Mercedes-AMG has officially revealed its entry-level SL 43 convertible, powered by a version of the turbocharged four-cylinder engine used in the AMG A45 hot hatch.
The SL 43 has been confirmed for the Australian market, with first deliveries expected in the fourth quarter of 2022.
It’s the first four-cylinder SL in almost 60 years.
Crucially, it may preview the powertrain that we’ll see in other AMG ’43’ models, including the Mercedes-AMG C43 sedan and GLC 43 SUV which’ll both be revealed shortly.
Under the bonnet of the new SL 43 roadster is the M139 longitudinally-mounted 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four-cylinder engine producing 280kW of power and 480Nm of torque.
For context, the UK-spec AMG A45 with the M139 inline-four engine produces 285kW and 480Nm.
There’s also a 48V mild-hybrid system in the SL 43 that powers an electrically-controlled exhaust gas turbocharger, small electric motor and belt-driven starter generator capable of producing an additional 10kW for short periods of time.
Mercedes-AMG claims the SL 43 can do the 0-100km/h sprint in 4.9 seconds, which is one second slower than the V8-powered SL 55 4Matic+. Top speed is also electronically limited to 275km/h.
Unlike the rest of the new AMG SL range, drive is sent to the rear wheels exclusively via a nine-speed AMG Speedshift dual-clutch transmission.
There are a total of five different driving modes to select from that include Slippery, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual. A Race mode can also be chosen if the optional AMG Dynamics Plus package is selected.
This optional AMG Dynamic Plus package also includes the following:
- Dynamic engine mounts
- Limited-slip rear differential
- 10mm lower ride height
- Yellow-painted AMG brake calipers
Providing the stopping power on the SL are 390mm perforated brake discs at the front with six-piston calipers, and 360mm perforated brake discs at the back with single-piston calipers.
AMG Ride Control steel suspension is standard on the SL 43 roadster with aluminium shock absorbers and lightweight coil springs. Adaptive dampers are optional as well.
Up front there are active louvres on the lower and upper air intakes used to either warm up or cool down the engine if needed. On the rear there’s an active spoiler integrated into the boot lid, which can be set to five different positions.
Optional on the SL 43 is a rear-axle steering system which, depending on the speed, can turn the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the fronts (up to 100km/h) to effectively reduce the wheelbase.
It can also turn them in the same direction at speeds faster than 100km/h for greater high-speed stability.
Inside the SL 43 is a 12.3-inch digital drivers display, as well as a 11.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
This infotainment system is familiar to the Mercedes range – see the new C-Class and S-Class – and is able to tilt at inclinations from 12 to 32 degrees.
It includes AMG Performance and AMG Track Pace menus, as well as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, DAB+ digital radio, satellite navigation, and a voice assistant.
As standard, the SL 43 comes with a range of electrically- and manually-adjustable luxury seats with Artico synthetic leather and fabric upholstery. Nappa leather and AMG sports seats are also available.
A number of exterior design packages will be available, though pricing and specifications have yet to be confirmed for Australia.
A chrome package sees the SL 43 gain additional chrome trim, while there’s another package that adds high-gloss black elements plus a Carbon Package that includes a carbon-fibre front splitter, front canards and rear diffuser.
The SL 43 comes with 19-inch alloy wheels as standard but can be optioned with 20- or 21-inch alloy wheels as well.
There’ll be 12 exterior paint colours available, including Hyper Blue metallic and Monza Grey Magno, with three different colours for the soft-top.
This is the first SL roadster to be powered by a four-cylinder engine since the entry-level 190 SL, built from 1955 to 1963. The 1.9-litre inline-four-cylinder in this model produced 77kW of power and 142Nm of torque.
This new-generation SL roadster is the first to be developed in-house by the Mercedes-AMG division, and rides a new platform – the Modular Sports Architecture – that’ll also underpin the next Mercedes-AMG GT.
This model brings back a 2+2 seating configuration, last available as an option on the fourth-generation SL.
The back seats in the new-generation SL apparently provide enough space for passengers up to 1.5 metres tall, so are best for little children or large shopping bags.
Mercedes-AMG suggests the second row of seating can also be used to stow a golf bag, suggesting a certain core clientele.
For the first time in 20 years, this new-generation SL roadster has a fabric soft top instead of a metal hard top.
By doing this, Mercedes-AMG was able to shave 21kg, while it can open or close in 15 seconds at speeds as high as 60km/h.
The Mercedes-AMG SL roadster offers 213L of boot space with the fabric roof stowed away, but can be expanded to 240L with the roof up.
Mercedes-AMG is expected to soon launch a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) E Performance version of the SL roadster as well. We’ve previously spied prototypes of this PHEV model with no camouflage whatsoever.
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MORE: Everything Mercedes-AMG SL