Mercedes-AMG shows off new SL underpinnings

What lies beneath? Mercedes-AMG has unveiled the foundations of the next-generation SL roadster

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Zak Adkins
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Mercedes-AMG has revealed the architecture of the upcoming eighth-generation SL roadster, which will also be used by the next Mercedes-AMG GT.

It bears no resemblance to the previous-generation SL or the current AMG GT and was created on a blank canvas.

The shell consists of a mix of aluminium, steel, magnesium and fibre composites, which together create “the highest possible rigidity in conjunction with low weight”.

Mercedes 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 current AMG GT Roadster and longitudinal rigidity, too, is up 40 per cent from the Roadster.

Mercedes-AMG says “the entire vehicle concept is geared towards the lowest possible centre of gravity”, which it has done by lowering connection points for the powertrain.

The weight of the pure bodyshell without doors, bonnet and boot lid is just 270 kilograms.

The 2021 Mercedes-AMG SL450 and Mercedes-AMG SL53 will reportedly use a turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six engine with EQ Boost 48V systems.

The higher spec Mercedes-AMG SL500 and Mercedes-AMG SL63 are set to use the familiar twin-turbocharged V8 engine.

A 48V electrical system and mild-hybrid system is likely to appear, too.

The next generation of SL will go without the heavy folding hardtop of previous generations and will instead use a soft top to shed weight.

The SL will share its MSA (Modular Sports Architecture) with the next-generation Mercedes-AMG GT.

As Mercedes-AMG is leading development of the SL, it’ll wear Mercedes-AMG badging.

The SL and GT will share components such as suspension, steering systems, hybrid drivetrains and 48V electric architecture.

The newest generation of the SL will also feature a 2+2 seating setup for the first time since the SLC coupe version of the third-generation car.

The SL name has been used continuously since 1954 when Mercedes first introduced the now famous 300SL to the world.

MORE: Mercedes-Benz SL news and reviews


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