New Mercedes-AMG SL: Revamped luxury sports car drives brand legacy forwards

Date Posted 29th October 2021
Read Time 7 min read
Mercedes AMG-SL revealed

Mercedes-Benz has revealed the new edition AMG SL to carry on the iconic sports car’s legacy. Returning to its roots, the new Mercedes-AMG SL comes with a classic soft top and the sporty character synonymous with this legendary model. A 70-year-strong heritage is amped up with a powerful 2+2-seater, all-wheel drive, packed with high-tech specs that bring the car into the future.

The German brand focuses on modern overhauls for the new Mercedes-AMG SL with the AMG Active Ride Control suspension providing active anti-roll stabilisation. There’s rear-axle steering, and the optionally available AMG ceramic high-performance composite brake system for to make short braking distances easier.

The standard-fit Digital Light with projection function, sharpens the car’s sporty profile. In combination with the AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine, the Mercedes-AMG SL is an exceptional driving experience.

Mercedes-AMG SL: Exterior Design

The AMG SL has been sculpted to blend the model’s recognised heritage features with an entirely new 2+2 seater vehicle architecture. Characteristic features of the body design include the long wheelbase, the short overhangs, and the long bonnet. This is accentuated by the passenger compartment set back with a strongly raked windscreen and the robust rear end. This results in the typical SL proportions.

Together with the voluminous wheel arches and the large alloy wheels flush with the outer skin, the luxury vehicle is powerful, and dynamic in appearance. When closed, the seamlessly integrated soft top underscores the purist, sporty impression that drivers have come to love about this car.

The chassis is designed as a lightweight composite aluminium structure and consists of an aluminium space frame with a self-supporting structure. The design guarantees maximum rigidity and is consequently the perfect basis for precise driving dynamics, high comfort, optimal packaging and sporty body proportions.

The AMG-specific radiator grille emphasises the effect of width of the front. With its 14 vertical slats, it cites the ancestor of all SL models, the renowned 300 SL racing sports car of 1952.

Other distinctive design elements include the slim, sharply outlined Digital Light LED headlamps and the equally slim LED rear lamps.

In the new SL, the intelligent material mix enables the highest possible rigidity at a low weight. Optimised material cross-sections and sophisticated component shapes create space for the comprehensive comfort and safety features as well as the soft top. The materials used include aluminium, magnesium, fibre composites and steel, from which the windscreen frame, for example, is made. This serves as roll-over protection in conjunction with the roll bar system behind the rear seats, which can be extended at lightning speed when needed.

Mercedes-AMG SL: Enhanced Interior

The interior of the new Mercedes-AMG SL transforms the tradition of the first 300 SL Roadster into the modern era. The new edition combines sporting virtues and luxury. Fine materials and meticulous workmanship underline the highest level of comfort. The cockpit design, right down to the adjustable central display in the centre console, is focused on the driver. At the same time, the completely new interior space concept with 2+2 seats offers more room and functionality than before. The rear seats increase the daily practicality and offer space for people up to 1.50 metres tall.

The minimalist interior of the 300 SL Roadster, equipped with high-quality materials, inspired the designers in the interior design of the new model. The result is an exciting combination of analogue geometry and digital world – called “hyperanalogue”. This is exemplified by the fully digital instrument cluster, which is integrated into a three-dimensional visor. The standard MBUX infotainment system offers a choice of several specific display styles and different modes.

One of many highlights in the interior of the new SL is the sculptural seat design of the standard, electrically adjustable AMG sports seats. The head restraints are integrated into the backrest and emphasise the sporty character. The Airscarf is on board as standard: Warm air flows into the passenger compartment from air outlets in the head restraints and wraps around the head and neck area of the driver and front passenger like a scarf. AMG Performance seats are available as an option.

Mercedes-AMG SL: Engine and Transmission

Mercedes AMG-SL engine

Two AMG V8 engines at launch. Further engine versions will follow, including as powerful E PERFORMANCE hybrid.

The electro-hydraulic soft top opens or closes fully automatically in around 15 seconds, and both are possible up to 60 km/h.

At market launch, the new SL starts with two output levels of the AMG 4.0-litre V8 biturbo engine. In the top model SL 63 4MATIC+ the engine develops 430 kW (585 hp) and provides a maximum torque of 800 Nm over a wide rev range from 2500 to 4500 rpm. Accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h takes only 3.6 seconds, the top speed is 315 km/h.

In the SL 55 4MATIC+, the V8 unit develops an output of 350 kW (476 hp) and a peak torque of 700 Nm. The sprint from standstill to 100 km/h takes 3.9 seconds, the top speed is 295 km/h.

For use in the SL, the engine received a new oil pan, repositioned intercoolers and active crankcase ventilation. The intake and exhaust ducts have been optimised for even more effective gas exchange, and the exhaust gas routing for the catalytic converter box and petrol particulate filter has been enlarged. The developers achieved the increased output of the SL 63 4MATIC+ primarily through higher boost pressure and greater air flow, as well as modified engine software. To sum up, the eight-cylinder engine thrills with its exceptional power delivery and powerful acceleration in all engine speed ranges combined with maximum efficiency for low consumption and emission values.

Mercedes-AMG SL: Tech and Infotainment

Mercedes AMG-SL infotainment

The AMG-SL is kitted out with the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system. It enables extensive intuitive operating options and many digital services from Mercedes me connect. Its strengths include the intuitive operating concept via touchscreen or touch control buttons on the steering wheel, smartphone integration of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, hands-free system via Bluetooth connection, and digital radio.

In conjunction with MBUX, customers already have access to connectivity services such as Live Traffic Information. With Mercedes me connect, however, the new SL becomes even more intelligent. Additional functions can be used before and after the journey or while on the road.

Thanks to navigation with Live Traffic Information and Car-to-X communication, the customer drives with real-time traffic data. This way, traffic jams can be avoided efficiently, and valuable time can be saved. Car-to-X communication enables connected vehicles to exchange information about traffic events.

Mercedes-AMG SL: Safety Features

With the help of numerous sensors, cameras and radar, the driving assistance systems observe the traffic and the surroundings of the new roadster. If necessary, the intelligent helpers can intervene at lightning speed. As in the current generations of the Mercedes C-Class and S-Class, the driver is supported by numerous new or enhanced systems – in everyday situations, for example, by assistance for speed adaptation, distance control, steering and lane changes.

When danger threatens, the assistance systems can respond to impending collisions as the situation demands. The functioning of the systems is visualised by a new display concept in the instrument cluster.

The new assistance display in the instrument cluster clearly shows how the driving assistance systems work in a full-screen view. The driver can see their car, lanes, lane markings and other road users such as cars, trucks and two-wheelers in an abstracted 3D way. The system status and operation of the assistants are visualised in this depiction of the surroundings. This dynamic, high-quality representation makes the operation of the driving assistance systems transparent as a tangible augmented reality experience.

Mercedes-AMG SL: UK Prices and Specs

The SL will also be offered as a powerful Performance hybrid drive. Equipped with the AMG E Performance drive strategy, an electrified powertrain that further enhances driving dynamics while also being highly efficient. UK prices and final specifications will be announced early next year. For now, the Mercedes AMG-SL has enough – and more – to rival the high-spec Aston Martin Vantage, and the Porsche 911.  

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