The SL will restore the faith of the model’s enthusiasts in the two letters standing for Sport Licht, the Mercedes executives are convinced. They thus decided to pass the construction of the roadster on to the AMG power house. The SL will now live to see another day and a new generation.
Around since 2013, the current generation got a refreshing vibe in 2017, but it still needs improvement, the company believes. The Daimler CEO, Dieter Zetsche, reveals that the next generation is already under development.
“The plan is to make a real wow car, a stunning car”, Zetsche promises. “Whenever we accomplished that in the past, the SL has had a very good performance in the market place, and that’s where we want to go.”
The next generation of the roadster is due to hit the market in 2021 and it will be developed alongside the second-generation AMG GT, expected to show up in 2022. Extensive use of aluminum, rear-wheel steering, optional air suspension, all-wheel drive and a longer wheelbase to make it good for two extra rear seats, are the promises that Mercedes makes on the account of the SL.
Electrified powertrains will be part of the range, with a possible plug-in hybrid hitting 800 horsepower or further, making it the WOW car that Dr. Z promises.
Meanwhile, the brand’s fans get promises for the Project ONE as well. The AMG boss, Tobias Moers, says that the hypercar will beat the outright Nurburgring lap record, which currently stands at 6 minutes 11.1 seconds per lap, achieved by a Porsche 956. The current record held by a road car belongs to the Porsche 911 GT2 RS at 6 minutes 47 seconds.
Looking at the figures on the data sheet, with a Formula 1-derived engine and robotized manual 8-speed transmission developed by Xtrac, the Project ONE has every right to hope to break the record. It’s got 1000 horsepower, while the GT2 RS stops at 700. Moers stated for Autocar that the most challenging part will be finding a driver capable of making the car give its best.