So, after six glorious generations under the Mercedes-Benz banner, the SL-Class grand touring sports car was transferred to Mercedes-AMG, starting with the R232 iteration, and only allowed to live a roadster lifestyle because the latest Mercedes-AMG GT grand touring coupe also needed to come out to play soon. Over in America, only the higher-tuned SL 55 and SL 63 models were available with two different outputs for their 4.0-liter M177 bi-turbo V8 engines: 469 hp and 577 horsepower, respectively.
Meanwhile, the "technically innovative new entry model" SL 43 – which is scheduled to hit US dealerships later this summer – must make do with an AMG-enhanced 2.0-liter turbocharged M139 engine. It does come with an electric exhaust gas turbocharger inside the engine bay of the open-top 2+2-seater, and this setup "guarantees spontaneous throttle response across the entire rpm range to deliver an even more dynamic driving experience."
There is also a 48-volt electric system, and the MHEV assembly has a total output of 375 hp and a maximum torque of 354 lb-ft (481 Nm). Power is sent to the wheels via an AMG Speedshift multi-clutch transmission, and the RWD roadster can sprint to 60 mph (96 kph) in less than five seconds (4.8s, to be precise) on the way to an electronically controlled max speed of 170 mph (274 kph). Mercedes also promises a roster of extensive standard equipment plus numerous optional goodies. Among them, highlights include the bespoke SL 43 front end and rear apron, round exhaust outlets, 19-inch (or 20- and 21-inch) wheels, the Airpanel active air control system, or the Z-fold soft top.
The latter is much lighter (minus 46 lbs. or 21 kg) than the previous generation's metal roof and also hides fast to save additional space – it needs around 15 seconds to open or close at up to 37 mph (60 kph). Inside, the 'hyper analog' cockpit consists of a 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster display and an 11.9-inch central touchscreen fitted with the latest version of the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience). Standard seating includes Nappa leather, while optional goodies range from AMG Aluminum, AMG Carbon Fiber, and AMG Dark Chrome trim to the AMG Performance steering wheel dressed in microfiber with carbon fiber.