The current-generation Mercedes SL (R231) hasn’t been getting the media attention it deserves as we barely get to hear about it despite being one of the most historically important nameplates in the lineup. Around since 2013, the droptop is among the oldest products on sale today from the company, but don’t fret as an all-new car is being developed.
If we were to rely on a report from Automobile Magazine, some big changes are in tow for the lavish convertible as Mercedes is looking to reinvent the SL. The metal roof is set to become a thing of the past as it will have to make way for a much lighter fabric top like the R129 had. It’s being developed alongside the next-generation Mercedes-AMG GT models (codenamed C/R192) and rumor has it the cabin will grow to accommodate rear seats that people will actually be able to use. The elongated wheelbase is said to make the SL more spacious on the inside than the S-Class Coupe.
Allegedly slated to go on sale in 2021, the all-new SL is going to be offered with an assortment of powertrains, starting off with a straight-six delivering 435 hp, with 20 of the total horsepower provided by the mild hybrid setup. The SL53 will up the power ante to 522 hp by making use of a larger biturbo 4.0-liter V8, which will also find its way inside the SL63 where it will develop 612 hp.
The cream of the crop will be a plug-in hybrid S73 with the SL63’s hardware plus an electric motor rated at 204 hp to give the PHEV a monstrous output of 800+ hp and 738 pound-feet (1,000 Newton-meters) of torque.
Beyond the powertrain options, engineers familiar with the next SL have allegedly told the publication that the new model will boast rear-wheel steering, air suspension, active stabilizer bars, and the firm’s latest 4Matic all-wheel drive.
If the next Sport Leicht is indeed set for a 2021 launch, we might get to see it as early as 2020.
Note: Attached below are spy images of an S-Class-Coupe-looking test mule believed to be the next SL.
Source: Automobile Magazine