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New Mercedes SL (2021): Top AMG roadster with up to 800 hp

Stefan Baldauf
Mercedes SL (2021) now caught in the video
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B already as part of the New York Auto Show 2019 confirmed then-AMG boss Tobias Moers that the next Mercedes SL generation will be completely developed in Affalterbach. The first prototypes are being tested. Our Erlkönig hunter shot down the first test vehicle months ago. AMG is now publishing photos of camouflaged prototypes itself - with the happy announcement, 'After extensive digital development steps, test bench runs and simulator trials, the new sports car is now entering a phase of extensive dynamic driving tests - so far at the Group's own test and technology center in Immendingen - and now partly on public roads. '

The new Mercedes SL should be significantly sportier than the current model, with the focus still on comfort and cruising properties. In order to prevent the AMG GT and SL from going into each other's parade in the future, both should develop differently on the same platform: the SL towards the sporty 2 + 2-seater with a fabric roof, the AMG GT even more towards the uncompromising athlete.

The basic layout of the roadster can be seen in the first pictures. At the front it carries the Panamericana grille and narrow headlights. The lower window line rises, the exterior mirrors sit enthroned on the door sill. A massive apron with square tailpipes and slit-shaped lights can be seen at the rear. Still hidden under the black camouflage: the fabric folding roof.

SL and AMG GT on the same platform

The new modular sports car architecture is likely to be built under the modified body, which includes a a larger proportion of aluminum will come up. One thing is clear: it is still about maximum flexibility and lightweight construction. Both in terms of drive and body shape.

In the side view, strong corrugations can be seen under the camouflage.

The topic of propulsion is not last a little clearer through the first Erlkönig photos of the AMG GT 4 door. After Mercedes had various model names protected with the 73 nomenclature, the top model will be the Mercedes-AMG SL 73 with the small addition 'e'. The basic layout of the platform with the gearbox installed at the rear and the front engine including the carbon cardan shaft can be electrified without any problems.

The model from the R323 series has the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that comes with Electric motor support as a hybrid will come to around 800 hp. This drive train was already on display in the GT Concept study at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show - but here with 816 hp. The series model comes with the 4-Matic all-wheel drive system and probably with rear-wheel steering. The top V8 is coupled with a new nine-speed automatic. Chassis, brakes and exhaust system have been significantly modified compared to the civil SL models and adapted to the increased performance. And what about a fully electric Mercedes-AMG SL? In the long run, the Affalterbach company cannot avoid the subject of electrification. Ex-AMG boss Moers knew that too, who only gave the record that even a fully electric AMG 'at some point will not get past'.

SL without V12?

We can therefore assume that the MSA platform developed by AMG and modified for the new generation will offer maximum flexibility, from the classic combustion engine to the complete electric drive. In the basic version, there is the SL 43 with the three-liter in-line six-cylinder, which will only be launched with rear-wheel drive. The unit currently has 367 hp and 500 Nm, which should be a little more in the new SL. This is followed in the engine portfolio by the all-wheel drive versions of the SL 53 and 53e with the three-liter in-line six-cylinder including exhaust gas turbocharger and additional electric compressor, which will produce at least 435 hp. Then there is the SL 63 with the four-liter V8 in a performance level with over 640 hp. The AMG will no longer have the V12 engine.

It should also be certain that the new SL will be significantly lighter. Depending on the type of drive, the roadster with its fabric roof weighs less than 1.7 tons. The current R231 weighs between 1,730 and 1,845 kilograms.

For the interior, Mercedes provides naturally contoured sports seats and a sports steering wheel with a flattened bottom. Wood, aluminum and leather dominate the interior. There is also the MBUX infotainment system with touchscreen and the digital cockpit.


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