Next-Gen Mercedes SL to Lose Retractable Hardtop

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu
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next gen mercedes sl to lose retractable hardtop

Aiming to reduce weight, the next-generation Mercedes-Benz SL- and SLK-Class models will lose its retractable hardtop.

Instead, the German automaker will give its luxury sports cars a conventional soft top along with a wide array of changes when it arrives on the next MSA modular platform. The new platform will not only help reduce production costs on the models but will improve weight distribution along with lowering the center of gravity.

SEE ALSO: 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK250 Review

In terms of powertrain, the SLK will receive a range of four- and six-cylinder engines while the SL will feature Mercedes-Benz’s new 3.0-liter inline-six engine. Though nothing is confirmed, the SL will likely have around 365 hp while the SLK’s four-cylinder will offer 238 hp. The more powerful six-cylinder engine in the SLK could churn out anywhere from 333 to 435 hp.

Both models are a ways off however, as the SLK is expected in 2020 and the SL in 2021.

GALLERY: 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG

[Source: AutoNation]

Discuss this story at our Mercedes-Benz forum

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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2 of 21 comments
  • AlexD AlexD on Nov 10, 2014

    Big mistake Mercedes I won't dare by another SL unless hardtop, period, it's the reason I'd buy a Ferrari California over an Audi R8, hardtop, period. Are you guys going to also just put in an fm/am radio only? May save some weight.

  • Runningman Runningman on Nov 16, 2014

    I own an R172 SLK 55 AMG. It means I have a beautiful baby super car that I can use all year round (snow excepted). I hate driving a rag top in the winter, the extra noise from rain on the roof and general additional acoustic noise from driving through rain etc drives me mad. If they really want to reduce weight and lower the centre of gravity, then make polycarbonate roof standard, use aluminium panels (as with new SL). I assume the next AMG model will be a turbo v6 so there's another major weight saving. The SLK is the best all rounder by far. If they remove one of the major benefits then loyal buyers will start looking at Porsche, jaguar and BMW (or may be even move away from 2 sweaters altogether). I wonder if this is just one of those stories to test customer reaction (after all change isn't until 2020) ? Well if so, then the reaction is a very clear NO ... NO ... NO !!