• A Few Things You Must Know About the new Mercedes-AMG SL

There’s so much that’s cool about this car, that I’m just skimming the surface here

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The 2023 Mercedes-AMG SL, which I should really just call the AMG SL since it’s a standalone AMG vehicle, has been revealed with a sleek exterior appearance, plenty of AMG power, and a desire to reinvigorate the SL name in ways we never thought imaginable. But, what makes it special? Is it just a follow-up to the AMG GT Roadster, or is there more to it than that? Well, here are some very cool facts about it.

The Roof Is Incredibly Lightweight and Impressively Fast

A Few Things You Must Know About the new Mercedes-AMG SL
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When the top isn’t down, the AMG SL class is sporting a triple-layer canvas roof that is super lightweight. In fact, it’s 46 pounds lighter than the previous gen’s retractable hardtop. Even more impressive is that it can be fully opened or closed in just 15 seconds and at speeds up to 37 mph (60 km/h) But that’s not all that’s cool about the roof. See, this new roof’s canvas design allowed Mercedes to offer a larger cabin without having to enlarge the rear area just to house it, which means for better dimensions overall and the ability to add the – probably difficult – to use rear seats.

The Rear Seats Are A First Since the 1980s

A Few Things You Must Know About the new Mercedes-AMG SL Exterior
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Nobody really expects something like the AMG SL to have rear seats, and the last-gen model didn’t have them. In fact, the unique roof design and stretched passenger compartment make the 2023 AMG SL the first SL to offer these little jump seats since the R107 generation of the 1980s! Of course, you probably don’t want to put your best friend back there if you want to maintain that friendship – legroom is definitely coming at a premium here – but they are usable nonetheless.

The Infotainment System Can Pivot from 12-32 Degrees

A Few Things You Must Know About the new Mercedes-AMG SL
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What is, arguably, one of the coolest features I’ve noticed about the AMG SL so far is that the MBUX infotainment system can pivot forward and backward – a feature I haven’t seen in any other vehicle, luxury or otherwise. Mercedes says that the screen will pivot between 12 and 32 degrees, and it will do so via your very own voice command. Imagine saying, “Hey Mercedes, Pivot the screen forward” and watching your display move into an angle that makes it easier for you to view. Hopefully, this will limit the issues caused by sun glare.

Active Roll Stabilization Doesn’t Require Anti-Roll Bars

A Few Things You Must Know About the new Mercedes-AMG SL Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Standard on the SL63 trim level and optional on the SL55 are the adaptive dampers with active hydraulic roll stabilization. In basic terms, that means the car is smart (and agile) enough that it can limit body roll without the need for anti-roll bars in the front or the rear. There’s also an available front-axle lift system to stop scrappage by lifting the front end by as much as 1.2 inches. It will even remember certain locations if you tell it too and will activate automatically when needed.

The Digital Instrument Cluster Has 8 Different Display Designs

A Few Things You Must Know About the new Mercedes-AMG SL
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Unlike some Mercedes models, the new AMG SL doesn’t feature the merged infotainment and digital instrument cluster, and that’s a very good thing. Borrowing a design similar to that of the S-Class, this setup not only allows for that pivoting MBUX system but also means that you can choose up to 8 different display designs for your instrument cluster. That’s one for every day of the week and two for Sunday. How cool is that?

It’s the First Time in 70 Years The SL Is Available With AWD

A Few Things You Must Know About the new Mercedes-AMG SL Exterior Wallpaper quality
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By the time we roll into 2024, the Mercedes SL will have been on the market for 7- years, surviving a total of three manufacturing entities: Daimler-Benz (1954-1998), DaimlerChrysler (1998-2007), and Daimler AG (2007-present). Believe it or not, in those seven decades, the Mercedes SL has never been offered with AWD. Well, that is until now. As you’d expect, the AMG Performance 4MATIC+ AWD system can distribute drive force, on-demand, and fully variably between the front and rear wheels.

The SL Is, Quite Literally All-New

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Now, Mercedes and AMG could have just taken the AMG GT Roadster, given it a quick facelift, slapped an SL badge on it, and called it an all-new model. Instead, AMG went all out and created an all-new roadster architecture with a composite aluminum structure. Taking things a step further, the entire body was created specifically for the SL, with Mercedes saying that “no part of the body shell was adopted from the predecessor or any other model series.” So, for once, we can actually believe a manufacturer when they utter the phrase “all-new” because the new AMG SL is the epitome of new,

A Crazy Powerful PHEV Is Coming

A Few Things You Must Know About the new Mercedes-AMG SL Exterior Wallpaper quality
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At market launch, the AMG SL will be available in two flavors: SL53 and SL63. Both feature a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V-8 with the former offering up 469 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque while the latter will net you 577 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. These hand-built engines are no joke and come standard in paired harmony with a nine-speed AMG Speedshift MCT automatic transmission that also includes a Race Start launch control function. What if this isn’t enough power for you Well, just wait a little longer. According to Car & Driver, AMG’s Chief Technical Officer, Jochen Hermann, has said that the new SL will eventually be offered with AMG’s E Performance plug-in hybrid system. This is the same system that will allow you to charge the batteries by drifting!
But I digress

What’s more important is that this system will combine that very same 4.0-liter V-8 with an electric motor on the rear axle. The system is said to offer as much as 804 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. So, yeah, if 577 ponies aren’t enough, just wait for the new hybrid system – something tells me that it will be worth the wait.

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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