The Mercedes Design Chief has confirmed that the new SL doesn’t replace the GT and the two will coexist harmoniouslyby Sidd Dhimaan, on
It hasn’t even been a week since Mercedes launched the new SL. The new 2023 Mercedes-AMG SL is a different beast altogether when compared to its predecessor as it is now an AMG-exclusive model only. There were rumors that it would replace not just it’s the outgoing SL, but also the GT. However, the company’s design chief, Gorden Wagener, has confirmed that both the models will coexist without really stepping on each other’s toes.
The New SL Is An All-Rounder, But Doesn’t Replace The GT
Road and Track spoke to Mercedes’ Design Chief, Gorden Wagener, who confirmed that the SL isn’t meant to be a replacement to the GT as they serve different purposes. The new SL ticks all the boxes, and with the AMG DNA, it is bound to be an impressive sports car as well. However, it still serves as a luxurious car first.
“The GT of course obviously is more of a race car or sports car,” Wagener said. “And I mean this new SL is a true sports car, definitely. But also I mean with air suspension and all the possibilities you have, you can turn it from a cruiser to a race car with the click of a button."
New AMG GT In The Works
Although the SL is a new animal in every department, the emphasis has been on its performance since the new model is AMG-exclusive. This meant that the new SL would not only replace its predecessor, but also take over the GT’s position in the lineup. However, the design chief also noted that next-gen GT will be underpinned on the same 2+2 platform as the new SL. The AMG SL could be a huge improvement when it comes to driving dynamics, but the next-gen GT might trump it for all we know.
"This is a digital roadster, with not only the latest and greatest in user interaction systems with the next-level MBUX, but also with all the electronic features, driving assistance systems, which the GT doesn’t have because it is a pure driving car. The current GT is a pure driving car, and basically the new SL is a completely different kind. With all of the tech that is in there it will make a huge difference, between day and night."
What’s Special About The New SL?
Here are some of the specs and features of the new AMG SL:
- Based on a new 2+2 platform
- Offered in two trims – SL 55 and SL 63
- The car will be powered by a 4.0-liter, b-turbo V-8 engine
- Mated to a nine-speed automatic gearbox and 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system
- 469 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque in the SL 55
- 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds (estimated)
- 577 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque in the SL 63
- 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds (estimated)
- It comes with rear-wheel-steering and optional rear electronically controlled limited-slip differential
- Top-spec SL 63 will feature AMG Active Ride Control with hydraulic, active anti-roll stabilization
- AMG styling on the outside – Panamericana grille, swept-back LED headlights, quad-exhaust setup, 20-inch wheels as standard, etc.
- New three-layer soft top that can be closed or opened in about 15 seconds at up to 37 mph
- Active rear spoiler with five different positions. Aerodynamics package available as well
The new SL is luxurious on the insideand a tech-head’s haven, to say the least. Since Wagener also mentioned that this cruiser differentiates it from the “pure driving car” that is the GT, let’s talk about it. On the inside, the 2023 Mercedes-AMG SL includes:
- Features a Hyperanalogue cockpit
- 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
- 11.9-inch touchscreen that runs on the latest MBUX infotainment system
- The screen will be 12- to 32 inches adjustable vertically for a better view under the glare
- Burmester sound system
- 2+2 seating for the first time since the 1989 model
- New AMG Steering wheel
- AMG Sports seats with Nappa leather and diamond stitching (AMG Performance seats optional)
- Alcantara and leather on the lower dash and door panels
- Ambient lighting
- Jet-turbine-esque air vents
- AirScarf – a neck-level heating system
Given how multifaceted the new SL is, the rumors of it replacing the GT seemed believable. But, the design chief has put all those rumors to rest by saying that the SL, despite its improved driving dynamics, is still a luxurious cruiser at its core. The GT, on the other hand, will be the sports car that you can take to the tracks without any inhibitions. If we were to dumb it down even more, then the SL is a luxurious daily cruiser with a sports car cred, whereas the upcoming GT will be a through-and-through sports car that can serve as your plush urban commuter if needed.
We don’t have a lot of info on the next-gen GT yet, but knowing the boxes it will tick, which one would be your pick? The new AMG SL or the upcoming AMG GT? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.
Source: Road & Track