Mercedes-AMG SL E Performance Spied Almost Naked

Spy Shots / Comments

The hybrid grand tourer is almost ready for launch.

The Mercedes-AMG SL range was in desperate need of a total redesign, and thankfully, it got one last year. The luxurious drop-top cruiser was revealed in October, with the SL 55 and SL 63 models being the first to arrive. Both use a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with the former producing 469 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque while the latter generates 577 hp and 590 lb-ft. But what if you want even more? Well, a month before the SL's launch, Mercedes-AMG unveiled the GT 63 S E Performance, with the last part of that longwinded name referring to enhanced output through electrification. Now the SL is getting the same sort of treatment, and our spy photographers have proof that it's almost ready for production.

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According to our information, Jochen Hermann, Mercedes-AMG's chief technical officer has confirmed that the SL will get the plug-in hybrid system, and these shots align with that report by depicting a charging port on the rear end of the roadster. The rumor mill suggests that the new model's figures could escalate as high as 804 hp and 738 lb-ft, although other reports have pointed to a cap of around 700 hp. We'll hopefully learn more very soon, as this car's nearly naked appearance indicates that there's not much more to be worked on than the ongoing cold weather tests for the powertrain and other mechanical components.

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If the SL had an image problem in the past as the old man's retirement gift to himself, the all-new model is surely doing a lot to change that. The potential for more power and performance is an exciting proposition and, coupled with the availability of fancy fitted luggage, the latest SL is turning out to be a true alternative to the likes of Bentley and Porsche. But as the hybrid drivetrain elevates the performance of the SL range to a new level, the same effect is experienced by the pricing structure. We still don't have any official numbers, but Mercedes says that the current range-topping SL 63 will rival the $187,000 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet. So if you want the ultimate SL, likely to be called the SL 73 S E Performance, be prepared to spend well over $200k with options.

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