Glad to see Mercedes working on what has been its sore point lately

The next-gen Mercedes-Benz SL will be tailor-made for drivers. The 2020 SL will most likely be lighter and faster compared to the current SL. It is expected to arrive in 2020. This eighth-generation will focus on a more engaging experience and make drivers grin ear-to-ear when they step into the driver’s seat.

The Underpinning

2020 Mercedes-Benz SL To Be More Driver-Centric High Resolution Exterior
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Note: 2017 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class pictured here.

The 2020 Mercedes SL will be based on an all-new platform. Called the Modular Sports Architecture (MSA) structure, it will be an aluminum-intensive platform that will underpin the future AMG GT as well. The new SL and GT will be built alongside each other at Mercedes’ Sindelfingen plant in Germany.

Key elements of the SL will be shared with the successor model to AMG GT.

This is to cut the costs and increase the profitability of both the cars. As for the part-sharing, the two will share steering systems, axle assemblies, electric architecture, suspension, and hybrid drivetrains, among other components.

Earlier, the SL was spotted riding on the S-Class Coupe’s platform. Although not much was figured out back then, the car was apparently running on a transaxle arrangement paired to a dual-clutch gearbox, where the power was sent to the rear wheels.

Size Matters

2020 Mercedes-Benz SL To Be More Driver-Centric High Resolution Exterior
- image 656000
Note: 2017 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class pictured here.

The dimensions are expected to be larger than the current-gen SL, which measures 4,630 mm in length, 1,870 mm in width, and 1,310 mm in height. Speaking with Autocar, a source said that the eighth-gen Mercedes SL will get a longer bonnet and more a rearward-positioned cabin. “The new platform has given us more freedom. There’s more distance between the front axle and the front firewall. This gives it more traditional proportions,” the source told Autocar.

The big news is that the soft-top is set to make a return after two generation of folding.

This makes the rear look much better than the last two iterations. “It’s much more shapely, especially at the rear, because it is no longer dictated in height and width for the packaging of the hard-top roof,” the source said.

Interior

2020 Mercedes-Benz SL To Be More Driver-Centric High Resolution Interior
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Note: 2017 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class pictured here.

Even though the SL line-up is said to be more driver-oriented, the interior bits will be as exuberant as the top models in the Germans’ stable. We’ve seen how Mercedes has given amazing cabins and interior bits to two of their latest models – the EQC and the 2020 GLE. Stuff like driver assist system and its semi-autonomous Drive Pilot function are to be carried over from the high-end models.

Mercedes is planning to add a coupe to the SL line-up. This will be by bringing back the SLC hard-top version that was produced in the '70s.

The SL will also be a four-seater, which caught us by surprise. Mercedes is planning to take on the Porsche 911 with the SL, and the 911 has rear seats that can take adults for short trips and luggage for longer ones.

Under The Hood

2020 Mercedes-Benz SL To Be More Driver-Centric High Resolution Drivetrain
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Note: 2017 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class pictured here.

This is what interests us the most. The engine that will power the starting trims of the Mercedes SL will be the SL450 EQ – a 3.0-liter, six-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 365 horses along with 22 extra horses through electric assistance. The SL53 will get the AMG-tuned version of the SL450 EQ Boost’s mild-hybrid drivetrain with around 430 ponies and added 22 horsepower in combination with an integrated starter motor.

Higher up the ladder – the V-8 models - will get the SL500 EQ Boost engine, a 4.0-liter, V-8 turbocharged unit that produces 430 horsepower and 22 horses extra, just like the SL53, but with more torque.

The top-of-the-line SL63 will be offered in two states of tune, with the most powerful model running a 4.0-litre, V-8 turbocharged unit that can produce more than 600 horses and 30 horsepower electric boost.

As for the V-12 units, we are not sure if they’ll make the cut.

All these engines will mate to Mercedes’ nine-speed automatic gearbox, with the AMG variants set to adopt the Speedshift electronics package, which will enable drivers to shift faster. There is a possibility that Mercedes could also offer 4Matic four-wheel-drive alongside standard rear-wheel drive.

Our Take

2020 Mercedes-Benz SL To Be More Driver-Centric High Resolution Exterior
- image 656052
Note: 2017 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class pictured here.

Mercedes seems to be putting in a lot of effort into making the SL a driver’s car, which it must because Mercedes is not known for such cars anymore. The cars have got the luxury, they’ve got the looks and even good brand value. But if a driving enthusiast is in the market for a car, Mercedes will be at the bottom of his/her list. The SL looks promising already. Can it live up to these initial impressions, and be a strong driver’s car in the real world? We’ll have to wait and watch. What are your thoughts on the new 2020 Mercedes SL? Share them in the comments section below.

Further Reading

2020 Mercedes-Benz SL To Be More Driver-Centric High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class.

2015 Mercedes-Benz SL 417 Mille Miglia Edition High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL 417 Mille Miglia Edition.

1957 - 1962 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing (W194)
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Read our full review on the 1957 -1962 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing.

Source: Autocar

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