The All-New Mercedes-AMG SL-Class Goes Back to Its Sporty Roots

The 2022 SL is very different from the car it's replacing — and it's coming after the Porsche 911.

mercedes amg benz sl class 2022 sl63 sl55
Mercedes-Benz

Historically speaking, you could argue that the SL may be Mercedes-Benz's most iconic car. The gullwing-doored W198 and pagoda-topped W113 models from the 1950s and 1960s remain two of the brand's most sought-after vintage models. The R107, which stayed in production from 1971 to 1989, was one of our 50 most influential vehicles — and continues to be a style icon to this day.

The market has moved away from two-seat roadsters, however. The SL lineup has not been a strong seller in recent decades. With Mercedes trimming down its car lineup, the SL's future was not as rock-solid as it once would have been.

Or at least, so we might have thought until now. Mercedes-AMG — yes, not Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-AMG specifically — is bringing back an all-new SL roadster for 2022 with significant changes to make the car more practical, sportier and a more worthy competitor for rivals like the Porsche 911. Here's what you need to know.

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The new SL is Mercedes-AMG models only
mercedes amg benz sl class 2022 sl63 sl55
Mercedes-Benz

The new SL is available in two versions to start: the Mercedes-AMG SL 55 and the Mercedes-AMG SL 63. The cars were redeveloped from the ground up, without a single component carrying over from the previous SL-Class.

The new Mercedes-AMG SL-Class has four seats
mercedes amg benz sl class 2022 sl63 sl55
Mercedes-Benz

Traditionally, the SL has often been a two-seater. This generation is only sold as a more practical 2+2 roadster with a soft top. The top is designed to be lighter and more compact than before, weighing 46 pounds less than the previous-generation SL top.

The new Mercedes-AMG SL only has V8 power at launch
mercedes amg benz sl class 2022 sl63 sl55
Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-AMG SL 55 and SL 63 both use versions of the brand's handcrafted twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8. The SL 55 puts out 469 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. The SL 63 offers 577 hp and 590 lb-ft. Both pair with an AMG-tuned nine-speed automatic transmission. Mercedes says a performance hybrid is in development, as well, likely packing the same powertrain as the Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S E Performance.

The new Mercedes-AMG SL is AWD-only
mercedes amg benz sl class 2022 sl63 sl55
Mercedes-Benz

The SL has always been a rear-wheel-drive car. But this generation comes standard with Mercedes's AMG Performance 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system.

The Mercedes-AMG SL-Class is be the first AMG with a front-axle lift
mercedes amg benz sl class 2022 sl63 sl55
Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-AMG SL is the first AMG car to offer an optional front-axle lift system, like the Porsche 911. The system can lift the car's front end by 1.2 inches to enter steep driveways and parking lots. The vehicle can also save locations where the driver deploys that feature in its GPS and raise the suspension automatically.

The Mercedes-AMG SL uses active aerodynamics
mercedes amg benz sl class 2022 sl63 sl55
Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-AMG SL has a retractable rear spoiler that can deploy at five different positions above 50 mph. The car also uses an Airpanel system with louvers behind the air intakes that can stay closed to reduce drag and lift or open to provide maximum cooling as needed.

The Mercedes-AMG SL comes standard with rear-axle steering
mercedes amg benz sl class 2022 sl63 sl55
Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-AMG SL employs a standard rear-axle steering system. The rear wheels turn in the opposite direction from the front at low speeds to reduce the turning radius. Above 62 mph, the rear wheels turn in the same direction for easier maneuverability.

The Mercedes-AMG SL gets the latest infotainment technology
mercedes amg benz sl class 2022 sl63 sl55
Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-AMG SL receives the latest-generation Mercedes-Benz User Experience technology. The cockpit offers an adjustable 11.9-inch central multimedia touchscreen display (much like the one found in the latest Mercedes S-Class) and a 12.3-inch digital instrument display cluster. Cool features include voice control and augmented video for navigation.

The Mercedes-AMG SL arrives in the U.S. next year
mercedes amg benz sl class 2022 sl63 sl55
Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-AMG SL 55 and Mercedes-AMG SL 63 will arrive at dealerships during the first half of 2022. Pricing for the two vehicles is to be announced.

The Porsche 911 Turbo Could Be the Last Sports Car You'd Ever Need
2021 porsche 911 turbo yellow
Will Sabel Courtney

Stupendously quick, incredibly fun and remarkably usable, the 911 Turbo is about as close as you can find to a perfect car.

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