The new Mercedes-AMG SL, the new edition of an icon, returns to its roots with a classic soft top and sporty character. Almost 70 years ago, a sports car launched in Stuttgart immediately became a legend. The vision of expanding the potential of the Mercedes-Benz brand through motor racing successes produced the first SL as a result – a road-going racing sports car. Shortly after its debut in 1952, the 300 SL (internal designation W 194) reaped success after success on the race tracks of the world. In its first year, it achieved, among other things, a spectacular one-two victory in the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans and even took the first four places in the Nürburgring Grand Jubilee Prize for sports cars. Its successes quickly make the SL a legend. The successful racing car was followed in 1954 by the 300 SL production sports car (W 198), which is called the “Gullwing” because of its unusual doors. In 1999, a jury of motoring journalists voted it the “Sports Car of the Century.” Other highlights of the model history include the “Pagoda” (W 113, 1963-1971), the evergreen R 107 (1971-1989), which was built for 18 years, and its successor, the R 129, which is considered an automotive sculpture because of its striking wedge shape. The abbreviation “SL” to this day thus stands for one of the few genuine automotive icons in the world.
In the decades-long development history from full-blooded racing car to open-top luxury sports car, the new Mercedes-AMG SL now sets another milestone. It combines the sportiness of the original SL with the unique luxury and technological excellence that characterize modern Mercedes models. At the same time, the luxurious roadster as a 2+2 seater is particularly suitable for everyday use and puts its power down on the road with all-wheel drive for the first time. High-tech components such as AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL suspension with active anti-roll stabilization, rear-axle steering, and optionally available AMG ceramic high-performance composite brake system are available. In combination with the Handcrafted AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine, this results in a driving experience of the highest order. As a consistent Performance Luxury model, Mercedes-AMG in Affalterbach has developed the SL completely independently. Two models with AMG V8 engines will kick off the market launch. With its exciting design, state-of-the-art technology and outstanding driving characteristics, the new Mercedes-AMG SL sets standards in the luxury sports car segment. The exterior design fascinates with a perfect triad: it combines the modern Mercedes-Benz design philosophy of sensual purity with the sportiness typical of AMG and characteristic details.
The new SL is based on a completely new 2+2-seater vehicle architecture developed by Mercedes-AMG. The chassis is designed as a lightweight composite aluminum structure and consists of an aluminum space frame with a self-supporting structure. The design guarantees maximum rigidity and is thus the perfect basis for precise driving dynamics, high comfort, optimal packaging and sporty body proportions. The new body shell was created – as with the first SL in 1952 – literally on a blank sheet of paper: not a single component comes from the predecessor SL or any other model such as the AMG GT Roadster. Compared to the previous model series, the torsional rigidity of the body shell structure increased by 18 percent. The transverse rigidity is 50 percent higher than the already outstanding value of the AMG GT Roadster. The longitudinal rigidity is 40 percent higher. The weight of the plain body shell is around 595 pounds (270 kilograms). Together with the low center of gravity, the targeted lightweight construction ensures outstanding driving dynamics. The aim of the body shell architecture is to realize the driving performance typical of AMG with a focus on lateral and longitudinal dynamics, while at the same time meeting the high standards of comfort and safety. In the new SL, the intelligent material mix enables the highest possible rigidity at a low weight. Optimized material cross-sections and sophisticated component shapes create space for the comprehensive comfort and safety features as well as the soft top. The materials used include aluminum, magnesium, fiber composites and steel, from which the windscreen frame, for example, is made. This serves as roll-over protection in conjunction with the roll bar system behind the rear seats, which can be extended at lightning speed when needed.
The interior of the new Mercedes-AMG SL transforms the tradition of the first 300 SL Roadster into the modern era. The new edition perfectly combines sporting virtues and luxury. The minimalist interior of the 300 SL Roadster, equipped with high-quality materials, inspired the designers in the interior design of the new model: The result is an exciting combination of analogue geometry and digital world – called “hyper analogue.” One of many highlights in the interior of the new SL is the sculptural seat design of the standard, electrically adjustable AMG sports seats. The head restraints are integrated into the backrest and emphasize the sporty character. The AIRSCARF neck-level heating system is on board as standard: warm air flows into the passenger compartment from air outlets in the head restraints and wraps around the head and neck area of the driver and front passenger like a scarf. Perfect ergonomics and various progressive seam and quilting patterns complete the symbiosis of high-tech, performance and luxury. AMG Performance seats are available as an option. The latest generation MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) is intuitive to operate and capable of learning. It offers numerous functional contents and the operating structure of the second-generation MBUX system, which debuted in the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class. In the SL, AMG-specific content is added extensively in five display styles. Exclusive menu items such as “AMG Performance” or “AMG TRACK PACE” also emphasize the sporty character.
The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission combines an emotionally appealing gearshift experience with extremely short shift times and is specially adapted to the requirements of the new SL. A wet start-off clutch replaces the torque converter. It reduces weight and, thanks to its lower inertia, optimizes response to accelerator pedal commands, especially during spurts and load changes. For the first time in its almost 70-year history, the SL is available with a drive system acting on all four wheels. The two V8 models are equipped with AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive technology as standard. This intelligent system combines the advantages of different drive concepts: the fully variable torque distribution to the front and rear axles ensures optimal traction right up to the physical limit. The driver is also able to rely on high handling stability and a high level of safety under all conditions. Suspension and brakes: Multi-link front axle, active anti-roll stabilization and optimal deceleration The SL 55 is equipped as standard with a newly developed AMG RIDE CONTROL steel suspension with particularly capable aluminum shock absorbers and lightweight coil springs. For the first time, a series- production Mercedes-AMG vehicle is fitted with a multi-link front axle with five links arranged entirely within the wheel rim. This significantly improves the kinematics. At the rear axle, a 5-link design likewise controls the wheels.
At market launch, the new SL starts with two output levels of the AMG 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine. The engines are assembled purely by hand at the company’s site in Affalterbach according to the “One Man, One Engine” principle. In the top model SL 63, the engine develops 577 hp and provides a maximum torque of 590 lb-ft over a wide rev range from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm. Accelerating from 0 to 60 mph takes an estimated 3.5 seconds. In the SL 55, the V8 unit develops an output of 469 hp and a peak torque of 516 lb-ft. The sprint from standstill to 60 mph takes an estimated 3.8 seconds. For use in the SL, the engine received a new oil pan, repositioned intercoolers and active crankcase ventilation. The intake and exhaust ducts have been optimized for even more effective gas exchange, and the exhaust gas routing for the catalytic converter box and petrol particulate filter has been enlarged. The developers achieved the increased output of the SL 63 primarily through higher boost pressure and greater air flow, as well as modified engine software. To sum up, the eight-cylinder engine thrills with its exceptional power delivery and powerful acceleration in all engine speed ranges combined with maximum efficiency for low consumption and emission values.
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