New spy shots give us our best look yet at the upcoming eighth-generation Mercedes-Benz SL ahead of is official reveal next year.
The prototype bears a strong resemblance to that which featured in official images released by Mercedes earlier this year, but for the first time the roadster's removable roof can be seen undisguised. The SL shows a clear family resemblance to the AMG GT, while a sporty new exhaust tip design suggests this is the top-rung SL63 variant.
It's not clear what material the roof is made from, but camouflage on previous protoypes seemingly confirmed Autocar’s previous reporting 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.
The SL is set to be revived as a lighter, faster and more engaging model partly inspired by the brand’s motorsport roots, which is why overall development duties have been assigned to the AMG performance division. It will be the first time AMG has overseen development of any SL across its previous seven generations.
Under its thinning camouflage, the SL shows off a long, sloping bonnet, prominent rear haunches and an angular front grille design. The rounded rear end is similar to that of the Mercedes-AMG GT sports car, which will share a platform with the SL in its next iteration.
Last year, then-AMG boss Tobias Moers confirmed that the SL, which will go on sale by 2021, will be “aligned” with the next AMG GT. The duo's shared aluminium-intensive platform, known as the Modular Sports Architecture (MSA), will increase the economies of scale and overall profitability of two of Mercedes’ most exclusive model lines.
“We’re bringing back the historic DNA of the SL," he said. "It's far sportier [this time round]. It will have a perfect compromise between driving dynamics and comfort, because it’s still kind of a cruiser, too.”
He also confirmed that the eighth-generation SL would be offered only as a roadster, like its predecessor. It is expected to go on sale in the UK towards the end of 2021.