Mercedes-Benz planning sportier SL for 2021

The next-gen GT will share some of its parts with the SL.

The current-generation Mercedes-Benz SL (pictured) is more at home on the French Riviera than on the Nürburgring. The German firm wants to shift the balance towards performance as it develops the next generation of its emblematic roadster.

"We're bringing back the historic DNA of the SL. It's far sportier [this time around]. It will have a perfect compromise between driving dynamics and comfort because it's still kind of a cruiser too," promised AMG boss Tobias Moers during a recent interview with British magazine Autocar.

Mercedes-Benz put Moers' team in charge of developing the next SL to ensure it lives up to the image cast by its sportiest predecessors. Offered only as a roadster, the eighth-generation SL will ride on the same aluminum-intensive Modular Sports Architecture (MSA) platform as the model that will replace the AMG GT. The architecture will help engineers make the SL lighter and quicker on its feet in spite of the weight added by the mild hybrid technology every variant will come with.

Switching back to a cloth soft top is another weight-saving measure the SL is expected to adopt. As a bonus, ditching the folding hard top is giving designers more freedom to take the SL in a more shapely direction. It will continue to offer a luxurious, high interior, and it will adopt a 2+2 layout.

Mercedes-Benz will present the next-generation SL by 2021, still according to Autocar. That time frame suggests we might see it previewed by a close-to-production concept before the end of 2020, and it means the model may not arrive in American showrooms until the 2022 model year.

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