Mercedes-AMG unveils latest version of iconic SL

For almost 70 years, the SL badge has thrilled sports car enthusiasts with bold design and big performance. Now it’s back. This time as a 2+2 soft-top roadster, complete with a suite of luxury, technology, safety and, of course, incredible style.

The new Mercedes-AMG SL 63 4MATIC+ represents a return to the roots of the classic SL badge, and will hit Australian roads later in 2023 to once again show the way in contemporary roadster design and performance.

The new body shell was created – as with the first SL released in 1952 – literally on a blank sheet of paper – and not a single component comes from its predecessor, or any other model in the brand’s range.

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The chassis is designed as a lightweight composite aluminium structure and consists of a space frame with a self-supporting structure. The design guarantees maximum rigidity and is thus the perfect basis for precise driving dynamics, comfort, and sporty proportions.

An intelligent material mix including aluminium, magnesium, fibre composites and steel enables the highest possible rigidity at a low weight. The windscreen frame, for example, is made of steel, serving as roll-over protection in conjunction with the roll bar system.

A technical highlight is the active air control system AIRPANEL, which comprises two distinct louvres for the first time, located in the lower and upper air intakes in the front apron.

In normal driving all louvres are closed, reducing drag and directing air towards the underbody to further reduce front lift. Only when the demand for cooling air is particularly high do the louvres open and allow maximum air to flow to the heat exchangers.

A retractable rear spoiler, seamlessly integrated into the boot lid, actively changes through different angular positions. This optimises handling stability or reduces drag, depending on driving speed, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, and steering speed.

The new Mercedes-AMG SL 63 also features an electrically operated soft top, replacing the metal vario roof of the previous SL model. Opening or closing takes about 15 seconds using a switch panel in the centre console or the multimedia touchscreen, up to 60km/h.

The AMG 4.0-litre V8 bi-turbo engine found under the hood develops 430kW of power and 800Nm of torque on its way to 100km/h in 3.6 seconds. Its top speed is 315km/h. For 2023/24, there’s a new oil pan, repositioned intercoolers and active crankcase ventilation.

It’s paired with an AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission, specially adapted to the requirements of the new SL to combine an emotionally appealing gearshift experience with extremely short shift times.

A wet start-off clutch replaces the torque converter, reducing weight and, thanks to its lower inertia, optimises response to accelerator pedal commands especially during spurts and load changes.

For the first time, the Mercedes-AMG SL 63 is equipped with AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive technology as standard. This intelligent system provides fully variable torque distribution to the front and rear axles.

In another first, active rear axle steering is also standard, as is the AMG DYNAMIC PLUS package, which adds better engine mounts, Race mode (including Drift), and an electronic rear axle locking differential.

Also making its debut on the SL 63 is AMG Active Ride Control suspension with active, hydraulic anti-roll stabilisation. The new SL is also fitted standard with a front axle lift function, which can raise the front axle by up to 30mm.

A newly developed AMG high-performance composite braking system is optional for the SL 63, generating short braking distances, sensitive response, and high stability. The car maker’s Digital Light system is also on offer.

Inside, the driver can expect to find AMG sports seats, upholstered in Nappa leather, complete with the AIRSCARF neck-warming feature that’s perfect for top-down motoring in any temperature.

The standard Energizing Package includes both heating and cooling for the front seats, while the Memory Package includes eight-way electric adjustment and three memory settings.

The AMG Performance steering wheel is also heated and includes integrated rotary dials to control AMG-specific driving features. There’s a standard head-up display (HUD) with augmented reality for navigation too.

An 11-speaker Burmester surround sound system with an output of 650-watts, ambient lighting with a choice of 64 colours, dual-zone climate control, and a mechanical wind deflector also feature.

The SL 63 features a highly refined, technologically appealing interior including an 11.9-inch tablet-style central display housing the latest generation of the acclaimed MBUX multimedia system, featuring extended MBUX functions.

This also supports full smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a wireless charging system is supplied. The rear seats in the 2+2 roadster increase everyday usability as well, offering space for people up to 1.5-metres tall.

Safety-wise, the SL 63 is fitted with active distance assist, active lane keep assist, traffic sign assist, route-based speed adaptation, active traffic-assist, active steering assist and active lane change assist.

Active parking assist, a 360-degree camera, and pedestrian protection are also included. The new Mercedes-AMG SL 63 4MATIC+ is priced at $374,900 plus on-roads and is available to order now. If you’re keen on one and need finance, talk to CreditOne.

News Desk
News Desk
The News Desk is the hub of Exhaust Notes Australia. It's from here that our team of writers journalists and photographers bring you the latest happenings from the world of motoring.

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