What they're changing remains unclear.
This was a bit unexpected. It was only about a year ago that Mercedes-Benz unveiled its entry-level answer to its own Mercedes-AMG GT: the new SL-Class. If you haven't heard, the sleek drop-top roadster packs a very similar twin-turbo V8 to the one found in the GT, pushing out 577 hp and 590 lb-ft. Now, those numbers could be changing.
Mercedes dropped a teaser on their Instagram, simply saying that "A new star of the Mercedes-AMG SL family is about to be released. Stay tuned for more." Well, we're staying tuned, and we already have some ideas on what the new SL-Class could be. Things appear to be pointing in a singular, electrically-powered direction. We might be coming up on the debut of the new hybridized SL-Class.
It was only thirteen days ago that we saw the new hybrid Mercedes SL. Our sources indicate it's going to be a range-topping hybridized monster pushing even more power than the existing SL. In fact, we're almost positive that this is what the new SL will be. We got lucky capturing the car without camo, as it made the plug-in port on the rear bumper all the easier to spot. We're thinking this new hybrid engine will be much the same as the GT 63 S E Performance, which currently makes 843 hp with 1,034 lb-ft of torque. That said, the rumor mill indicates there could be an entry-level hybrid four-pot coming to the range as well.
Regardless, the new (potentially high-powered) Mercedes-AMG SL63 hybrid will have to continue to coexist with the AMG GT. Back when this car debuted, Merc was able to justify its existence by saying it would be the more relaxed of the pair, coming only as a drop-top grand tourer. Will that still be the case with 800+ horses under the hood, or will Mercedes have to adjust power output to preserve the AMG GT's high-performance cred?
Mercedes has put themselves in a position much the same as Porsche found themselves in with the Cayman. They couldn't allow the model that sits below the coveted 911 to be better and struggled with weighing demand for increasingly rad Caymans against the top-dog spot the 911 holds. Porsche eventually gave in and gave us the Cayman GT4 RS. What Mercedes will do with this potential situation all depends on what becomes of this new SL-Class model. For now, we'll simply have to wait.