2022 Mercedes-AMG SL Keeps V8 Engine, Adds AWD

Published on October 28, 2021 in New Models by Julien Amado

The all-new 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL today made its global debut as a car developed completely independently by Mercedes-AMG in Affalterbach, Germany.

A host of changes are in store for this next chapter in the long history of the iconic SL. The most obvious one is the return of a soft top in place of the retractable hard top, which saves a total of 21 kilograms. It opens and closes in 15 seconds at speeds up to 50 km/h.

Another notable change is the four-seat cabin in a 2+2 layout, which required an all-new platform. Combining aluminum with magnesium, steel and composite materials, it doesn’t share anything with the old SL or the Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster, and it was designed to accommodate future electrified applications.

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

The new SL also benefits from extensive active aerodynamic elements such as the two-piece, active air control system called AIRPANEL (with vertical and horizontal louvres in the front air intakes) and the retractable rear spoiler seamlessly integrated into the trunk lid. The result is maximum downforce or minimum drag depending on the conditions.

V8 Engine Still Alive

While V8 engines are an endangered species at Mercedes-AMG, the 2022 SL continues to rely on a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8. In SL 55 trim, output is rated at 469 horsepower, but if you select the almighty SL 63, it increases to 577 horsepower. Peak torque, meanwhile, amounts to 516 and 590 pound-feet, respectively. Only the more powerful variant will be available at launch in Canada.

The boost in performance is mainly attributable to revised ECU tuning and higher turbo pressure. Both SL models now use a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission instead of the conventional automatic with a torque converter.

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

A major addition for 2022, of course, is the 4MATIC+ all-wheel drive system—a first for the SL in nearly 70 years. Thanks to an electromechanical clutch between the front and rear axles, plus a limited-slip differential, the car is able to optimize torque distribution for maximum grip and traction.

Furthermore, in order to improve handling and stability, the automaker has incorporated four-wheel steering technology. Depending on the speed, the rear wheels steer either in the opposite direction (up to 100 km/h) or in the same direction (faster than 100 km/h) as the front wheels. 

This is complemented by an innovative AMG ACTIVE RIDE CONTROL suspension with active hydraulic elements replacing the conventional mechanical anti-roll bars and compensating for rolling movements of the new SL in fractions of a second. 

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

Welcome to the Future

Inside the 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL, it’s a whole new world where the plethora of physical buttons is replaced by a much cleaner cockpit featuring dual displays. Both the digital instrument display facing the driver and the 11.9-inch centre touchscreen are powered by the latest-generation MBUX infotainment system, which uses artificial intelligence to adapt to the driver’s preferences.

Photo: Mercedes-Benz

There is so much more to cover, but for now we’ll leave it at that. Pricing and launch details for Canada will be announced at a later date. We’ll keep you posted.

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