The four-cylinder Mercedes-AMG SL 43 is right around the corner.
When the automaker revamped its SL roadster into an AMG-only affair, it suddenly rocketed out of reach for those wanting some top-down fun at a somewhat reasonable price. To redress that balance, there is a smaller-engined SL 43 on the way, and by “smaller” I mean a mildly electrified 2.0-liter turbo.
Mind you, this isn’t any four-pot turbo. The M139 engine is a power-dense mill, putting out 375 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque in this application. That’s a little under 100 horsepower down on the next step up, the SL 55, but it’s also packing a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8. The entry-level Mercedes-AMG SL 43 will also still run 0-60 in 4.8 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 170 mph. Interestingly, this is also the only SL you can get with rear-wheel drive, and it will only come with rear-wheel drive.
To borrow what is perhaps an inappropriate phrase for a German-built roadster, the Mercedes-AMG SL 43 packs “all the usual refinements” you’d expect from the brand’s sportier models. That means you get the SL’s AMG-focused chassis design with optional Ride Control adaptive damping, as well as two-piece composite brakes (steel discs, aluminum hats). It’s not as hardcore as the AMG SL 63’s setup, but it’s also nowhere near as expensive.
It is still expensive, though. As one of my colleagues in the office pointed out, you’re still paying $111,050 to start for a four-pot AMG roadster. Yes, that’s a staggering $27,400 cheaper than the V8 SL 55’s $138,450 starting point, so this is the bargain of the bunch. What are your thoughts?
While we obviously haven’t driven the four-cylinder SL just yet, Roman did get a chance to check out its siblings. Even though I paused for a second at the $111K asking price, the SL 43 may actually wind up being the most fun of the bunch, with its lighter construction (curb weight isn’t available yet, but you know it’s lighter than the V8) and rear-wheel drive layout.