The new Mercedes SL-Class has a plug-in hybrid variant on the way. These spy shots offer a look at an example that doesn't appear to be wearing any camouflage.
In terms of styling, the SL plug-in is identical to the existing versions. The only minor difference is at the back, where the company has to add a panel for accessing the charging port.
Gallery: Mercedes-AMG SL Plug-In Hybrid Spy Shots
The powertrain reportedly uses the SL63's 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 but adds electric assistance. This might push the output as high as 800 horsepower (597 kilowatts), versus 577 hp (430 kW) from the existing model.
Given that the only change to this model appears to be the powertrain, don't expect the wait to be very long before a full unveiling. A debut later in 2022 is quite likely.
Mercedes is selling the latest SL exclusively with AMG branding, meaning all of them have the Panamericana grille with vertical slats. Pop-out door handles keep the sides looking smooth. For the first time in generations, the vehicle gets a fabric roof, rather than a folding hardtop. At the back, there's an active rear spoiler that deploys out of the smooth tail.
The cabin is reminiscent of the other latest Mercedes models. There's a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. The 11.9-inch infotainment screen tilts between 12 and 32 degrees so that drivers of different heights can tailor the position to their preference. Like other Mercedes convertibles, the front seats have the Airscarf feature that blows warm air on the necks of occupants.
For the first time, the SL is available with all-wheel drive. There's also rear-wheel steering, and customers can get a limited-slip differential for the back axle for even more control.
The new SL's pricing for the United States isn't yet available. Expect the numbers to be available closer to when the roadster goes on sale in the second quarter of 2022.