This shouldn't come as a big surprise.
The all-new Mercedes-AMG SL has arrived and it's brilliant. Available in two flavors (depending on the market), the 53 and 63, the German automaker's new roadster is a return to the legendary nameplate's roots; keeping things simple yet luxurious, powerful, and a ton of fun to drive. SL, for those who don't already know, stands for Sport-Leicht (Sport Lightweight). At present, just one engine is offered with two output levels: a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 with either 469 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, or 577 hp and 590 lb-ft. Apparently, that's about to change.
According to the Mercedes-Benz Passion Blog, a new 43 trim will soon join the lineup. Instead of that V8, it'll supposedly pack a plug-in hybrid powertrain that'll include the 2.0-liter four-cylinder used in the C-Class. That engine alone is good for 255 hp and 295 lb-ft. The electric assistance will increase output and improve fuel efficiency.
So yes, consider this to be the new so-called "entry-level" trim. The report further claims the new trim will get round twin tailpipes to help differentiate from the two more powerful versions. What you shouldn't do is automatically assume the new base trim will be underpowered. Quite the contrary.
Sources have reason to believe the total output will hover at around 385 hp plus another 20 ponies courtesy of the generator. That'll firmly keep the new 43 just below the 53 in both output and pricing. What'll be interesting to find out are the new trim's fuel economy ratings. As we all know, Mercedes is moving fast towards electrification, so it makes total sense to see the SL receive some level of electric power.
Furthermore, we don't see any reason why it wouldn't be sold in the US. An all-new AMG GT hardtop, essentially the coupe version of the SL, is set to be revealed in the very near future so it could also very easily share the SL 43's powertrain. Adding electrification to existing models is just one of many ways the carmaker can help lower its overall corporate average fuel economy standards in the US and elsewhere.
No launch date for the SL 43 has been announced but don't be surprised to see it debut by year's end.