New 2021 Mercedes SL: first official pictures of Merc’s AMG-developed 2+2 roadster
In contrast with spy pictures printed earlier within the yr, these first footage give us a a lot better sense of the design and proportions Mercedes has in thoughts for its subsequent flagship convertible sports activities automotive. The lengthy bonnet and cab-reward silhouette can clearly be made out, which can enable Mercedes to make the SL a real 2+2.
The corporate has additionally confirmed that duty for improvement of the brand new SL has been handed over to the AMG efficiency division, strengthening its credentials as a substitute for the AMG GT, whereas introducing extra practicality and luxury.
Final yr, sports activities vehicles contributed to barely a couple of per cent of the model’s complete gross sales worldwide; round 28,400 offered in 2019, based on Merc’s personal figures. That’s an increase of 48 per cent over 2018, however by the agency’s personal admission, the AMG GT line-up accounts for many of that, with the compact SLC roadster and full-size SL dwindling in significance.
Talking to Auto Categorical earlier than his swap to Aston Martin, former AMG boss Tobias Moers defined how the challenge was growing: “It is a programme that’s actually intense,” he stated. “The brand new SL aligned with perhaps the subsequent era of GT.
“I believe it’s time to vary the angle of SL a bit bit and produce again a little bit of the historical past of this touring DNA of SL – make it sportier, and different issues.”
AMG-badged high-performance variants will likely be supplied alongside the core line-up, which is anticipated to begin with a 3.0-litre straight-six mannequin and embody V8 energy, too. It’s additionally probably that the brand new SL will embrace hybrid know-how, not solely within the type of 48-volt mild-hybrid electrification, but additionally with the potential for plug-in energy.
Moers informed Auto Categorical that AMG will look to supply a hybrid model of each mannequin Mercedes sends its method from 2021, and the SL – as a heavier sports activities automotive centered on touring – might effectively be a pure match for a weighty, electrified powertrain with an enormous energy output. It might probably obtain the SL 73 badge, and act as a flagship mannequin with greater than 800bhp.
Core to the subsequent SL will likely be its styling, as previewed in our unique pictures. Gorden Wagener, the chief design officer for Daimler AG, informed us: “Every SL is a mirror of its decade. In case you consider the fifties and also you consider the sweetness ideally suited throughout that point, it was opulence. You then transfer into the sixties, fashions bought skinny, skirts bought shorter, and while you take a look at the Pagoda this can be a super-light automotive, and once more represents the style of the time.”
Spy pictures and the primary official pictures have revealed that the newcomer will tackle a extra aggressive look than earlier than, with daring AMG design themes, a 2+2 seating structure and a cloth convertible roof. Robert Lesnik, Mercedes director of exterior design added: “Gorden talked about all these fashions by way of a long time, however they maintain one thing in widespread, that may be a typical proportion – a entrance mid-engined automotive, with a protracted bonnet, small cabin, cab backward design.
“The final SL was designed for a sure pattern on the time, which was a retractable hard-top. That was, on the time, state-of-the-art, and everybody wished to have one. It’s one thing that we’ll not do with the subsequent one,” Lesnik defined.
Timeline: six generations of Mercedes SL
W198 (1954-63): Iconic Gullwing lasted for 3 years earlier than Roadster changed it. 4-cylinder 190 SL was the inexpensive different.
W113 (1963-1971): ‘Pagoda’ mannequin got here with a detachable hard-top. 230, 250 and 280 fashions all got here with six-cylinder engines.
R107 (1971-1989): In addition to a roadster, Mercedes produced the four-seat SLC coupé up till 1981. This was the primary SL with a V8.
R129 (1989-2001): SL moved into the nineties with V12 energy launched for the primary time. AMG variations additionally seem.
R230 (2001-2011): Launched folding hard-top roof first seen on the SLK, in addition to adaptive physique management and different hi-tech aids.
R231 (2012-2020): Outgoing SL was a closely up to date model of the R230 that used an all-aluminium physique for the primary time.