In an interview with Autocar, Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers confirmed AMG will be responsible for the developing the next-generation roadster and said it will be “aligned” with the second-generation GT.
Given this, it’s not surprising the upcoming model will be “far sportier” than its predecessor. However, it won’t be an all-out sports car as Moers said the next-generation SL is “still kind of a cruiser too.” In essence, AMG will be tasked with improving the SL’s performance without eliminating its comfort.
Moers didn’t go into too many specifics, but he said we can expect to see prototypes on the road later this year. Autocar suggests the production model will follow relatively quickly as they believe the next-generation SL will be launched by 2021.
As part of the effort to make the SL sportier, the car will reportedly ride on a new platform called the Modular Sports Architecture. It, along with a number of other components, will be shared with the next-generation GT.
The weight saving don’t end with the platform as the next-generation SL is expected to eschew a retractable hardtop. Instead, it will have a fabric roof which is lighter and better integrated into the design of the vehicle.
Engine options remain unconfirmed, but there could be a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder with outputs of approximately 365 hp (272 kW / 370 PS) and 430 hp (321 kW / 436 PS). Both versions are also slated to have EQ Boost technology which delivers an additional 22 hp (16 kW / 22 PS).
The report also suggests there will be up to three different models with a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8. The range-topping variant will reportedly produce more than 600 hp (447 kW / 608 PS) and this seems possible as the GT 63 S has 630 hp (470 kW / 639 PS).
Interestingly, the report suggests the next-generation SL could also be offered with all-wheel drive. This, along with the rumored 2+2 seating arrangement, could help to make the model more competitive with the Porsche 911 Cabriolet.