Mercedes-Benz's venerable SL-Class has long been an icon of the Three-Pointed Star's lineup. On Thursday, the German automaker welcomed the seventh-generation model with a digital world premiere introduction. Don't worry, if you missed the reveal, you can still watch by tuning in right here, and then you can .
For the first time, with this new seventh-generation model, all SL models will live under AMG's umbrella, henceforth known as the Mercedes-AMG SL.
Benz says that the roadster "returns to its roots with a classic soft top and sporty character." Recent SLs models have strayed even further from the model's original remit of "Sport-Leicht" (Sport Light), gaining more and more in weight and sophistication, morphing into more of a luxury GT than a sports car. As Roadshow knows from anopportunity taken in September, the new SL was indeed developed by AMG and will feature all-wheel drive, making this posh convertible more of an all-weather proposition. Smaller, lighter and stiffer than the controversial-looking , this new model will also offer rear-axle steering and 2+2 seating for the first time in the US. Six- and eight-cylinder engine options are promised, as is a future hybrid model.
The new SL arrives at an inflection point for Mercedes-Benz as the brand transitions increasingly to battery-electric vehicles. That heavy investment into EV development and the luxury market's shift to SUVs has also pushed the automaker to , with the company reportedly planning to discontinue many model derivatives, including coupes and convertibles.
Will the new Mercedes-SL recapture some of the magic and panache of the original 1954 300 SL Gullwing? We'll have to drive it to find out, but we should know a lot more about its chances when the company reveals its 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL.