Mercedes took the wraps off the next generation of its AMG roadster, the SL, this month. The seventh iteration of the upper-end performance car is for the first time hitting the street as an all-wheel drive model. The previous generation was retired back in 2019, and went out in style with the Grand Edition.
The upcoming two-variant lineup includes SL 63 and SL 55 models so far. Both come with AMG’s hand-built 4.0L V8 twin-scroll biturbo engine. In the SL63 it produces 577 horsepower, with torque maxing out at 590 pound-feet; the SL63 can reach 60 MPH in 3.5 seconds. In the SL 55, the engine is tuned to develop 469 HP and 516 lb-ft of torque. The SL 55 can sprint to 60 in 3.8 seconds.
The Merc press release indicates that the new SL is a full redesign — as the text reads: ‘not a single component was adopted from the predecessor SL or any other model such as the AMG GT Roadster’ — and so features all-new architecture. The body is made from a lightweight composite of aluminum, steel, magnesium and fiber. The top of the SL roadster is now soft, and features a three-layer construction; it can be raised or lowered in 15 seconds at up to 37 MPH; in back, the new active spoiler can be adjusted via a new ‘intelligent operating strategy’.
The new SL’s interior balances analog and digital elements nicely, and in that way keeps the model’s more than 50-year history in view as it looks ahead. Moreover, 2+2 seating is back for the first time in over 30 years, the dash is completed with an 11.9-inch touchscreen as a centerpiece, and tech features include latest-gen MBUX, AMG DYNAMICS SELECT drive modes with AMG DYNAMICS stabilization, and a full suite of driver-assist and navigation features.