The brand new 2021 Mercedes SL Roadster will return with a fabric roof and share the technology with the AMG GT Sports car.
Mercedes is planning a radical overhaul for one of its longest-running models: the Mercedes SL Roadster. The new model, which will appear in the showrooms over the next 18 months, is being developed by Mercedes-AMG, with a focus on a new level of performance.
Last year, sports cars contributed a little more than one percent to the brand’s total global sales. According to Merc, around 28,400 were sold in 2019. That is an increase of 48 percent compared to 2018, but according to the company’s own information AMG GT Most of it does the setup with the Compact SLC Full-size roadsters and SLs are becoming less important.
While the SLC is unlikely to have a future beyond this generation, the brand will renew the SL with AMG. The performance department will reinvent the model as a 2 + 2 to be placed next to the two-seat AMG GTBoth cars share a new lightweight, aluminum-intensive platform.
Before moving to Aston Martin, AMG boss Tobias Moers spoke with Auto Express about the development of the project: “This is a very intensive program,” he said. “The new SL might fit the next generation of GT.
“I think it’s time to change the mindset of SL a little and bring back some of the history of that SL touring DNA – making it sportier and other things.”
AMG-marked high-performance variants are offered in addition to the core range, which is expected to start with a 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder model and will also include V8 performance. It is also likely that the new SL will support hybrid technology not only in the form of 48-volt mild hybrid electrification, but also with the option of a plug-in power supply.
Moers told Auto Express that AMG will try to offer a hybrid version of every model Mercedes launches from 2021, and the SL – as a heavier sports car that focuses on touring – could be a natural fit for a weighty, electrified powertrain a tremendous achievement. It could potentially receive the SL 73 badge and function as a flagship with more than 800 horsepower.
While AMG will see to it that the next SL is equipped with chassis and suspension tuning to improve the model for the drivers, it remains more of a cruiser than a performance car like the AMG GT.
The core of the next SL will be its styling, as shown in our exclusive pictures. Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer of Daimler AG, said: “Every SL is a mirror of its decade. When you think of the 1950s and the ideal of beauty in those days, it was opulence. Then it goes to the sixties, the models got thin, the skirts shorter, and if you look at the pagoda, this is a super light car that again represents the taste of the time. ”
Spy tapes have shown the newcomer will look more aggressive than before with bold AMG design themes, a 2 + 2 seating arrangement and a fabric convertible roof. Robert Lesnik, Mercedes director of exterior design, added: “Gorden has mentioned all of these models for decades, but they have one thing in common that is a typical relationship – a front mid-engined car with a long hood, a small cab and a rear cab design.
“The last SL was developed for a certain trend at the time, namely a retractable hardtop. That was the state of the art at the time, and everyone wanted one. We won’t do that with the next one, ”explained Lesnik.
Timeline: six generations of Mercedes Benz SL
W198 (1954-63): The legendary gullwing lasted three years before the Roadster replaced it. The four-cylinder 190 SL was the affordable alternative.
W113 (1963-1971): The ‘Pagoda’ model was delivered with a removable hard top. The 230, 250 and 280 models were all equipped with six-cylinder engines.
R107 (1971-1989): In addition to a roadster, Mercedes produced the four-seater SLC coupé until 1981. This was the first SL with a V8.
R129 (1989-2001): SL moved into the nineties with the V12 power, which was introduced for the first time. AMG versions are also displayed.
R230 (2001-2011): Introduction of the foldable hardtop roof, which was first seen on the SLK, as well as adaptive body control and other high-tech aids.
R231 (2012-2020): Outgoing SL was a heavily updated version of the R230, using an all-aluminum case for the first time.
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