840-HP Mercedes-AMG SL Looks Ready To Destroy Porsche

Spy Shots / 11 Comments

The range-topping hybrid monster is undergoing final tweaks.

The Mercedes-AMG SL was revealed last year as a luxury 2+2 roadster with loads of power. The SL 55 version's 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 generates 469 horsepower with 516 lb-ft of torque, while the SL 63 version ups the ante to the tune of 577 hp and 590 lb-ft from the same motor. That may be far too much power for most, so a hybrid four-pot is coming too, or at least so says the rumor mill. But what if you want even more power? Well, that's what the SL E Performance is for, and its hybrid powertrain is sure to blow occupants' hair back so far that even teenage passengers will develop receding hairlines. We spotted a nearly naked prototype of this new model almost two months ago, and now we have fresh imagery.

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As the red paint indicates (the last sighting was of a car finished in black), Mercedes is becoming a little more blase about spy photographers capturing SL development mules without camouflage. That's partly because this hybrid model has almost no changes from the one revealed in October last year, apart from a charging port in the rear bumper. If that placement seems familiar to you, it's likely because you remember the reveal of the blistering AMG GT 63 S E Performance. Sure, you probably didn't remember its full name, but you likely haven't forgotten that this four-door coupe is a true powerhouse.

Just like the SL, a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 is put to work, only here it makes 639 hp on its own. Combined with an electric motor that can produce an additional 204 horses and 236 lb-ft for ten-second bursts, maximum output sits at a staggering 843 hp and 1,034 lb-ft. Is that what the lighter, sportier SL E Performance will produce too? Not necessarily...

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See, when the SL was announced, Mercedes justified its continued existence alongside that of the AMG GT by saying that the latter would be an athletic coupe only and the former would be a little more sedate and arrive with a soft top. Thus, our sources speculate that, while the SL E Performance will operate in a similar fashion to the GT 63 S E Performance, its output may be capped at around 700 hp. Then again, another possibility is that the SL will get two new versions of the hybrid powertrain, with one arriving as the 700-hp SL 63e and the other as the 843-hp SL 63 S E Performance. Whatever the truth of the matter, we should have concrete answers before too long; the hybrid SL is slated to launch before the end of the year.

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