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Only a few models can keep up with the history of the Mercedes SL. The original is one of the greatest cars of all time. The second generation pagoda was an icon. The nineties R129 was a legend. Then there’s the last-gen model, which wasn’t particularly pretty to begin with and has remained unloved in the lineup for most of a decade. The nameplate needs a breath of life. He’s getting one for 2022.
The first step in reinventing himself was to literally throw away every part of the last. The new R232 model has nothing in common with the previous model, but drives on a new platform developed by AMG that will be shared with the upcoming next-generation AMG GT. The switch made it possible to take over all-wheel steering and all-wheel drive as standard, both premieres for the SL.The integration of AMG in the process also means that it goes fast. The SL is more about grand touring than raw performance, but the latter is still in abundance. The slower SL55 puts out 469 horsepower and hits 60 in 3.8 seconds, while a more powerful version of the same engine in the SL63 is good for 577 horsepower and a 0-60 sprint of less than 3.5 seconds. Both panels use a 9-speed multi-clutch transmission. Do not be fooled by the numbers and the available carbon ceramic brakes. This isn’t really a racing car, even if AMG names the 911 C4S and Turbo as main competitors. They refer to it more as a “cruiser”, “grand tourer” or “digital roadster”, which revolves around luxury and cutting-edge technology. That means air springs on the top model as well as a new hydraulic system that replaces a conventional stabilizer. Like a hydraulic version of the 48-volt anti-roll systems in countless large SUVs.
The SL also offers large, cozy massage seats, the latest generation of driver assistance technology from Mercedes and a Burmester 3D audio system, all cruise-oriented technology, that you probably won’t see in the upcoming brand new AMG GT. The daily driving to through the rear seats and facilitate the first time available for AMG Vorderachsliftsystem. The powerful, insulated, foldable canopy can be raised in 15 seconds at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.
The design is also new inside and out. The SL dispenses with the clumsy lines of the old model and is reminiscent of a smooth AMG GT. There are no arched fenders, no large fenders, just a taut and good-looking body that is less imposing, but classically prettier than any of the AMG GT roadsters. In the interior, Mercedes calls the cockpit of the SL “hyper-analog”, a curious term for a design that is defined by two huge screens. Mercedes says it is referring to the configurable screens and their digitized versions of analog displays. I think the SL interior looks amazing, although I would be on the verge of making up phrases to describe what is essentially a variation on the already great S-Class interior.
There’s not a word about it the pricing, but the previous SL550 started at 114,545 US dollars. The SL55 will likely cost more, but less than the previous SL63’s MSRP of $ 155,995. First deliveries are planned for the first half of 2022.