New Mercedes SL spotted during testing
Our spy photographers have snapped what they reckon is the new SL – which is believed to be developed alongside a new AMG GT – undergoing testing.
In recent years, Mercedes-Benz's dedicated convertible models, the SL and SLC, have been among the slowest-selling in its lineup, but although the SLC might have gone the way of the dodo, the 'Sport Leicht' badge is set to live on if what we've heard is to be believed.
Our spy photographers have captured what's believed to be Merc's next attempt at giving the SL badge a shot with an all-new car that would see the model make the switch from its current hardtop to a soft-top.
Set to be developed alongside the second-generation GT with direct involvement from AMG, Daimler's design boss Gorden Wagener has previously told Autocar that despite the linked platform, there will be major differences between the two, with the GT being "more of a racecar [while] the SL is more of a sports car" to ensure it is more than just a like-for-like replacement for the outgoing GT convertible.
Wagener has also indicated that the design language of the original 300 SL will influence the design of this new model, although it won't be a 'retro design' as he has noted that he is "not a fan" of them.
The lineup is believed to be opening with the rear-wheel drive SL 43, with it stretching all the way up to an SL 73e with 4MATIC all-wheel drive – the latter of which is believed will bolster the AMG 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 with a hybrid system to add even more power into the mix.
Despite the sales of such a car clearly being on the decline within Merc's own lineup, the badge's longstanding significance and direct involvement from AMG – along with the discontinuation of the S-Class convertible – is believed will give it a fighting chance in the current world of SUVs.
Word on the street is that the new SL ought to be unveiled later this year, with first deliveries commencing in 2022.
Now, let us know...