2022 Mercedes-AMG SL prototype first experience assessment: Again to its roots

The 2022 Mercedes SL was solely made by AMG.


New Mercedes-Benz SL roadsters won’t come alongside actually usually. Every particular person of the SL’s generations lasted about 12 many years on frequent proper earlier than a brand new 1 arrived out and for the earlier 5-ish a few years, the SL has been rather more of a comfortable GT auto versus a racing-derived sports activities actions automobile or truck like the primary 300SL. However with the model-new 2022 SL, that is all about to regulate.

It’s actually evident that change is afoot from the determine by your self: As an alternative of getting a Mercedes-Benz SL, the brand new technology shall be the Mercedes-AMG SL. Just like the AMG GT, the brand new SL was made by AMG from the ground up. Mercedes tasked the crew at AMG to make the SL extra compact, lighter and considerably much more athletic, channeling the spirit of the distinctive mannequin. It rides on a brand new system — one specific that shall be shared with the up coming-gen GT coupe — and the SL will in essence contemplate the place of the soon-to-be-discontinued AMG GT roadster.

The AMG enchancment is a big provide, however it really isn’t the best elementary modify. For the primary time within the mannequin’s report, the brand new SL shall be available with all-wheel push — and never simply provided, it should be frequent. Additionally, for less than the third time within the SL’s background (however the 1st time within the US), the brand new a single may have a again seat. The R107 was available with a rear leap seat as a producing unit accent and the R129 had an optionally available again once more seat in Europe, however each version of the brand new R232 SL will include a two-additionally-two configuration. The brand new SL can be heading again once more to using a cloth roof, ditching the folding hardtop arrange of the previous two generations. Rear-axle steering shall be obtainable for the initially time, as effectively.

Although no an individual from Mercedes will guarantee any specs or details about the SL I’m driving in, one can find a ton that is seen — and audible. It may be an SL63 (it is potential an SL63 S) with AMG’s tried-and-legitimate twin-turbo 4.-liter V8 motor, quad rectangular exhaust options and carbon-ceramic brakes with gold calipers. The muse SL would be the SL53, which is able to use AMG’s turbocharged inline-6 hybrid motor, and there have to be a high-driven plug-in-hybrid product sharing the GT63 E Efficiency’s powertrain.

On first impressions the brand new SL appears to be freakin’ magnificent. This matte white prototype has a delicate camo wrap masking the doorway and rear finishes as properly as minor data just like the badges, however virtually every part else is uncovered. The brand new automobile’s shorter size is immediately apparent, and the SL has an amazing squat stance with a shark-like entrance shut, transient overhangs, clear facet surfacing, intensive fenders and a tapering rear conclusion with an lively spoiler. It really can be an individual of the bizarre comfy main convertibles that seems to be like definitely superior with the prime up.

Mercedes disclosed the SL’s inside months again, so it is totally uncovered proper right here. This one has black leather-based with white stitching protecting virtually every space, with a number of items of carbon-fiber trim. It immediately feels lots much less cramped than the AMG GT and a complete great amount rather more modern-day than the outgoing SL. The large coronary heart touchscreen is simply nearly as good as within the new S-Class, and the electrical energy tilting performance really does work to fight glare. That rear seat is proscribed and has an upright seatback — my 5-foot, 8-inch self can barely in fine condition — so it may be genuinely simply fitted to younger ones or baggage, just like the again of a Porsche 911.

This prototype is a V8-powered SL63 design.


Having me for a expertise by the use of the mountains throughout Denver is Moritz Stockmeier, AMG’s senior supervisor for powertrain, software and driveability. The check out route is at giant elevation on unquestionably attractive stretches of freeway, however I get to come across rougher freeway surfaces and a few freeway stints from the passenger seat, method too. This Colorado verify is mainly Mercedes’ closing validation run, the place the group is mainly making good-tuning changes. In different textual content, this prototype is about 90{932d8cc0ad348a987a02ed4b38d63b5e1638a3275af95e56a5c772e4e9f57fcb} concluded. 

Stockmeier by no means genuinely will get a prospect to open up the SL up other than a pair rips by tunnels and a merge onto the freeway, however the roadster feels simply as quick as a V8-driven GT from the passenger seat. This one has 20-inch wheels with Michelin Pilot Exercise 4S summer season season tires, sized 265/40ZR20 on the entrance and 295/35ZR20 on the once more, and the journey is group however relaxed and composed, even in Exercise Furthermore methodology. Rear-axle steering shall be accessible for the primary time, aiding the 2 maneuverability and significant-speed steadiness, and I can equally see and sense it doing work in tighter corners. And with the prime down and residential home windows up it really is easy to have a dialog, even devoid of a wind deflector.

“It may be always a distinct technique if AMG does a automobile from scratch all by ourselves,” Stockmeier tells me. “The straightforward undeniable fact that the board of administration gave AMG the enterprise to amass the longer term SL stated a factor. It commences with the bodywork and the chassis, through which we are able to presently get began conserving weight and increasing stiffness.” Handing enhancement to AMG will permit for a fantastic deal rather more consider dynamics and effectiveness, because the workforce is simply not performing off an present Mercedes design. “We wish to make it a big change from the predecessor, while you give a auto to AMG you realize what is going on.”

It truly is smaller sized, lighter and stiffer than the outgoing SL.


Stockmeier suggests the employees seemed to the distinctive 300SL for inspiration, and the R232 will definitely be a fantastic deal rather more pleasurable to push than previous SLs. However AMG is not going to need the brand new SL to alienate current clients by remaining far too racy — really, Stockmeier thinks it might be the next automobile for these that purchased the now-dead S-Class convertible. “Of coaching course we all know the heritage of the automobile and we all know the patrons of the present 1, and so they shall be blessed once they get the brand new one specific as successfully,” he states. “90{932d8cc0ad348a987a02ed4b38d63b5e1638a3275af95e56a5c772e4e9f57fcb} of the purchasers will not at all go to the monitor, and so they wish to have a comfortable auto as very effectively, and that’s what we’ve to have to supply. These are extraordinarily useful prospects and we wish to have them with us.” It’ll additionally entice fanatics that desire a effectiveness motorized vehicle, although, and therein lies the brand new SL’s genuine appeal.

“We most popular to have a motorized vehicle that has a unbelievable bandwidth involving Consolation and ease and Race method, we did not wish to make it an amazing stiff and sporty automobile on a regular basis,” Stockmeier provides, and that’s not a straightforward enterprise. “The bandwidth was completely an individual of the factors we took an eye fixed on in the middle of enchancment to have all of the potential customers content material.” Key areas of the automobile just like the human physique development and wheel-and-tire arrange are mounted, so it truly is factors like adaptive dampers, motor programming, transmission shift mapping and different electronics that change in between push modes. “These elements should be discovered as a full system that changes in the intervening time,” Stockmeier suggests, conveying that helping make the drive modes further distinct are haptics just like the ferocity of shifts and the body weight of the steering.

In a comparable vein, Stockmeier’s favored issue concerning the new SL is its variability. “It’s actually like Jekyll and Hyde,” he suggests. “You may have the roof open or shut, you should utilize it in winter season and summertime, you possibly can have a simple expertise downtown in Comfort methodology after which simply take it to a racetrack and use Race methodology.” Although he admits that it isn’t a members of the family motorized vehicle, he suggests it was important for the SL to be an excellent on a regular basis driver.

All informed, this preliminary impact has me desirous to drive the brand new roadster. It feels noticeably numerous from each equally the outgoing SL and the GT roadster, getting the best points of every and incorporating a a lot way more trendy finish. The brand new SL will debut by the conclude of the calendar 12 months upfront of heading on sale within the very first 50 % of 2022 — nevertheless given Mercedes’ newest V8 circumstance, we might solely get the SL53 at first.