The SL class from yesteryear is gone, and replaced by a new, radically different revolutionary 2+2 convertible. Few sports cars have the pedigree of the the SL, having been around since 1954, the original “gullwing” SL can fetch millions of dollars in auctions today. The latest iteration, code named R232 will be the first to be an AMG only model.
The new generation is the first to have 2+2 seating as standard rather than optional configuration since the R129 was introduced in 1989. Although the rear seats are more suited to pets or grocery bags, children or persons less than 5 feet tall can be seated there for small trips, although you probably wouldn’t want to have them sitting in the rear seats for your next 6 hour road trip! In front, the instrument cluster is placed within a binnacle to reduce the reflection of sunlight when the roof is down and the center touch screen panel can also be tilted to different angles depending on the driver’s preferences. Mercedes engineers also opted to use a soft top rather than sectional foldable hardtop as they did with the previous generation in an effort to save weight.
On the outside, the SL looks every bit what an AMG should portray; strikingly beautiful, menacing and very well proportioned. The gaping front grille is flanked by aggressively shaped headlamps atop gaping air intakes while a sculpted bonnet and sides flow into the rear bumper and large wrap-around taillamps. As always though, some people will love the design while others may find it not to be to their taste. Personally, I think that this is one of Mercedes-Benz / AMG’s finest yet.
Two V8 engine options will be available. On the SL55, a twin turbocharged 4.0 liter unit will generate 469 bhp while the SL63’s V8 churns out a whopping 577 bhp, with the different being attributed to higher turbo boost in the latter. Down the road, a 416 bhp 2.0 liter unit may be available, as well as a plug in hybrid. In addition, all-wheel drive will be standard on all SL models, making it the perfect year-round touring vehicle, making it as easy to take the SL on ski trips as it is to cruise with the top down in the summer months.
Other features to enhance the driving experience include an active rear spoiler which adjusts automatically to any of 6 different pre-set positions depending on your speed, as well as an optional aero package that give the car a more aggressive front splitter, larger rear diffuser and active underbody aerodynamic surfaces.