The 2021 Mercedes-Benz SL has been spied again, revealing an interior inspired by the new S-Class.

    Our spy photographers caught a glimpse of the cabin, which shows what appears to be a large, portrait-style touchscreen with a gloss black surround dominating the centre stack, encircled by a thin strip of brightwork.

    From what we can see, it looks quite similar to the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

    The new SL is expected to launch next year.

    The model our photographers snapped appears to be a Mercedes-AMG SL63, which we expect will use AMG’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 mated to a 48V mild-hybrid EQ Boost system and producing at least 469kW of power.

    A less powerful version of this powertrain will appear in the SL500, while the SL range will also consist of SL450 and SL53 AMG models.

    Both will use a turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six engine mated to an EQ Boost system, with the SL450 producing 272kW of power and the SL53 a total of 337kW.

    The SL53 should match the larger-engined SL500 in power, though the SL500 will have more torque.

    Development of the seventh-generation model is being led by AMG for the first time, with the SL to share its Modular Sports Architecture with the next-generation Mercedes-AMG GT.

    The two models are expected to share components such as their suspension, steering systems, hybrid drivetrains and 48V electric architecture.

    The GT’s influence can also be seen in the SL’s styling, in particular its curvaceous hindquarters.

    Unlike the past two generations of SL, the seventh-generation will return to using a soft-top and be officially called the SL Roadster.

    The switch to a fabric roof allows for a tighter rear end design and a lower kerb weight. The SL will retain aluminium construction for its body, which will also help keep it from being too portly.

    That should also help its dynamics, with outgoing Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers saying, “We’re bringing back the historic DNA of the SL. It’s far sportier [this time round].”

    “It will have a perfect compromise between driving dynamics and comfort because it’s still kind of a cruiser, too.”

    Though the SL isn’t expected to gain any weight and may in fact shed a few pounds, it’ll be the most practical model yet with the addition of two seats in the rear.

    The addition of a second row of seats has some precedent in the SL’s 66-year history.

    In its second generation, the SL was available with a hard top and a fold-down rear bench that was about as comfortable as that sounds. The following R107 generation introduced a coupe variant, the SLC, which also featured a second row of seats.

    Mercedes may have helped spark the popularity of retractable hardtops with its SLK, like most automakers it’s moving away from them.

    The SLK’s successor, the SLC, has been axed, while recent drop-tops like the E-Class and S-Class have used fabric roofs.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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