2017 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class
Mercedes-Benz’s SL-Class has just undergone its mid-cycle update but work on the redesigned, seventh-generation model is already at an advanced stage.
Engineers are currently testing the car’s new platform in the makeshift body of an S-Class Coupe (shown below).
Dubbed the MSA (Modular Sports car Architecture), the new platform has been designed for rear-wheel-drive sports cars and in shortened form will underpin the next SLC.
As for the next SL, Autocar is reporting that Mercedes-AMG has been tasked with the development. This is to help strengthen its sporty character and differentiate it from the more luxury-oriented S-Class Coupe. The car should still be more luxurious than Mercedes-AMG’s own GT sports car, which will soon have a convertible option.
Mercedes-Benz Modular Sports car Architecture (MSA) test mule spy shots - Image S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
“It’s going to be a vastly different proposition to today’s model,” one of the British publication’s sources is quoted as saying.
Less weight will be key. Expect the use of lighter, more exotic materials in the construction and even the folding hard-top roof to make way for a soft-top. The current model’s twin-turbocharged 4.7-liter V-8 option will also make way for Mercedes-AMG’s twin-turbo 4.0-liter.
Above and below should remain the current model's twin-turbo 6.0-liter V-12 and 3.0-liter V-6 options, and the sole transmission should be a 9-speed automatic.
Look for the redesigned SL to be introduced for the 2020 model year.