The next-generation Mercedes-Benz SL is expected to evolve into a larger, more luxurious grand tourer with 2+2 seating and a soft-top roof—and replace the S-Class Coupe in the process.
Despite this move into GT territory, the car should be sportier than the current model due to the adoption of a lightweight modular platform for sports cars being developed by AMG, which will use it for its next-generation GT.
It should come as no surprise that the Affalterbach tuner has also been tasked with developing the next SL, which may end up branding the car its own to link it with the GT and upcoming Project One hypercar, thus transforming AMG into the sports car hub at Mercedes. The SLC is also a sports car but is expected to get the axe soon.
Why switch the SL to AMG's fleet? It may be because of the new hybrid performance strategy spearheaded by AMG. The strategy has already started with the launch of the 53-series mild hybrids at this month's 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. There will also be the Project One and, if Automobile is to be believed, a new 73-series featuring V-8s paired with electric motors. And one of the first 73-series models is expected to be an SL73.
Yes, it would mean the return of the SL73, albeit without a V-12 this time around. Automobile's sources suggest the modern SL73 will feature AMG's familiar 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 paired with an electric motor. The powertrain was previewed in 2017 in AMG's GT sedan concept, where it delivered 805 horsepower.
The next SL isn't due out until early next decade. That's because the current SL was just updated for 2017. In all, if the changes happen, these are very big for the SL, and they would certainly raise its performance profile.