The famed Mercedes-Benz SL nameplate is heading towards its seventh generation with a change in focus.

    We’ve known for a while the upcoming Mercedes-Benz SL will switch from a folding hardtop to a fabric roof, but these photos give us our first glimpse of the car’s new top.

    Even though the car is still largely covered in camouflage, we can see the new model should have a more elegant design than the current car. In line with the company’s current styling direction the new SL has smooth surfacing with fewer creases and more rounded details.

    Unlike the current car, and most generations before it, the new SL will feature two rear seats for increased practicality.

    Development is being led by AMG, and under the skin the new SL uses a new platform – known as the Modular Sports Architecture or MSA – that will be shared with the next-generation GT range.

    This change, along with reduced mass thanks to the fabric top, should result in a more sporty drive with nimbler handling.

    Power will reportedly come from a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six or 4.0-litre V8. Both will be fitted with a 48V electrical system and a mild hybrid setup.

    Despite the shift in underpinnings, the SL is still expected to share components with the contemporary S-Class.

    In the last set of spy photos we saw a centre stack similar to the one in the latest S-Class, with a piano black slab rising out of the centre tunnel and housing a large touchscreen.

    MORE: Mercedes-Benz SL news and reviews
    MORE: Mercedes-Benz news and reviews

    Derek Fung

    Derek Fung would love to tell you about his multiple degrees, but he's too busy writing up some news right now. In his spare time Derek loves chasing automotive rabbits down the hole. Based in New York, New York, Derek loves to travel and is very much a window not an aisle person.

    Buy and Lease
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers