New 2021 Mercedes SL: luxury Roadster returns

Published: 15 December 2020

Mercedes' new SL convertible
Soft top, hybrid power and here in 2021
► Developed by AMG, twinned with GT

The Mercedes SL is going to return in 2021, and we've got fresh pictures of the all-new grand touring drop top. And unlike official pictures already released by Stuttgart, these show the new Benz with minimal camo. 

Convertible and sports car sales are dwindling, but so keen was Mercedes to keep the SL alive that it’s worked the maths to add up. The new car will share its new platform with the next-generation AMG GT – strictly a two-seater, unlike the SL’s 2+2 arrangement – while the overlapping two-door E-Class and S-Class models are to be axed.

Our new pictures very much confirm that heritage; the new SL looks a lot like beefier, more comfortable looking GT. 

The new-generation SL will return to a soft-top convertible roof instead of the folding hardtop – the ‘Vario Roof’ of the old one will be binned. Why? That’s down to the all-new aluminium structure; so light and strong is the SL’s new architecture that a much more torsionally rigid hardtop isn’t required. And, of course, the soft-top itself will save weight over a metal one, too.

Along with plans for Euro-7 compliant V8s, an EQ Power plug-in hybrid SL could be part of the mix, badged SL73. The powertrain is expected to make its official debut in the AMG GT four-door later in 2020, combining the 630bhp M178 twin-turbo V8 with e-motors on both axles for around 800bhp(!) in total

Boss of AMG on the new SL

‘It’s kind of a burden to be responsible for the SL, but we had to make sure this iconic car had a bright future,’ AMG boss, Tobias Moers told CAR.

‘The weight of responsibility is heavy but what we’re doing is good. We are taking the new all-aluminium SL back to its roots: more sporty but also better for everyday use.’

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By Georg Kacher and Ben Miller

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