Home / Home / Mercedes-AMG SL 55 4MATIC+ Test Review – Iconic Super Light

 

The all-new Mercedes-AMG SL has finally made it to India. This is the first time an SL has been developed and constructed entirely in Affalterbach. We drive it in its “55 4MATIC+” guise.

Mercedes-AMG SL 55

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

As I open the long door, I am greeted by AMG Performance seats and a lit cabin with streams of ambient lighting setting the interior aglow. The Mercedes-AMG SL is a stunning car to behold and to be in. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

To be fair, I have been following every bit of news on the new Mercedes-AMG SL since I heard they were making it and to say that I was extremely interested in driving it would be a groß understatement. The SL is—and always has been—a pillar of the Mercedes line-up, the heritage beginning with the indomitable 1954 300SL Gullwing and the highlight, for me, being the R129 SL 73 which arrived at the turn of the millennium and, from the more recent previous generations, the 670-hp V12-powered SL 65 AMG Black Series. The next—and final “Benz”—generation came in and signed off with the badge relocated and nomenclature revised. While the new “R232” model does look evolutionary, it combines the many attributes that identify it as a Mercedes-AMG two-door model, while carving its own space as a convertible within the—rather vast—range.

Mercedes-AMG SL 55

The SL, or Super Leicht (super light), is the ultimate expression of sport-luxury, two-door, grand touring from Mercedes, combining premium equipment, super performance, and light dynamics in a stunning package. While this doesn’t have Gullwing doors like its elder sibling, the SLS—AMG’s first car on their own—it has all the genes and hardware for the job—a demanding job in this day and age—on the road. The new Mercedes-AMG SL packs many firsts, including four-wheel drive, rear-wheel steering, and autonomous assistance systems, among several other innovations. It also goes back to a soft-top convertible roof.

First, the styling. The Mercedes-AMG SL 55 looks brilliant as a super sports car but there are some elements—the Panamericana grille, another first for the SL—the lights, and such that make it seem like a “typical” AMG Mercedes if I dare say so myself. Yet it looks and feels special. The exclusive (and optional) “Manufaktur Patagonia Red” finish looks exquisite. The muscular contours and sleek design lines make its form stand out. With the roof down, its silhouette matches that of its arch rival from home, the Porsche 911 Cabriolet.

Mercedes-AMG SL 55

The Mercedes-AMG SL 55 has all top-shelf equipment inside as well. There is no dearth of premium material and creature comforts. Of course, the SL is a purpose-built sports car, so if you need space for two check-in bags, just buy a GLS. This has two mini-seats in the rear, each with a storage net below, two narrow door-pockets, some cubic inches under the centre arm-rest, and a pair of cup-holders. It’s designed to be light and quick. Thus, finding a comfortable driving position is easy. The sport seats hold me well and I settle in quickly, already familiar with the wheel that looks like it came off the AMG GT 4-Door with the twin touch-control slats and the two circular knobs for the car’s performance settings—suspension, driveline, auto start-stop, and spoiler controls—via touch and buttons on the left, and drive modes—Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Individual, and Snow—with the rotary control on the right.

The centrepiece is the new MBUX Navigation Premium with a 11.9-inch tilt-able touchscreen that can be adjusted between 12° and 32° to aid visibility. There is also a 12.3-inch driver display behind the wheel that offers several themes, including “Sport” and “Supersport”. Right, time to hit the road.

More on page 2 >

 

About the author: Jim Gorde

 

Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible immediate future until hydrogen FCEVs take over.

t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia/@jimbosez

 

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