The Mercedes SL roadster has always been an iconic marque in the droptop luxury roadster segment. The two-seater was the benchmark for the segment and did a good job projecting Mercedes’s influence in the luxury car game for the bulk of its existence. But the outgoing SL represented a decline, with the roadster suffering from a sales slide and some signs of aging. Mercedes aims to change all that with the 2022 SL, which will be the most significant change that the model has seen.
AMG Infused Exterior Styling Gives This SL More Visual Bite
A significant change for 2022 is that Mercedes-Benz themselves will no longer oversee the SL. Instead, the German luxury giant will place it under the watch of its performance sub-brand Mercedes-AMG with the division already leaving an immediate influence on its exterior styling. The front fascia is more aggressive, and the angrier headlights mesh with the more prominent grille and intakes to project a sportier personality. The side profile shows off the classic long hood short rear deck layout and leads observers to the car’s rear, which shares some of its influence with the GT four-door sedan.
The rear is also where the roadster’s rounded profile starts to click together. While it does have some whiffs of influence from the rival Porsche 911, it shows off the SL’s renewed commitment to aerodynamics. That includes the lighter soft top, which pitches the long-running folding hardtop, which plays into some weight-saving measures AMG engineers have injected into the model.
Bespoke SL Interior Leans Towards Performance But Still Has The Velvet Lined Trimmings
Slip inside the 2022 SL, and you’ll notice that the interior will look very familiar to those that have had prior exposure to other AMG models. Splashes of Alcantara trim and high-quality leather make their appearance on the steering wheel, dashboard, and seats. A nice strip of carbon fiber even appears in the center of the shift tunnel. A notable change here is that all SLs going forward will be four-seaters, with the two rear seats making their return after a long absence. Of course, these seats (like some of its rivals) are seats in name only, with the space best left for small children or cargo.
Thankfully, this iteration has not abandoned its luxury roots completely and still comes with a massive infusion of luxury and technology. That includes an all-new 12.3 inch fully digital instrument cluster joined by an 11.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The screen comes bundled with the latest version of the brand’s “Mercedes Benz User Experience” software. It even addresses the issue of sun glare by having the ability to tilt up to 32 degrees to help mitigate it.
Two Flavors Of Performance Define SL Launch
The lone bad news here is that this iteration of SL will not bring back the V12 (changing emission regulations forced AMG to go to smaller engines). Still, the brand is rewarding buyers with two potent consolation prizes when the first SLs make their way to dealerships. Dubbed the SL 55 and the SL 63, respectively, they will be powered by the 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8 that sees duty in other AMG models but with different tunes to help set them apart. The base SL 55 will make 469 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque, allowing the SL to make the sprint to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds.
Buyers looking for more power will have to step up to the SL 63, which uses the same engine, but it has been tweaked to produce 577 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough to secure a 3.5 second 0 to 60 time, and the engine will also be paired with an all-wheel-drive system which is the first time such a system has been offered on the SL. A nine-speed automatic transmission is tasked with sending power to all four wheels while improving the SL’s fuel economy numbers. It doesn’t hurt that the SL will also gain steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters for those that prefer to have more involvement in their drive.
When Can I Buy A 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL?
Company reps didn’t release official pricing information for the 2022 SL, but they did reveal that dealerships will begin receiving their first SLs in early 2022. Look for pricing to easily surpass the $100,000 barrier. Still, the 2022 SL will have an impressive arsenal of equipment, including a powerful Burmester premium audio system, Mercedes’ Air Scarf technology, and more.
In addition to the potent amount of equipment, customization will also be a hallmark feature on the SL, with most of the 63’s add-ons having the ability to be added to the SL 55 as optional pieces of equipment. Meanwhile, the SL 63 can be equipped with an optional carbon fiber package that aims to enhance styling and cut some weight.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.