 63 S E-Efficiency, which produces a colossal 843bhp, or on the four-cylinder plug-in hybrid engine hotly rumoured to be underneath improvement for the subsequent AMG C 63 saloon. Nonetheless, AMG Boss Schiemer confirmed that four-cylinder variations of the SL will seem in some kind.
New Mercedes-AMG SL: inside, infotainment and practicality
The inside of the brand new SL blends the model’s newest infotainment expertise discovered on the luxurious S-Class limo with a sportier and extra conventional dashboard design, which the model calls ‘hyperanalogue’. The automotive is a 2+2 for the primary time for the reason that R129 era SL from the late Eighties and Nineties, though by the model’s personal admission the rear seats are appropriate just for folks shorter than 1.50m.
A protracted centre console flows upwards into the dashboard, and is the place a portrait-orientated 11.9-inch MBUX infotainment system is discovered. It’s very related in operation to the set-up discovered within the newest S-Class, however with AMG visuals and graphics on the menus and interfaces. The angle at which it sits will be altered to swimsuit lighting situations. It’s supported by a 12.3in digital instrument panel.
A pair of electrically adjustable AMG Sports activities seats are commonplace, with separate heating methods for the cushion and backrest, plus the Mercedes Airscarf system. Even racier AMG Efficiency seats can be found on the choices record, as is seat cooling.
Mercedes says that the 213-litre boot can maintain two golf baggage, though selecting the non-obligatory Load Compartment Bundle introduces a sliding partition that will increase the boot dimension to 240 litres when the roof is up.
New Mercedes-AMG SL: worth and on sale date
Mercedes has not confirmed any particular particulars concerning the launch of the brand new SL past the provision of the 55 and 63 variants. It hasn’t outlined when the brand new SL shall be accessible to order, or on roads, nor has it hinted at a beginning worth.
It’s in all probability secure to imagine that it gained’t arrive on UK roads till at the very least spring 2022, and with a beginning worth decrease than that of the essential AMG GT, and in related territory to the most recent S-Class, so round £85,000 for the 55 variant and near £100,000 for the 63.
Timeline: six generations of Mercedes SL
W198 (1954-63): Iconic Gullwing lasted for 3 years earlier than Roadster changed it. 4-cylinder 190 SL was the inexpensive various.
W113 (1963-1971): ‘Pagoda’ mannequin got here with a detachable hard-top. 230, 250 and 280 fashions all got here with six-cylinder engines.
R107 (1971-1989): In addition to a roadster, Mercedes produced the four-seat SLC coupé up till 1981. This was the primary SL with a V8.
R129 (1989-2001): SL moved into the nineties with V12 energy launched for the primary time. AMG variations additionally seem.
R230 (2001-2011): Launched folding hard-top roof first seen on the SLK, in addition to adaptive physique management and different hi-tech aids.
R231 (2012-2020): Outgoing SL was a closely up to date model of the R230 that used an all-aluminium physique for the primary time.
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