Presenting the next-generation of the iconic SL luxury roadster, which now has Mercedes-AMG branding and treatment.
The 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL with V8 power has been revealed overnight, and it’s confirmed for Australia in the second half of next year.
“More information about the local line-up, including price and specifications, will be announced closer to that time,” said a Mercedes-AMG Australia spokesperson.
At launch there are going to be two variants available called SL 55 4Matic+ and SL 63 4Matic+. Both are powered by the familiar 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engines, and have fully variable AMG Performance all-wheel drive.
Beyond this there’s an AMG E Performance hybrid in the works as well, expected to be similar to the AMG GT 63 S E Performance that produces 620kW of power and a staggering 1400Nm of torque.
This next-generation SL roadster is the first to be developed in-house by the Mercedes-AMG division of Affalterbach, across almost 70 years of SL history since the 1954 debut of the 300SL ‘Gullwing’ – one of the most famous designs of all time.
You’ll be able to tell that it’s an AMG model due to its ‘Panamericana’ grille with vertical louvres. But it’s still recognisable as an SL due to its long wheelbase, short overhangs, long bonnet and steeply-raked windscreen.
Some new features that this next-generation SL roadster will offer include the ‘AMG Ride Control’ suspension system with active anti-roll stabilisation, active front and rear aero, and rear-wheel steering.
The AMG Ride Control with hydraulic, active anti-roll stabilisation comes as standard on the SL 63 4Matic+ and replaces the conventional, mechanical anti-roll bars with active hydraulic elements that are said to “compensate for rolling movements … in fractions of a second”.
This is paired with adaptive dampers that are standard across the range.
A limited-slip differential is standard on the SL 63 4Matic+ or optional as part of the ‘AMG Dynamic Plus’ package on the SL 55 4Matic+.
Up front there are active louvres on the lower and upper air intake used to either warm up or cool down the engine if needed. On the rear there’s an active spoiler integrated into the boot lid. It has five different positions to cycle through.
This SL roadster’s rear-axle steering system, depending on the speed, can turn the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the fronts (up to 100km/h) to effectively reduce wheelbase – or in the same direction (faster than 100km/h) for higher-speed stability.
For the first time in 20 years, this next-generation SL roadster will come with a fabric soft top instead of metal hard top.
By doing this, Mercedes-AMG was able to shave 21kg, while it can open or close in 15 seconds at speeds as high as 60km/h.
This model brings back a 2+2 seating configuration that was last available as an option on the fourth-generation SL, too.
The back seats in the next-gen SL apparently provide enough space for passengers up to 1.5 metres tall, so best for small children or big bags.
Mercedes-AMG suggests that the second row of seating can also be used to stow a golf bag, suggesting a certain core clientele.
Speaking of space, the SL roadster offers 213L of boot space with the fabric roof stowed away, but can be expanded to 240L with the roof up.
The next-generation SL rides on a completely new aluminium composite spaceframe platform known as Modular Sports Architecture (MSA) that’ll also underpin the next AMG GT coupe.
This MSA platform doesn’t share any components whatsoever with the previous SL and AMG GT roadsters.
Mercedes-AMG also states the torsional stiffness of the bodyshell structure has increased by 18 per cent over the previous SL.
Transverse rigidity is up 50 per cent from the outgoing AMG GT roadster and longitudinal rigidity, too, is up 40 per cent.
The weight of the bodyshell without doors, bonnet and boot lid is just 270kg.
As mentioned above, both SL models are going to be powered by 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engines.
There are some alterations to the engine though that include a new oil pan, repositioned intercoolers, and active crankcase ventilation.
In the SL 55 4Matic+ it produces 350kW and 700Nm which is good enough for a claimed 0-100km/h sprint in 3.9 seconds. Claimed top speed is also 295km/h.
In the SL 63 4Matic+ on the hand, it produces 430kW and 800Nm and claims to send the vehicle from 0-100km/h in 3.6 seconds. Claimed top speed for this model is 315km/h.
Both of these SL variants send their power to all four wheels through an all-wheel drive system via a nine-speed ‘AMG Speedshift’ dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Providing the stopping power on the SL are optional ceramic composite brakes that measure 402mm in diameter on the front and 360mm on the rear.
As standard, the SL 55 4Matic+ comes with red-painted brake calipers, while the SL 63 4Matic+ has yellow calipers.
On the safety front, the next-generation SL roadster offers the following active safety features:
- Driver attention assist
- Radar cruise control
- Active steering assist
- Traffic sign detection
- Lane-keeping assist
- Lane-change assist
- Autonomous emergency braking with junction assist
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Exit warning assist
- Pre-tensioning front seat belts
We’ve already seen the inside of the SL roadster, but it includes a 12.3-inch digital drivers display, as well as a 11.9-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen infotainment system.
This infotainment screen is familiar to the Mercedes range – see the new S-Class – and is able to tilt at inclinations from 12 to 32 degrees.
It includes specific content such as ‘AMG Performance and ‘AMG Track Pace’ menus.
The infotainment system also offers Apple Car Play, Android Auto, DAB+ digital radio, satellite navigation, and a voice assistant.
There are going to be 12 paint colours available at launch with three different soft top colours.
There’ll also be a range of different 19-, 20- and 21-inch wheels to choose from as well.
What do you think of the new Mercedes-AMG SL roadster? Let us know in the comments