Meet the all-new, AMG-only SL roadster.
After skipping the 2021 model year, the 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL brings the roadster back for a seventh generation, which quite a few fundamental changes under the evolutionary styling. While we typically see the performance AMG variants roll out on the far end of Mercedes’ new model launches — with the latest C-Class and EQS being two examples — we’re seeing this new SL-Class roll out in classic SL 55 and SL 63 forms. That’s because Mercedes’ performance arm developed the new car independently, so if you’re looking for the latest version of a roadster spanning nearly seven decades, you’ll have to go with the performance models.
Not that the automaker’s decision to do that is a bad idea, by any stretch. These cars squarely target Porsche’s 911 Carrera 4S and 911 Turbo cabriolets, and it’s always fun to have more choice in that segment. Both cars come powered by AMG’s hand-built 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8, with differing power outputs depending on whether you get the SL 55 or the SL 63. If you go for the 55, you’ll get 469 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. The 63, on the other hand, manages 577 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque. That makes the new SLs good for 0-60 runs in 3.8 and 3.5 seconds respectively, according to Mercedes. As with the 4.0-liter V8’s other applications, these cars get a 9-speed automatic transmission.
More important than the sheer power output from the 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL this time around, though, is how it delivers that power. AMG is fitting both cars with its performance-oriented 4Matic+ all-wheel drive system for the first time, so your new SL won’t just fire all that V8 grunt at the rear axle alone. Mind you, the system can obviously vary torque in either direction, so there’s still a chance you can hang it out if you’re driving at a location where you can actually (safely) take the new car to its physical limit.
Other performance and quality-of-life features
The 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL 55 and SL 63 also get Active Ride Control in this generation. The system uses hydraulic elements in place of mechanical anti-roll bars to more quickly react and keep the body flat while cornering, while also allowing a softer setting for a more comfortable ride over bumps and while driving straight ahead. Those hydraulics also feed the front axle lift system, so the new SL has an easier time managing speed bumps or steep driveways. Finally, the 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL gets standard rear-axle steering, allowing the rear wheels to turn in either direction depending on your speed, for more agile handling or a tighter turning circle.
In its generational leap, the new SL-Class is larger than the model it replaces. Both cars ride on a 106.3-inch wheelbase (up from 101.7 inches), while the overall length grows to 185.2 inches. These new cars are also taller (53.5 inches in height) and wider (75.4 inches) than their predecessors.
Inside, the new 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL models see similar changes to the rest of Mercedes’ recently revamped lineup. That includes a fully digital instrument cluster, prominent infotainment display and the addition of the brand’s MBUX system. The cars also get augmented video navigation, as well as the usual driver assistance systems like Active Distance Assist, Stop-and-Go Assist, Steering Assist, Blind Spot Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist, among several others.
Naturally, pricing is not available yet for the 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL models. That will come closer to the market launch, which Mercedes says is coming in the first half of next year.