Especially since World War II ended, two-seat sports cars have enjoyed iconic status at Mercedes-Benz, as anyone who’s attempted to buy a 300 SL from the 1950s at an auction recently can attest. All such cars, including the R107 generation whose numbers seem to be a fixed element of any such sale, enjoy significant fan followings today. Especially in the case of the R107 and its successors, the SLs have largely been luxurious, compliant, easy to drive and possessed of relentless build quality. In many cases, their generally docile road manners have blunted some onlookers’ willingness to consider them true sports cars in the guts-out mode. The newest generation of these eternally popular roadsters will likely do a lot to change that perception.
The seventh distinct generation of the Sports Leicht class since 1954 will debut later this year, built on the new R232 platform. For the first time, the SL will be an AMG-massaged performance model only, making the new roadster’s official name the 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL. It will also be the first SL-Class offering in Mercedes-Benz history built with all-wheel drive as standard, and will also be the first such roadster offered in a 2+2 seating arrangement since the R129 generation of 1989. Mercedes-Benz has just teased a look at its interior, which will feature a combined-language display of analog and digital information it’s calling hyperanalog, which will be expressed via an 11.9-inch adjustable touchscreen integrated in a sun visor, which can be power-repositioned with the soft (this generation SL will eschew the auxiliary removable hardtop that’s commonly been part of the line) top lowered to diminish solar glare. The occasional rear seats, incidentally, can be covered by a wind deflector or used as auxiliary storage.