Welcome to the world of cars
The Mercedes SL used to be a car that loomed large in the public imagination, but that hasn’t been the case in recent years. The SL’s luster diminished with the R230 generation, which debuted in 2002, and the follow-up R231 generation, which was escorted offstage after 2020. The all-new 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL tweaks the formula with the most significant alterations yet, in an attempt to shake off the doldrums.
The change in nomenclature indicates that the new SL’s development has been turned over to the AMG division. Mercedes asserts that nothing under the skin of the new R232 generation is carried over to the new SL, which features a new AMG architecture.
The SL55 has a chrome package and an AMG Night package, whilst the SL63 has an AMG Exterior Carbon Fiber package and an AMG Aerodynamics package. The latter features an active aero device that extends from the underbody in front of the engine to increase downforce. Active louvers on the front air intakes and a retractable rear spoiler are standard on all SLs.
The triple-layer canvas roof is 46 pounds lighter than the previous retractable hard top and can be raised or lowered in 15 seconds at speeds up to 37 miles per hour. It also allowed Mercedes to expand the interior of the SL without having to add a larger trunk to accommodate an outsize folding hard top.
Despite these improvements, the R232 SL does not reclaim its position as the brand’s premier roadster, since it must compete with the AMG GT roadster. Instead, it has to be more of a big tourer—hence the rear seats and all-wheel drive—in order to entice consumers away from the now-defunct S-class convertible.
The price of the 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL has yet to be announced, but we expect the SL55 to start at just under $100,000 and the SL63 to cost about 20% more. At the first half of 2022, the new SL will be available in dealerships. We’ll see whether it can reclaim its status as a rolling success sign at that point.