As in the case of the first Mercedes SL in 1952, the development of the new generation SL started from a white sheet of paper. Mercedes says not a single component has been taken over from the former generation SL or AMG Roadster.
The last generations of Mercedes SL were very luxurious roadsters but not extremely agile. Compared to the first generation Mercedes 300 SL from 1954, the last generations of Mercedes SL have been transformed into a luxury GT.
As elegant, comfortable, quiet and luxurious as it was, the Mercedes SL R129 did not offer an agile driving experience. And neither did the generations that followed. But now Mercedes wants to radically change this and transform the SL into a pure sports car that retains the comfort and luxury attributes of its predecessors.
Therefore, it is no coincidence that the 2022 Mercedes SL is developed by AMG being the first Mercedes-AMG to have also normal versions.
The development of the new SL roadster by AMG brought a profound change of design.
The new roadster architecture is a combination of aluminum space frame with a self-supporting body. As we anticipate, the new SL is a 2 + 2 seater compared to two strict seats in the past generations. The novelty lies in the fact that the platform can accommodate various types of propulsion, which is a premiere at SL.
Mercedes does not say directly but it is clear we will see a hybrid version of the SL.
But the main goal of the new model is to be a pure sports car that puts longitudinal and lateral dynamics first.
The body structure is an intelligent mix of aluminum, steel, magnesium and fiber composites that ensures the highest possible rigidity in combination with a low weight.
The instrument panel support is made of magnesium while the front module cover bridge is made from a mixture of glass fibers and carbon. For maximum passenger protection, the windscreen frame is made of high-strength, hot-formed tubular steel while the rollbar behind the seats comes out in a few millseconds in the event of a rollover.
Cast aluminum components are used in nodal points, ie where high forces occur. They have the advantage that their thicknesses can be varied depending on the requierements and thus a reduced weight can be obtained.
Compared to the old SL, the torsional stiffness of the bodyshell structure is 18% higher. Compared to the AMG GT Roadster which already has a very good rigidity of the body,
the transverse rigidity of the new SL is 50% higher and the longitudinal rigidity 40% higher.
The bodyshell structure without doors, bonnet and boot lid is around 270 kg.
Another advantage of the AMG platform over the old platform is a lower center of gravity which promises superior agility.
The production of the new SL will take place at the Mercedes plant in Bremen where the former generation was also produced.