Mercedes-AMG has revealed new details of the composite aluminium body shell used by the all-new SL roadster, due later this year.
Mercedes claims the development process was particularly challenging given this new SL features a 2+2 seating arrangement, and will accommodate a wider variety of powertrain options. The priorities, it says, were to "present the driving performance characteristic of the brand with a focus on lateral and longitudinal dynamics, as well as to meet the high expectations in terms of comfort and safety".
A combination of aluminium, steel, magnesium and fibre composites was selected for the best balance of lightness and rigidity, with the new SL boasting an 18% increase in stiffness over the old model. Transverse rigidity, AMG claims, is up 50% over the AMG GT Roadster, while longitudinal rigidity has been boosted by 40%.
The main body shell - without the doors, bonnet, boot lid and other exterior fixings - weighs 270kg.
Recently, the firm released images of the upcoming SL roadster undergoing winter testing, ahead of its official reveal in summer.
The reborn convertible will square off against the Porsche 911 Cabriolet with a range of hybridised straight-six and V8 engine options.
The images showed multiple SL variants side-by-side in minimal disguise, highlighting two different fabric roof options. This confirms Autocar’s previous reports that the SL will arrive with a traditional fabric hood in place of the folding hard-top arrangement that has been used for the past two incarnations.
Mercedes also confirmed that the 2+2-seat SL will be sold under the AMG brand only and will be offered with fully variable 4Matic+ all-wheel drive. While much of the SL's development was handled virtually, final on-road testing will soon include the north loop of the Nürburgring, hinting at the car's sporting ambition.