The current generation SL needs some help, and the AMG division is the one to give it.
We haven't really held our punches when talking about the Mercedes SL. The grand tourer isn't necessarily a bad car, but compared to other models from Mercedes like the S-Class convertible and AMG GT, it just seems somewhat pointless. Even Motor Trend couldn't figure out why the SL still exists. Mercedes-Benz has taken notice, and in an interview with Autocar, a company insider said that “It is being kept secret at the moment, but AMG is heading the engineering of the new SL.” He also said that “It’s going to be a vastly different proposition to today’s model.”
One of the ways that this AMG-developed SL will differ from today's model, is the chassis. AMG is prepping a new architecture which will be called MSA (modularen sportwagen architektur). This platform will also underpin the successor to the recently refreshed SLC. Another key difference will be with the SL's convertible roof. The current model uses a folding metal roof, but the next generation model is set to use a fabric roof like the S-Class convertible. The base SL 300 should use a soon-to-be-revealed 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six with 365 hp. This engine will likely be cranked up to 435 hp in the SL 400. There will also be AMG versions with the 4.0-liter V8 and 6.0-liter V12.
The 4.0-liter will make an appearance in the SL 500 making 455 horsepower and in the SL 63 with two turbos and more than 500 horsepower. Crazier still is the SL 65, which will feature AMG's twin-turbo 6.0-liter V12 making 621 horsepower. Changing the current SL is extremely important if Mercedes hopes to keep the model relevant in the future. We have questioned why anyone would really want the SL when there are better offerings within the Mercedes brand. The SLC is much cheaper, the S-Class convertible is more luxurious, and the AMG GT is more aggressive. We are glad that Mercedes seems to have recognized that the SL needs some help, and with the recent success of the AMG division, we are sure that the SL can make a comeback.