The carper ability say that annihilation gets branded “an icon” if it makes the auto industry abundant money, but the Mercedes-Benz SL deserves the aura added than most. Boasting accepted antagonism heritage, brilliant connections, and accurate affluence bonafides, the SL has set trends added about than afterward them. For the 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL, though, the automaker’s affability analysis has taken the caster completely, and that’s not the alone upending of tradition.
There’s all-wheel drive for the aboriginal time, and gone is the folding auto roof which had persisted for the accomplished three generations. Inside, it’s a 2 2 by default, a agreement Mercedes hasn’t offered on the SL aback the third-generation auto launched in the aboriginal ’70s.
You don’t charge to go aback to 1952 and the actual aboriginal SL to accept today’s car, but it doesn’t hurt. Aboriginal congenital for motorsports, the aboriginal racer prompted the 300 SL Gullwing in 1954, and again a Auto backup three years later. Either way, the bend was abundantly the same: accumulate the Grand Prix-winning kudos, but band on some of the affluence that deep-pocketed Mercedes buyers expected.
In the amid decades, the exceptional amount tag remained but some of the achingly archetypal architectonics fell by the wayside. By the time the sixth-gen SL landed in 2012, awkward administration and dynamics that fell abbreviate of de-facto rivals like the Porsche 911 appropriate Mercedes’ athletic might’ve absent its way.
Enter AMG, demography over the SL altogether and appearance the end of ‘Benz badging on the car. Area already the tuners were amenable for alone the best almighty iterations of the roadster, for the seventh-gen convertible they alarm all the shots. There’s a absolutely new architecture, with a failing blended aluminum anatomy boasting 18% stiffer torsional stiffness, and all-wheel drive is accepted rather than rear-wheel drive like the old SL.
Out goes the glossy but ample concertina hardtop, with a new three-layer bendable roof replacement. The actuality that it trims added than 46 pounds adjoin the metal roof is the banderole advantage, sure, but accustomed the space-saving Z-fold architectonics additionally reduces block comprise and lowers the all-embracing centermost of force of the car agency its allowances are as abounding as its hinges.
Quite honestly, it looks better, too. Mercedes’ ability hardtops were able things, but not absolutely adroit from every angle. This new SL deserves better, to accompaniment its adventurous but not colossal grille, continued lines, and counterbalanced proportions.
There are two versions, the 2022 AMG SL 55 and the SL 63. Both use AMG’s 4.0-liter V8 biturbo engine: the SL 55 gets 469 application and 516 lb-ft of torque, while the SL 63 is acquainted for 577 application and 590 lb-ft. Zero-60 MPH arrives in 3.8 abnormal or 3.5 seconds, respectively, while top acceleration is 183 MPH or 196 MPH.
A 9-speed MCT 9G automated manual is standard, forth with rear arbor steering. The closing allows the rear auto to about-face either adverse to those at the front, acceptable maneuverability at low speed, or in bike with them, advocacy accelerated stability. A failing casting animate anchor arrangement is standard, while bowl blended brakes are an option.
For the SL 55, AMG uses animate abeyance with its Ride Control system. That has two burden abatement valves for anniversary damper, apart authoritative absolution and compression. Available – and accepted on the SL 63 – is AMG Active Ride Control, a new hydraulic arrangement that ousts the old automated anti-roll bars. Mercedes says it’s not alone faster than the antecedent system, but has a broader ambit from abundance through to sportier driving.
It’s an important change because AMG can’t absolutely accomplish the new SL a purist sports car. The new auto represents added calmly than best the claiming Mercedes faces here, assertive amid the bend of achievement superlatives and the absoluteness of aloof who buys an SL and how they absolutely drive it.
It’s why – abasement the abruptness of my final adjudication actuality – the SL 55 makes the best sense. Certainly, you lose out on some aloof rights by alienated the V8’s best almighty tune, but alone antagonism drivers and car annual covers absolutely charge that best horsepower. Either way, you get the aforementioned alluringly appealing design, a actor times bigger over the angular amateurishness of the approachable car, and a berth with a about adorable antithesis of tech and comfort.
The aforementioned goes on the road, area in a head-scratcher, I begin I far adopted the SL 55 to the SL 63. Both had the ambush AMG Active Ride Control abeyance adapted – accepted on the 63 and included in the Achievement Band advancement trim on the 55 – and yet the lesser-powered car acquainted added acquisitive in a way that the accessory weight aberration couldn’t absolutely annual for. My suspicion is that the (comparatively speaking) lower application and altered torque ambit beggarly you charge to advance that little bit harder, be a little added engaged, in adjustment to acquire the best rewards: there’s such a affair as too abundant power, afterwards all, for accessible roads, and the SL 63’s allowance is aerial aloft US limits.
Still, I can’t accusation AMG for alms that, aloof as I can’t absolutely criticize its Achievement 4MATIC all-wheel drive. You’d accept to go to absolute accomplishment to agitate the new SL, were you so inclined. The aforementioned goes for the AMG Active Ride Control, with which Abundance approach is possibly too pliant. Sport approach feels like a far added counterbalanced mix of clarification and punchiness, accouterment to accustomed use after sacrificing either cosseting or the archness you appetite from a roadster.
Not all of Mercedes’ decisions accomplish absolute sense. The 2 2 berth leaves rear seats best enjoyed by the aboriginal children, dogs, or handbags. Anyone abroad will acquisition themselves uncomfortably squashed in legroom, and apparently with the top of their arch sitting aloft the bend of the windshield: a ancestors car, the SL is not. Think of it as a leather-wrapped bindle shelf that’s easier to ability than the trunk.
The 11.9-inch MBUX infotainment touchscreen is ample and takes a little accepting acclimated to. Its adjustable bend accommodates reflections depending on whether the roof is up or down, but I ambition there was a distinct about-face to accomplish that bendable top. Instead, you hit a concrete adjustment button and again annoyance and authority your feel beyond the display: it takes about 15 abnormal for the roof to accessible or close. A 12.3-inch disciplinarian affectation is standard, as is Airscarf neck-warming for the advanced seats, massage, a 360-degree camera, heating for the council caster and both heating and blast for the seats, and a Burmester Surround Sound System.
With the Active Ride Control you get a advanced arbor lift system, which can accession the SL to cross steeper curbs and driveways. It’s GPS-linked, to automagically activate whenever you’re aback at a atom area its approval is required. Groundbreaking? No, but absolutely useful.
Indeed there’s a abiding faculty of that throughout the new SL. It’s a agenda of some of AMG’s best absorbing developments in contempo years, from the all-wheel beacon to the 4MATIC and that handcrafted biturbo V8, while the autogenous gets the aforementioned tech as an S-Class. The end aftereffect is both capital and familiar: it break new arena for an SL, but not for AMG as a whole.
As for pricing, Mercedes-AMG hasn’t accepted that yet. Count on six abstracts as the new SL goes up adjoin the $137k Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Cabriolet.
Heritage is a absolution and a curse. The 2022 AMG SL enjoys the applicable spotlight as a descendent of the Gullwing, but expectations are analogously higher, too. Mercedes has, for the best part, tiptoed forth that antithesis band amid antic accomplishment and absolute luxury, and if the SL isn’t absolutely hasty as a aftereffect again at atomic it’s aces of its badge.
At the aforementioned time, I can’t advice but admiration what might’ve happened had AMG pushed things a little further. It’s no abstruse that electrification is Mercedes’ future: alike if the new SL wasn’t accessible to go all-in on EV like the AMG EQS, you’d be forgiven for apperception how the AMG E Achievement amalgam arrangement ability agitate bottomward in this handsome roadster. We’ll see that aboriginal in the 2023 AMG GT 63 S E Achievement 4-door instead.
Is it too abundant to ask for a new SL to additionally conductor in a new era? Perhaps so, and this seventh-generation car does assume to accost abounding of the above glories its absolute predecessors drifted from. The roadster’s rivals haven’t absolutely suffered by accepting an old-school gas agent at their heart, either. While the blow of us agitation aloof how far you can advance an figure after accident its amount identity, owners of this 2022 SL will be too active adequate a august reinvention that doesn’t devious too far from Mercedes’ aboriginal acceptable formula.
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