As you can see from these photos, the all-new 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL has undergone quite a transformation, morphing from a sleepy grand tourer into a sexy sports car that is sure to turn heads anywhere you go. But the changes go much deeper than that, so keep on reading to see everything that’s changed with the iconic SL.
The Mercedes-Benz SL is one of the longest-running nameplates in the company’s portfolio, launched almost 70 years ago. As a kid growing up in the 80’s, the SL was the ultimate status symbol, something that everyone aspired to own one day. But somewhere along the line, the SL lost its luster amidst the competition, prompting some dramatic changes for 2022.
Most notable is the change in nomenclature, as the SL is now part of the AMG division, with a focus on returning to it’s road-going racing sports car roots. The new SL combines the sporty genes of the original SL with the driving performance typical of AMG. At the same time, it offers luxury and comfort at the absolute top level.
When it comes to AMG, it’s all about power, and the new SL isn’t lacking in that department one bit. The car will be offered initially as the SL55 and the SL63, both using a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8. The base model offers 469 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, while the hotter variant delivers a beastly 577 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. (A powerful Performance hybrid drive model will be offered at a later date)
For the first time ever, the SL will be equipped with AMG’s 4Matic+ all-wheel drive, delivering power to all four wheels. 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.
Power is put to the ground via an AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission, which combines an emotionally appealing gearshift experience with extremely short shift times. A wet start-off clutch replaces the torque converter. This setup reduces weight and, thanks to its lower inertia, optimizes response to accelerator pedal commands, especially during spurts and load changes. The SL55 will hit 60mph in 3.8 seconds and has a top speed of 183mph, while the SL63 races to 60mph in just 3.5 seconds and tops out at 195mph.
As far as the exterior design of the SL goes, characteristic features of the body design are the long wheelbase, short overhangs, long hood, passenger compartment set back with a strongly raked windscreen and powerful rear end. This results in typical SL proportions. Together with the voluminously sculpted wheel arches and large alloy wheels flush with the outer skin, they give the roadster its powerful, dynamic appearance. When closed, the seamlessly integrated soft top (no more heavy folding hardtop!) underscores the purist, sporty impression.
Lest you think this is just another reskin, the new SL is based on a completely new 2+2-seater vehicle architecture that was 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 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 generation SL, the torsional rigidity of the body shell structure increased by 18%. The transverse rigidity is 50% higher than the already outstanding value of the AMG GT Roadster. The longitudinal rigidity is 40% higher. The weight of the plain body shell is around 595 pounds. Together with the low center of gravity, the targeted lightweight construction ensures outstanding driving dynamics.
The interior of the new Mercedes-AMG SL transforms the tradition of the first 300 SL Roadster into the modern era, perfectly combining sporting virtues and luxury. Fine materials and meticulous workmanship underline the standard of the highest level of comfort. The cockpit design, right down to the adjustable central display in the center console, is focused on the driver. At the same time, the completely new interior space concept with 2+2 seats offers more room and functionality than before. The rear seats increase the daily practicality and usable space.
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.” This is exemplified by the fully digital instrument cluster, which is integrated into a three-dimensional visor. The standard, second-generation MBUX infotainment system (which debuted in the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class) offers a choice of several specific display styles and different modes.
One of many highlights in the interior of the all-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 optional.
There’s a lot to like about the all-new 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL55 and SL63, and we’re excited to get behind the wheel of one and see what it’s like in the real world. Mercedes hasn’t released pricing just yet, but we expect the SL55 to start at around $100,000, and the SL63 to come in about $20K over that. The new SL should arrive in dealerships in the first half of 2022.
It should be interesting to see if the once-mighty SL can regain it’s place as a desirable status symbol. From what we’ve seen so far, we think the competition should be very afraid!
What do you think of the the all-new 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL55 and SL63?