Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Mercedes-AMG Reimagines Its Iconic SL Roadster

The new Mercedes-AMG SL.
The new Mercedes-AMG SL. Image used with permission by copyright holder

Well, it turns out the Mercedes-AMG couldn’t live long without an iconic SL in its line. 

Discontinued last year, the all-new Mercedes-AMG SL Roadster is set to return in 2022. Dubbed the R232, this is the car’s most radical redesign in decades. In addition to being developed with a completely new vehicle architecture, the 2022 SL has a cloth roof, a two-plus-two seating layout, modern tech modification, and a load of never before applied performance features. As the SL will essentially replace the AMG GT roadster, the 2022 SL has a lot to live up to. The work that Mercedes put into the new ride seems to have paid off. 

Just like the original SL in 1952, the Gullwing, the 2022 model was conceived first as a sketch on blank paper. This hand drawing led to an entirely new car. Mercedes-AMG took not a single component from preceding SL’s or similar models.

The 2022 vehicle is built on an aluminum space frame with a self-supporting structure. The chassis features an intelligent material composition with high aluminum content and new fiber composites. Characteristic body features include a long wheelbase, short overhangs, a considerable hood, a set back passenger compartment protected by a raked windscreen, and a squat, powerful rear end.

At 185.2 inches in length, the new SL is actually 2.9 inches longer than the outgoing model with an almost five-inch wider wheelbase. But with a wider base and a squatter stance, the new SL appears stockier and tauter. Together with voluminous, sculpted wheel arches and large alloy wheels flush with outer skin, the SL evokes a powerful, dynamic appearance. 

Up front, the fat, AMG-specific radiator grille, featuring 14 vertical slats, emphasizes this wide effect and cites the ancestor of all SL models, 1952’s legendary 300 SL racing sports car. Exaggerating the car’s shark-like grin are new slim, sharply outlined digital LED headlamps and rear lamps.

While the outside appears like a ripper, inside is typical Mercedes-AMG minimalist luxury. At the center of the space sits an 11.9-inch multimedia touchscreen that can be adjusted to reduce glare for top-down driving. The all-digital cockpit features enhanced hardware and software that’s fashioned to create a seamless blend with the analog geometric space. 

Every 2022 SL comes factory-equipped with navigation, a heated steering wheel, massaging seats, a 360-degree camera system, a Burmester surround sound system, configurable ambient interior lighting, Airscarf neck heating, keyless entry, and drive mode switches. The seats are sleeker yet richer, integrating ideal ergonomics into headrests. For even more comfort, a deflector protects front seat passengers from wind at the back of the neck. And for even more ease, a wave of your foot opens a spacious powered trunk — 7.5 cubic feet of cargo area that’s conveniently shaped to squeeze in two golf bags.

Related Guides

Car and Driver cites that in the last 10 years in the United States, car vehicle sales’ share of market dove from about 50% to less than 25%. Take a look and you’ll notice that the only car in a Ford showroom is a Mustang. Premium-car makers have not been immune to this trend as Mercedes-AMG’s car percentage plummeted from 80% early in the 2000s to less than 30% in 2021. With the brand’s two-seaters under particular pressure, the SL includes 2+2 front-rear seating for the first time since 1989. This isn’t a bad thing, though, making a more spacious and versatile SL. 

Another market concession Mercedes-AMG made is adding standard all-wheel drive, which was never before an option on previous versions. This change acknowledges how hard it is to sell rear-drive cars in northern latitudes with all-wheel drive now ubiquitous.

Mercedes has not announced how much the SL will cost when it hits dealers in the first half of 2022, but consumers can expect a price north of $100,000 for such luxury and forward-thinking vision. Check out the video below to get a view of SL history and the new ride in action. 

Read More: Drive All the AMG Rides with Mercedes-Benz’s Vehicle Subscription Service

Editors' Recommendations

Matthew Denis
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Matt Denis is an on-the-go remote multimedia reporter, exploring arts, culture, and the existential in the Pacific Northwest…
The all-new 2024 Mercedes AMG GT Coupe: First look
Mercedes-AMG unveils its second-gen GT Coupe
Front view of a second gen Mercedes-AMG coupe

Mercedes-AMG has unveiled the second generation of its GT Coupe. The original four-door model was unveiled back in 2018 and packed a four-liter V8 with a twin-turbo strapped to it. While many automakers may be shying away from big, high-performance engines in an effort to cut down on emissions, Mercedes has decided against neutering its new flagship.

Under the hood, you'll find a "handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 Biturbo engine." Actual output depends on the model. The AMG GT 55 Coupe will produce 469 horsepower, while the AMG GT 63 Coupe can belt out 577. The lightweight composite aluminum structure that makes up the GT Coupe's body and other lightweight materials like magnesium and fiber composites ensure the already impressive power has a huge impact.

Read more
Mercedes-Benz’s new EQE EV SUV pricing is out, and it’s well over six figures
If you finance an EQE, your payment is likely going to be around $1,000 per month
mercedes-benz eqe

Mercedes-AMG EQE SUV Mercedes-Benz / Mercedes-Benz

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Sure, it wasn't long ago that cars like the Chevrolet EV1, Fisker Karma, or even the original Tesla Roadster were considered unusual to the point of being bizarre. But then, it wasn't that long ago that the idea of watching movies, banking, and learning another language all at the same time on your phone would have sounded like the ramblings of an insane person. And while those early niche cars didn't quite pan out, they did pave the way for some very impressive electric cars today.

Read more
Mercedes-AMG debuts the most powerful AMG GLC SUV model
Mercedes-AMG unveils the fastest AMG GLC model with a hybrid engine
Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 SE Performance on the road.

 

In 2022, Mercedes-Benz introduced the second-generation GLC model. The 2023 Mercedes-Benz GLC was fully redesigned with newly updated headlights, a grille, and a rear bumper. Better yet, the interior was updated with a modern infotainment system with fewer physical buttons.

Read more