- Image: Daimler Global Media Site

    Opinion: The new Mercedes SL seems ridiculous

    The Benz line-up is about to become even more confusing...

    4w ago

    11.8K

    Way back in the early 1950s, Germany was getting used to its other 'new normal' (not like the one we are experiencing now...) as the FRG and GDR had been established. The Eastern side was practically religious with Soviet ideology whereas the West preferred to do its best to move forward and forget all the hardships.

    One manufacturer in particular that pressed to move forward was Mercedes Benz; and the cherry on top of the corporate cake was the glorious 300SL Gullwing and later Roadster. It was effectively a road-going version of the Le Mans racer that shortly preceded, but with strong global demand and a truly revolutionary blend of style and engineering, it quickly sought its place as one of the most iconic cars in the world.

    Overtime, come the 190SL and later W113 Pagoda, the 'Sport Leicht' meaning was rendered less meaningful. The SL was softened over the years and became associated with a floaty, stylish cruiser. However incorrect the name went on to become, the SL was one of Merc's most important models for a 66-year strong period.

    Image: Daimler Global Media Site

    Image: Daimler Global Media Site

    When it was announced recently that the new SL (to replace the ageing R231) would evoke the spirit of the Gullwing, I was personally quite intrigued. Maybe the SL would finally live up to its name again and be a frisky, lightweight sports car.

    The thing is however, a problem has already arisen: the AMG GT...

    The problem being is that the AMG GT basically is Merc's flagship sports car. So, with the SL intending to become more hardcore, wouldn't that strategy be a bit daft?

    Image: Daimler Global Media Site

    Image: Daimler Global Media Site

    When the AMG GT was launched back in 2014, it instantly became the more logical choice over the SL as a fast, sporty car from Mercedes. It had more of a purpose, more prestige and arguably, more cool.

    But what's surprising is that Mercedes decided to carry on production of the SL rather than have the GT as a direct replacement. In my humble opinion, that would've made a heck of a lot of sense. The SL could've had a whole new image. And whilst we can only judge from insiders and spy shots, the upcoming new SL seems a less 'Sport Leicht' than the GT.

    It begs the question, really: what on earth are Mercedes thinking? By carrying on production of the SL (particularly the SL63 AMG), they've not only rendered the traditional car useless, but also created a whole tonne of confusion with its upcoming replacement.

    Image: Daimler Global Media Site

    Image: Daimler Global Media Site

    This issue has to be raised because if the whole scenario is confusing me - a long-term Mercedes enthusiast - then I simply cannot imagine how much of a headache it would cause to potential customers who want to splash out over 100 grand on an open-top sports car. If the dealers can't justify what's going on, then what impression would that give to the customer?

    While it seems quite exciting that a new SL is on the horizon, it's hard not to tie yourself up in the fact that Mercedes seem to be digging themselves a hole that's growing to the point where they can't escape.

    And it's not like there is a soft-floaty alternative to this madness; because the 2-door S-Class is being axed. So, if you're going to spend big money on a Benz and don't want to look like a businessman: you have a choice of either a two-seater, very fast sports car, or another two-seater (well, supposedly a 2+2 but the rear 'seats' are always useless) very fast sports car that's probably going to be a bit worse...

    Work it out for yourselves!

    What do you think?

    Image: Daimler Global Media Site

    Image: Daimler Global Media Site

    As counterintuitive as it seems, I think if Mercedes dropped the S-Class two-door, they should've made the SL a soft, floaty cruiser which serves a different purpose. Not something that will dance aimlessly around the toes of their own AMG GT.

    Or better still, the AMG GT should've been re-named the SL and then this confusion could've never happened.

    But nevertheless, I hope you enjoyed reading and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

    Stay safe.

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    Comments (12)

    • So,Merc is launching a car to compete with a car of their own??Gr8🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️

        1 month ago
    • I always thought the AMG GT was a bit silly anyways. The GT should only be hard-core. It needs to be more extreme than the SL. This is why current SL sales are appalling. They need to move back to the way things were. Or get rid of the GT altogether and make the top end SL a hardcore track version.

        1 month ago
      • Quite agree actually. The GTR, Pro and Black Series should be the only ones produced as they could be classed as proper supercars. That and the SL should be differentiated much wider.

          1 month ago
    • What's even more confusing is wasn't the SLS and SLS Roadster supposed to be kinda a tribute to the gullwing?

        1 month ago
    • I hope Mercedes are making the GT a hardcore sports car and the SL an achingly elegant tourer (both therefore have the wrong names). Growing up in the 80’s the SL was brought in droves by successful, rich, beautiful people, who wanted beauty, comfort, luxury and a surge of performance if the mood struck. We want hardcore performance, but there is a large market who want something else that isn’t served well today.

        1 month ago
      • Spot on. And I can imagine back then, the R107 gen was a car that a tonne of people aspired to have if they worked hard enough.

          1 month ago
    • Thissssss...is a Mercedes Benz SL(and it is failing).

        1 month ago

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