The new Mercedes-AMG SL
The new Mercedes-AMG SL, the new edition of an icon, returns to its roots with a classic soft top and sporty character.
At the same time, the luxurious roadster as a 2+2 seater is particularly suitable for everyday use and puts its power down on the road with all-wheel drive for the first time.
Almost 70 years ago, a sports car launched in Stuttgart immediately became a legend. The vision of expanding the potential of the Mercedes-Benz brand through motor racing successes produced the first SL as a result - a road-going racing sports car. Shortly after its début in 1952, the 300 SL (internal designation W 194) reaped success after success on the race tracks of the world. In its first year, it achieved, among other things, a spectacular one-two victory in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans and even took the first four places in the Nürburgring Grand Jubilee Prize for sports cars. Its successes quickly make the SL a legend.
The successful racing car was followed in 1954 by the 300 SL production sports car (W 198), which is called the "Gullwing" because of its unusual doors. In 1999, a jury of motoring journalists voted it the "Sports Car of the Century". Other highlights of the model history include the "Pagoda" (W 113, 1963-1971), the evergreen R 107 (1971-1989), which was built for 18 years, and it's successor, the R 129, which is considered an automotive sculpture because of its striking wedge shape. The abbreviation "SL" to this day thus stands for one of the few genuine automotive icons in the world.
In the decades-long development history from a full-blooded racing car to an open-top luxury sports car, the new Mercedes-AMG SL now sets another milestone. It combines the sportiness of the original SL with the unique luxury and technological excellence that characterise modern Mercedes models.
With its exciting design, state-of-the-art technology and outstanding driving characteristics, the new Mercedes-AMG SL sets standards in the luxury sports car segment. The exterior design fascinates with a perfect triad: It combines the modern Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of sensual purity with the sportiness typical of AMG and characteristic details. The two power bulges on the bonnet are just one of the numerous reminiscences of the first SL generation. The interplay of light and shadow makes the overall appearance visually light and low. So it is clear at first glance that the new SL has returned to its sporty roots.
Body shell: new roadster architecture with composite aluminium structure
The 2021 SL is based on a completely new 2+2-seater vehicle architecture developed by Mercedes-AMG. 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 thus the perfect basis for precise driving dynamics, high comfort, optimal packaging and sporty body proportions. The new body shell was created - as with the first SL in 1952 - literally on a blank sheet of paper: Not a single component comes from the predecessor SL or any other model such as the AMG GT Roadster.
The aim of the body shell architecture is to realise the driving performance typical of AMG with a focus on lateral and longitudinal dynamics, while at the same time meeting the high standards on comfort and safety. 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 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.
Compared to the previous model series, the torsional rigidity of the body shell structure increased by 18 percent. The transverse rigidity is 50 percent higher than the already outstanding value of the AMG GT Roadster. The longitudinal rigidity is 40 percent higher. The weight of the plain body shell is around 270 kilograms. Together with the low centre of gravity, the targeted lightweight construction ensures outstanding driving dynamics.
Engine, transmission and all-wheel drive
At market launch, the new SL starts with two output levels of the AMG 4.0-litre V8 Biturbo engine. The engines are assembled purely by hand at the company's site in Affalterbach according to the "One Man, One Engine" principle. In the top model SL 63 4MATIC+ (combined fuel consumption 12.7-11.8 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 288-268 g/km) 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+ (combined fuel consumption 12.7-11.8 l/100 km, combined CO2 emissions 288-268 g/km), 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 airflow, 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.