- mercedes has revealed photos of a next-generation sl-class prototype ahead of its debut.
- the new model will exclusively be available as a mercedes-amg sl, rather than a benz, as it transitions to a sportier mission.
- we expect the new sl to debut sometime early in 2021 before going on sale later next year.
the mercedes sl-class is about to change course, with new photos of a prototype showing a sportier direction for the next-generation roadster. like the amg gt sports car, the new sl will be a dedicated mercedes-amg model rather than a mercedes-benz model with amg derivatives.
as such, the upcoming sl appears to be less of a relaxed boulevardier than the current model. for one thing, it appears to have a cloth top rather than a retractable hardtop, which should save a significant amount of weight. and its proportions look significantly more athletic, suggesting a smaller, more nimble footprint. the rumor is that the sl will use the same platform as the amg gt, but it will likely be shortened for this application.
we expect the amg-only lineup to start off with an amg sl53 model with a 429-horsepower turbocharged inline-six. things will only go up from there, as amg's twin-turbo 4.0-liter v-8 is sure to make its way into sl63 making over 600 horsepower. the sl65 has probably reached the end of the road, as amg is no longer making v-12 engines. but possible hard-core r or black series variants could further the sl's performance aspirations.
amg says the sl is currently in the testing phase, which means that an official debut isn't far off. we should see the new model in full either at the end of this year or early next year, with u.s. sales starting sometime in 2021.