The Mercedes SL is back, baby.
The Mercedes-Benz SL has gone through some axiological transformations over the advance of its 68-year lifespan. While the aboriginal 1954 300SL was a amazing auto anon acquired from a chase car, consecutive ancestors saw the SL acceptable added of a heavy, sedate admirable tourer. Now for 2022 there’s a absolutely redesigned SL, developed from the arena up by Mercedes’ AMG achievement analysis on a aboriginal platform allowing it to alter both its antecedent and the AMG GT roadster. It’s a absolute stunner, and a bigger circadian disciplinarian with a austere achievement edge.
The 2022 SL comes in two flavors, SL55 and SL63, both of which use AMG’s twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 agent commutual with a 9-speed automated transmission. The SL55 puts out 469 application and 516 pound-feet of torque, analogous the abject AMG GT, while the SL63 has 577 hp and 590 lb-ft, analogous the AMG GT R. A absolutely capricious all-wheel-drive arrangement is acclimated on both SL models, and it can accelerate 100% of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels.
Rear-axle council — addition SL aboriginal – is accepted and can about-face the rear auto up to 2.5 degrees. The SL55 uses animate springs with adaptive dampers, but the SL63 has a adorned Alive Ride Ascendancy hydraulic arrangement with alive anti-roll confined and a advanced arbor lift. Every SL63 gets a Chase drive mode, alive agent mounts and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential, all of which are alternative on the SL55 forth with the hydraulic suspension. Additionally alternative on both models are carbon-ceramic brakes.
The SL has a bendable top already again.
Both the SL55 and SL63 that I’m testing accept all those accessible achievement aliment forth with 21-inch auto captivated in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, and there isn’t abundant of a apparent aberration aback alive them aback to back. Using barrage ascendancy the SL63 will hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, aloof 0.3 abnormal quicker than the SL55, and both accept a capricious bankrupt arrangement with two altered modes. In its louder ambience the twin-turbo V8’s babble is clap and bellowing, accepting progressively added acute as the agent approaches its 7,000-rpm redline. Shifts are cool quick and aggrandized by admirable crackles and barks from the exhaust, abnormally aback downshifting, and the manual has a acceptable automated burke blip.
But the new SL is about so abundant added than straight-line power. Its council is the best I’ve accomplished in a avant-garde Mercedes, with absolute weighting, aciculate turn-in and a lot of acknowledgment through the thick-rimmed wheel. Combine that with the rear-wheel steering, capricious AWD arrangement and limited-slip animosity and the SL has absurd levels of anchor while actual antic abundant to be agitative — if you appetite the SL to get sideways, it will. The hydraulic anti-roll confined accumulate the SL about collapsed in high-camber corners, and the ride is adaptable alike in the stiffer Sport Plus mode.
The SL has a Slippery drive mode, which is tailored for wet and icy anchorage – absolute for the less-than-ideal altitude in the mountains amid Newport Beach and Palm Springs. This ambience applies smoother accessory changes and uses a adulate torque ambit for added beeline ability commitment to accumulate the car calm and stable. But alike while actuality pushed in Chase approach on a wet alley the SL is accessible to drive bound after actuality at all scary. As with added contempo AMG models you can additionally alone acclimatize things like the exhaust, suspension, agent and adherence ascendancy via blow controls on the council wheel.
Despite adorable smaller, the new SL is absolutely best than the old one.
Out of the mountains, the SL is altogether agreeable in Abundance approach as I cruise into Palm Springs. Top-down wind blow is a non-issue with the windows up and wind deflector in place, and with the top up not abundant in the way of wind or annoy babble enters the cabin. The start/stop arrangement is appealing seamless, the agent is adequately quiet with the capricious bankrupt aerial and the burke is accessible to modulate. About boondocks and on the artery the SL does the absolute cosplay of a high-end affluence cruiser, belying the advancing achievement car that’s aloof on the added ancillary of the drive approach dial.
The new SL is a animation of beginning air compared to the adequately ungainly, aggrandized previous-gen model. Admitting actuality 2.9 inches best than the approachable SL it looks abate and leaner, with abbreviate overhangs and a continued awning giving it abstract proportions. My admired hues are the matte aphotic amber or the brownish azure Hyperblue, but honestly, the SL wears all its accessible colors well. I adopt the SL with its accepted chrome intact, but it looks abundant with the blacked-out Night amalgamation as well. Crucially, the SL is adorable with the folding bendable top in place, which is a attenuate accomplishment for a avant-garde convertible. The roof opens and closes in aloof 15 abnormal and can be operated at speeds up to 37 mph. Plus, it saves 46 pounds compared to the old SL’s folding hardtop.
Mercedes calls the SL’s autogenous hyperanalog, apropos to the mix of absolute abstracts and agenda features, and it absolutely works. The 11.9-inch axial touchscreen is set into a sculpted centermost animate and belted by turbine-style air vents, and the 12.3-inch agenda barometer array has a accurately shaped shroud. The SL’s centermost awning can electrically angle anywhere amid 12 and 32 degrees, authoritative it about vertical if you wish. It may assume gimmicky, but the angry awning absolutely does accomplish a aberration in agreement of blaze with the top down.
The SL’s affair ambush is the angry centermost screen.
In agreement of disciplinarian abundance the 2022 SL is awfully bigger than both its antecedent and the AMG GT, and admitting its continued hood, afterimage is abundant improved. Advanced cartage are far beneath cramped, and admitting the SL does accept a adequately alpine centermost console, the berth doesn’t feel claustrophobic. Two altered seats are available, with the accustomed seats actuality added abundance aggressive and the alternative achievement seats added agnate to antagonism buckets with chip headrests. Both are mega supportive, accept countless cyberbanking adjustments and appear with Mercedes’ Airscarf neck-heating system, but alone the non-sport ones get a beating action — so acutely they’d be my pick.
While the SL’s new rear seats are absolutely aloof meant for accouchement or grocery bags, adults can clasp aback there in a pinch. I’m 5 feet, 9 inches alpine and can fit abaft my own basement position after accident apportionment in my legs, but accepting in and out is difficult with the top up – and I attending ridiculous. The SL has a little beneath burden amplitude than before, but alike with the top bottomward you can fit two golf accoutrements and the trunk’s load-in acme isn’t too tall. (The block is powered and can accessible with a beachcomber of your foot, too.)
The SL’s MBUX operating arrangement is absurd as ever, and the articulation abettor is able to accept me alike with the top down. Accepted items accommodate navigation, a 360-degree camera system, a Burmester beleaguer complete stereo, a acrimonious council wheel, alive LED headlights, keyless access and ambient autogenous lighting. Additionally accessible are things like a head-up display, aggrandized absoluteness aeronautics and a abounding apartment of driver-assist appearance like adaptive cruise ascendancy with council assist, automated lane changes and alive blind-spot assist.
Though Mercedes isn’t accessible to say how abundant the new SL costs, my assumption is the SL55 will alpha at about $120,000 with the SL63 advancing in at $165,000, adjustment carefully with the approachable GT and GT C roadsters and the antecedent SL550 and SL63. That would additionally position it appropriate with the Carrera GTS in the candied atom of the Porsche 911 lineup, a allegory that an SL hasn’t absolutely adapted in decades. The 2022 SL does, though. Equally absurd to drive fast on a arced alley as it is to abound and drive in, the new Mercedes-AMG SL is a hell of a acknowledgment to form.
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