The new Mercedes-AMG SL breaks cover. Official photos and data

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The new Mercedes-AMG SL breaks cover with V8 engines and a range-topping variant of 585 horsepower under the hood of the SL 63. The new model will carry over from where the Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster left off.

The first-ever Mercedes-AMG SL developed independently by AMG is equipped with everything that Mercedes has today. The AMG Active Ride Control suspension, rear-axle steering, the optionally available AMG ceramic high-performance composite brake system and the Digital Light are on the menu. 

The all-new SL comes, for the beginning, with the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 in two output options. The entry-level variant  AMG SL 55 4Matic+ – if there is anything entry-level about it – is the one with 476 HP and 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) of torque. The customers who need more can go for the 585-HP SL 63 4Matic+ version with a peak torque of 800 Nm (590 lb-ft).

The first runs from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.9 seconds, while the latter is 0.3 seconds faster. Their top speed is of 295 km/h (183 mph) and 315 km/h (196 mph), respectively.

A  nine-speed automatic transmission and the company’s 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system transfer resources to all four corners. The latter is a first in the SL history. The AMG Speedshift MCT 9G has a wet start-off clutch instead of a torque converter. Thus, fast multiple downshifts are possible and in Sport, Sport+ and Race modes (standard on the SL 63). The Automatic throttle blipping function is available to provide a fascinating experience when changing gears.

The new Mercedes-AMG SL, in line for E Performance technology

Mercedes-AMG will grant its new convertible with the E Performance technology. That will carry over the top-of-the-range position when it hits the market. As incredible as it may sound, it might go as far as 800 horsepower. The first to get the tech, the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 4-Door Coupe S E Performance, received 843 HP. But that might just be too much for the convertible. In the future the base version will be the 3 liter six inline cylinder.

Both versions comes as standard with rear axle steering that improves handling. The system allows the steering of the rear wheels in the opposite direction from those on the front axle at speeds up to 100 km/h (62 mph) with an angle of 2.5 degrees. At speeds higher than 100 km/h, the rear wheels point in the same direction as the front ones, with a maximum steering angle of 0.7 degrees.

Integral steering not only provides a smaller turning circle at speeds below 100 km/h, but is also sharper because the front-wheel steering ratio is only 12.8: 1 compared to 14.2: 1 without integral steering.

The Mercedes-AMG SL comes with six driving modes

Six driving modes are available onboard. Drivers can select from Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual and Race. The Mercedes-AMG SL 63 gets them as standard. Meanwhile, those who go for the “tamed” SL 55 have to tick the AMG Dynamic Plus Package to get them.

The SL 55 AMG 4Matic + is equipped as standard with the AMG Ride Control steel spring suspension. Meanwhile, Mercedes prepared the AMG Active Ride Control adaptive suspension for the SL 63 4MATIC+. It also features the active stabilizer bars operated by a hydraulic mechanism and not by a mechanical one.

For the first time, a Mercedes-AMG series model is equipped with a five-link front axle. The rear axle also sports a five-link multilink suspension. An electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential is standard for the SL 63 4Matic + and optional, included in the AMG Dynamic Plus Package, for the SL 55 4Matic+.

Both versions come standard with composite disc brakes. It is easy to tell the two apart. The SL 55 4Matic + displays red brake calipers, while the SL 63 4MATIC+ shows them in yellow. For extra money, customers can also tick the high-performance AMG ceramic composite discs that have brake calipers in an extravagant bronze finish.

The Mercedes-AMG SL – Gracious design

The new Mercedes-AMG SL measures 4,705 millimeters (185.2 inches) in length and features a wheelbase of 2,700 millimeters (106.3 inches).

The model comes with a sleek design. It all starts – as expected – with AMG’s Panamericana radiator grille with vertical slats, flanked by narrow elongated headlights spreading towards the fender flares. With a long hood, short overhangs and muscular shoulder line, plus the canvas roof, the car has a gracious, yet powerful silhouette.

There are 19-inch standard wheels for the SL 55, but customers can pay extra for the 20- and 21-inch ones.

Compared to the old model, the torsional rigidity is 18% higher. The transverse rigidity is 50% higher than the already great value of the AMG GT Roadster. The longitudinal rigidity also goes up by 40%.The new platform has major advantages over the former, which was shared with the E-Class family. It is lighter (the weight of the plain body is only 270 kg) and the center of gravity is lower.

The highly enticing design accompanies a high-tech cabin with a 2+2 seating layout, after the absence of it for more than 30 years. People of up to 1.5 meters can sit in the back or taller if they are willing to double up in there. When not occupied, the seats can convert into storage space. Sports seats come standard, while the performance ones are optional.

As seen in the photos that Mercedes released ahead of the official reveal, the SL comes with the 11.9-inch portrait-style adjustable screen from 12 to 32 degrees in the center console to trick the sunlight when driving with the top down. The 12.3-inch digital cluster, the MBUX system, and the head-up display round up the futuristic yet elegant ambiance onboard.

The Mercedes-AMG SL convertible has a soft top that can close in 15 seconds

Mercedes dropped the rigid top in the favor of the canvas one. The mechanism is 21 kilograms lighter than the previous one, thus reducing the weight of the car and lowering the center of gravity. It only takes 15 seconds for the soft top to go up or down, at speeds of up to 60 km/h (37 mph).

The features of the active aerodynamics

Mercedes-AMG SL boasts active aerodynamics. It all starts with the retractable tail wing elegantly integrated into the boot lid. It can be adjusted in 5 positions from 80 km/h upwards to optimize cornering stability or reduce drag.

A two-piece active air control system, designated Airpanel, consists of two parts: the first one operates with vertical louvers hidden behind the lower air intake in the front apron, while the second one is located behind the upper air intake which has horizontal louvers. Normally, both are closed. but when more cooling is needed the louvers spring open (the second one only from 180 km/h above).

Optionally, an active aerodynamic element can be ordered. It will find room in the underbody in front of the engine. This carbon profile, which weighs about 2 kilograms, drops by about 40 mm at speeds of over 80 km/h, depending on the chosen AMG driving mode. This creates a Venturi effect that practically presses the car on the road and reduces the ascending forces from the front axle.

ModelSL 55 4Matic+SL 63 4Matic+
Engine/no. of cylindersV8, bi-turboV8, bi-turbo
Displacement (cmc)39823982
Max. power/revs (HP/rpm)476/5500-6500585/5500-6500
Max. torque (Nm/rpm)700/2250-4500800/2500-5000
Transmission9 gears, automatic9 gears, automatic
L x W x h (mm)4705 x 1915 x 13594705 x 1915 x 1359
Wheelbase (mm)27002700
Boot volume (l)213-240213-240
Kerbweight (kg)19501970
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s)3,93,6
Top speed (km/h)295315
Fuel consumption WLTP (l/100 km)12,7-11,812,7-11,8
CO2 emissions WLTP (g/km)288-268288-268