The next Mercedes-Benz SL is set to be built on the same platform as the AMG GT models, in a move aimed at providing with the new roadster with added performance potential and dynamic flair following dwindling sales of the current model.
The switch in platform follows a decision by Mercedes to hand the lead engineering responsibilities for the new SL to AMG, which has secretly been developing the upmarket roadster at its Stuttgart headquarters in a development programme running parallel to its own GT roadster, first revealed at the Paris motor show in September.
The shared platform will provide AMG with greater economies of scale in development, production procurement and engineering operations, according to sources familiar with the German car maker’s future new model plans.
They say the decision to twin the SL with the GT has allowed AMG to channel resources into further derivatives of the GT, including a planned hard-core Black Series model that will sit above the recently introduced GT R at the very top of the Mercedes-Benz performance car division’s line-up when it is launched later this decade.
Arriving in 2019
Scheduled for introduction in 2019, the new rear-wheel drive SL will adopt the same underpinnings as the two-year-old GT coupe and its more recent roadster with a front longitudinally mounted engine and transaxle mounted at the rear for optimal weight distribution.
The new driveline layout replaces the more conventional E-Class based set-up used in the past two generations of the SL.
In further synergies between the SL and the GT line-up, the new upmarket roadster is also set to feature a specially tuned version of its AMG sibling’s largely aluminium double wishbone suspension system, with the likelihood of an optional Air Body Control set-up with multi chamber air plungers featuring on selected models.