Arguably the most beautiful car to ever carry the three-pointed star, the original Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing will be revived – at least in spirit – in the long-overdue replacement of the current SL. We’ve been talking about the next-gen model for nearly four years, and yet the wraps won’t come off until 2021. The silver lining is Daimler’s design boss, Gorden Wagener, has now shared some preliminary details in an interview with Autocar.
While the new SL won’t necessarily be a modern tribute to the original 1954 model, it will take “some of that DNA, starting with the proportions, the surface treatment, things like that. In that respect, the new SL is probably the closest to the first one ever.” Wagener mentioned the next-gen car will ditch the grand tourer theme it’s been using for decades and go back to its sporty origins. To get there, AMG is directly involved in the development process, with the next AMG GT and SL being engineered together on the same platform.
Gallery: 2022 Mercedes SL spy photos
That’s not to say the new roadster will simply be a variation of the second-generation AMG GT, with Wagener promising we’ll “clearly see the differences” between the two cars. He considers the first SL to be the most beautiful of all seven generations, and while he’s not keen on the idea of revitalising a retro design, some cues from the original model will have a modern-day equivalent.
While the Mercedes design head honcho didn’t reveal what sort of roof the roadster will adopt, it’s generally believed the heavy and cumbersome hardtop will be replaced by a fabric roof. Not only would it shave off weight, but it’d also boost practicality as the folded roof would occupy significantly less space when folded. A 2+2 layout has been mooted, along with the return of the legendary SL73.
In fact, Mercedes-AMG is seemingly working on an expanded family of “73” models, which will all feature an electrified twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 engine with roughly 800 bhp. The first car to get the hybrid powertrain is the AMG GT 73 Four-Door Coupe due later this year.