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Here's our first official look at Mercedes-AMG's next SL roadster

As Mercedes-Benz says, "The legend lives on."

Mercedes-Benz SL Prototype
Development of the new SL is being led by AMG.

It's always a little weird when an automaker releases its own spy shots of camouflaged cars out testing in the wild. But in the case of Mercedes-Benz, the German automaker is just that stoked to confirm the development of the new SL-Class roadster is underway.

Mercedes issued a set of photos Thursday giving us our first real look at the next-generation SL. The prototypes are very much still in the development phase and the company isn't releasing any details just yet. For now, Mercedes-Benz only says the SL is in its "new phase of extensive dynamic testing, following extensive digital development, test stand runs and simulator trials."

Mercedes' AMG performance arm is handling the development of the new SL, which makes sense as we've heard the new roadster will only be offered in Mercedes-AMG performance variants. A range of mild-hybrid powertrains should be available, perhaps either Mercedes' 3.0-liter EQ-Boost I6 or its new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. A plug-in hybrid is also rumored.

Unlike the current folding-hardtop SL, the next-gen roadster is expected to use a soft top and offer four seats instead of two. The SL should also be slightly smaller and lighter than it is now, splitting the difference between the 2020 model and the nearly departed SLC-Class roadster.

Mercedes-Benz hasn't revealed any sort of launch timing for the new SL, but given that the roadster is still in the midst of development, we don't expect to see it before 2022 at the earliest.