Winter is over and it’s time for the next-generation Mercedes-Benz SL to enter the next phase in its development. Following a comprehensive round of winter testing in Sweden, the sexy two-seater is back at the Nurburgring for a high-speed test session. Our spy photographers were there to shoot the new SL and the attached gallery below is the result of their work.

Obviously, the R&D work is far from over as this prototype still features camouflage foil covering its entire body. However, compared to earlier test cars, we can now see more of the vehicle’s front fascia. There’s a striking blue colour sneaking underneath the camouflaged front bumper, hinting at the final product’s available colour palette. Also worth noting is that this prototype rides on chunky tyres, different from the winter set of the previous trial cars.

Gallery: 2022 Mercedes-Benz SL spied on Nurburgring

At a glance, a new SL may seem a little risky in the era of crossovers and SUVs, but the roadster is among the most important models in the brand’s history. To ensure it has a product that stands out from everything else that’s available on the market, Mercedes will use help from its performance division. For the first time, AMG will be directly involved in the development process and the new SL will share many components with the upcoming second-generation AMG GT

In fact, every version of the new roadster will be sold under AMG branding. Even the base 2.0-litre engine will offer impressive numbers with a projected output of about 400 bhp (298 kilowatts). A twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 should power the AMG SL63, while the flagship version is expected to get the best of Mercedes-AMG’s hybrid developments in the form of a high-performance plug-in hybrid system with as much as 800 bhp (597 kW). Of course, these are still preliminary details that haven't been confirmed by the automaker yet.

“Set to make its debut later this year,” the new SL should go on sale in the final weeks of 2021 or early next year. We expect more prototypes to be spied on the Nurburgring in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.