The Mercedes SL used to be the pinnacle of the company’s lineup but the model has lost some of its luster thanks to curious styling decisions and newer vehicles such as the AMG GT Roadster.
Sales have steadily declined over the past few years and the company is hoping to reverse that trend by introducing an all-new model in 2021.
We’ve haven’t heard much about the car in the past few months but Automobile says Mercedes is currently debating whether or not the all-new model should simply transition into an AMG exclusive vehicle. This would be a big change but the publication says it could make sense as the car is being developed alongside the next-generation AMG GT which is due in 2022.
Given its AMG origins, it comes as little surprise the next-generation SL will be sportier than its predecessor and adopt an aluminum-intensive design as well as rear-wheel steering and active stabilizer bars. We can also expect an optional air suspension and a 4MATIC all-wheel drive system.
Despite the newfound sportiness, the car is expected to have a longer wheelbase and two rear seats. The report also suggests the model won’t be a full-on sports car as that role is already taken by the AMG GT.
Engine options remain unconfirmed but an insider told the magazine to expect a handful of hybridized powertrains including a 3.0-liter straight six with 435 hp (324 kW) and a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 with outputs of 522 hp (389 kW) and 612 hp (456 kW). There are also rumors of a plug-in hybrid variant which will feature the latter engine as well as an electric motor that develops 204 hp (152 kW). This would reportedly give the model a combined output in excess of 800 hp (596 kW) and 738 lb-ft (1000 Nm) of torque.