At less than 600 pounds, the new Mercedes-AMG SL body ensures that the new car deserves the light weight in the SL.
Almost seventy years ago the first Mercedes SL debuted. Right from the start, it was designed for lightness and sportiness. The room frame was designed in such a way that it did not allow a traditional revolving door. This is how the iconic wing door was created. The SL was an instant hit and coveted around the world. The car was fast and classy. It was sporty yet sophisticated. That mix of attributes defined that SL for several decades. With a new 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL just around the corner, the same goal is in sight. One of the key elements in achieving this goal is a lightweight body. It is just as important today as it was in 1952, when the first SL was designed.
This completely new lightweight body was made recently presented by Mercedes-AMGAM. And just like the first SL in 1952, design was started from scratch. “The development team in our body shop was faced with an extremely appealing, but also demanding task: When we were commissioned with the overall development of the new SL, we started from scratch, so to speak, without building on an existing structure,” says Jochen Hermann, Chief Technical Officer of Mercedes-AMG GmbH. While the goal may be the same, the challenge of building a car today is much more complex than it was in 1952. Not only does the SL need to be a lightweight and sporty 2 + 2, but it needs to be built now to accommodate a wide range of cars of drive systems.
Again a space frame is used. Although the 2022 car is unlikely to need gullwing doors this time around. The space frame offers a very light structure. But it also offers extremely high torsional rigidity. The new SL Space Frame consists of aluminum, steel, magnesium and fiber composite materials. This enables the basis for a strong but light automobile. Compared to the previous series, the torsional rigidity of the bodyshell structure increased by 18 percent. The transverse rigidity is 50 percent higher than that of the AMG GT Roadster, the longitudinal rigidity 40 percent. The weight of the body-in-white without doors, bonnet and trunk lid and without attachments is around 595 pounds.
It took a huge team and thousands of hours to produce such an advanced body, right? Well not exactly. The preliminary development took place in just three months. It took less than three years from the award of the contract to an originally only six-person team to the publication of the series. So the car is not only light and fast, but also the team that develops it. We can hardly wait for the first new SL to leave the Bremen plant. It is amazing to hear how the car was designed and what technical details it contains. However, the final verdict is reserved until we can actually get behind the wheel. Hopefully that’s in the not too distant future.