The new Mercedes-AMG SL 43, a pioneering entry model for the AMG SL roadster series, is set to arrive stateside by summer 2023 with a starting price of $109,900. This innovative 2+2-seater roadster is powered by an AMG-enhanced 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine featuring an electric exhaust gas turbocharger derived from Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team’s technology. The turbocharger, coupled with a 48-volt electrical system that also powers the belt-driven starter-generator (RSG), ensures an output of 375 horsepower and a maximum torque of 354 pound-feet, guaranteeing swift throttle response and dynamic driving experience. Offering extensive standard equipment and a range of customization options, the SL 43, with its blend of sportiness, luxury, and technological excellence, marks a significant milestone in the 70-year history of the SL model.
AMG SL 43: Mild Hybrid System
The second-generation RSG, functioning as a mild hybrid in the 48-volt on-board electrical system, enhances efficiency through features like gliding and recuperation. The utilization of 48-volt technology not only boosts comfort but also ensures almost seamless transitions between start-stop and gliding modes.
The AMG SL 43, featuring the longitudinally positioned M139 engine, integrates an AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission, employing a wet start-off clutch in place of a torque converter, reducing weight and enhancing accelerator response. This setup allows for quick shift times, speedy multiple downshifts, and an engaging gearshift experience in “Sport” and “Sport+” modes. Additionally, the AMG SL 43 boasts an acceleration of 0 to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, reaching an electronically limited top speed of 170 mph.
Fresh Design, Composite Materials, and 2+2 Seating
The exterior design of the new Mercedes‑AMG SL model exhibits an innovative architecture, utilizing a mix of lightweight materials like aluminum, magnesium, fiber composites, and steel. Its unique chassis includes an aluminum space frame, contributing to maximum rigidity, high comfort, and precise driving dynamics. The SL model now features a 2+2 seating configuration for the first time since 1989, augmenting its versatility and space.
Other key aspects include an increased torsional rigidity of the body shell by 18 percent and an optimized aerodynamic design using the AIRPANEL active air control system and a retractable rear spoiler. The SL 43 model is particularly distinctive with its front fascia, rear apron, and round double tailpipe trim accents, in contrast to the angular ones of the SL 55 and SL 63 models. Lastly, the vehicle sports a three-layer electric soft top that is quick to operate and contributes to a lower center of gravity and improved driving dynamics.
Five-Link Front Axle Arrangement
The SL 43 is equipped with a standard AMG suspension, and an optional AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension featuring powerful aluminum shock absorbers and lightweight coil springs. This is the first model from Mercedes-AMG with a five-link front axle arrangement within the rim, enhancing its kinematics. In conjunction with a similar design for the rear axle, high camber and track stability are achieved, enabling high-speed cornering and ensuring optimal road contact even at the cornering limit. Additionally, forged aluminum components are used for all suspension links, steering knuckles, and wheel carriers on both front and rear axles to reduce unsprung weight.
The vehicle also features several other lightweight construction measures. For instance, the coil springs are tempered to maintain performance while reducing weight. A first in manufacturing is the gluing of the spring pad onto the spring, preventing wear and tear. Another measure is the variable wall thickness of the torsion bar stabilizers on both axles, reducing their weight. The latest generation of AMG adaptive adjustable damping is available as an option, enabling the driver to select the basic setup via the AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes or adjust the tuning in three stages independently. Finally, the vehicle boasts an AMG high-performance composite brake system, ensuring impressive deceleration, control, and durability, even under stress.
Hyper Analog Interior
The Mercedes-AMG SL 43’s interior exhibits a blend of digital and analog features in a design termed “hyper analog.” This includes a fully digital, three-dimensional visor-integrated instrument cluster and a customizable MBUX infotainment system with distinct display styles. The cockpit features a symmetrical, sculptural instrument panel, incorporating striking elements like four galvanized turbine air nozzles and a high-tech visor to minimize sun glare on the 12.3-inch LCD screen. The tilt of the central 11.9-inch touchscreen can be electrically adjusted for optimal viewing. The SL 43 also boasts MBUX’s second-generation system, enriched with AMG-specific content to emphasize its sporty character. Interior comfort is elevated with standard electrically adjustable, heated and cooled Nappa Leather multicontour seats available in various colors. Additionally, customers have multiple choices for interior trim elements, including AMG Aluminum, AMG Carbon Fiber, and AMG Dark Chrome.
Five Driving Modes
The Mercedes-AMG SL 43 features five distinct AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes, each offering unique vehicle characteristics:
Slippery Mode: Best suited for low-grip, icy conditions, ensuring stability and handling.
Comfort Mode: Optimized for a smoother, relaxed driving experience, ideal for long journeys or city driving.
Sport Mode: Enhances responsiveness and performance for a more engaging, spirited drive.
Sport+ Mode: Further elevates performance dynamics for maximum agility and handling, suitable for track conditions.
Individual Mode: Allows drivers to customize vehicle settings according to personal preferences.
These modes are complemented by AMG DYNAMICS, an integrated vehicle dynamics control that augments the stabilizing functions of ESP. This includes interventions enhancing agility in steering characteristics and additional ESP functions, such as brief braking intervention at the inner rear wheel when cornering at speed, inducing a defined yawing moment for responsive and precise turn-in.
Driving Assist and Connectivity
Equipped with a multitude of sensors, cameras, and radar, the AMG SL 43’s driving assistance systems closely monitor traffic and environmental conditions. These intelligent systems can rapidly intervene when required, providing driver support in daily scenarios such as speed adaptation, distance control, steering, and lane changes. When a potential collision is detected, the systems respond appropriately. The functioning of these systems is conveyed through a new full-screen display concept in the instrument cluster, providing a dynamic, real-time 3D representation of the vehicle’s environment. This high-quality, augmented reality depiction of roads, lanes, and other road users facilitates an understanding of the operation of the driving assistance systems.
The MBUX infotainment system in the Mercedes-AMG SL 43 offers a surfeit of connectivity services and digital features via Mercedes me connect. This system includes an intuitive touchscreen interface and steering wheel touch controls, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Additionally, it provides hands-free capability through a Bluetooth connection and HD Radio. By connecting the vehicle to a Mercedes me account, users can access features like Live Traffic Information and Car-to-X communication, allowing for real-time traffic data exchange and more efficient navigation to avoid traffic jams, saving valuable time.
Beauty in This AMG SL 43 Beast
To sum up, the Mercedes-AMG SL 43 delivers a matchless blend of performance and luxury. Its powerful M139 engine, paired with the AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission, promises responsive acceleration and a captivating driving experience. The vehicle’s state-of-the-art architecture, comprised of lightweight materials and innovative designs, contributes to dynamic handling and superior comfort. Its interior, outfitted with the latest MBUX infotainment system and high-quality materials, ensures a premium, tech-forward cabin experience. Enhanced safety features, intuitive driver-assistance systems, and diverse driving modes allow for a safer and customizable journey.
Photos courtesy of Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA).