In some respects the next generation Mercedes-Benz SL will be heading back to its roots, shedding up to 440 lbs in weight, thanks to extensive use of aluminum in the car’s body structure instead of high-strength steel employed on the current model.
Other changes will included moving production of the car car to Mercedes’ main plant in Sindefingen, where it will be built alongside the upcoming SLC (the first time both models will have been assembled there since 1981).
The seventh generation SL will remain roughly the same size, with evolutionary styling, but will ride on a slightly longer wheelbase, mostly to improve interior space and packaging. Features will include Mercedes’ Magic Sky Control roof panel, which electronically adjusts the amount of tint to combat UV rays, simply by pressing a button.
In terms of engines, a 302 horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 and a 429 hp twin-turbo 4.6-liter V-8 are likely on the cards, as is a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-12, said to produce around 630 hp. The latter will incorporate cylinder shutdown at part throttle in an effort to improve fuel economy.
There will also be a twin-turbocharged 536 hp V-8 powered AMG version at some point, but with the V-12, this seems perhaps a tad superfluous.
The new SL, internally coded R231 is scheduled to go on sale in European markets, sometime early next year, with North American deliveries commencing sometime after that.