Mercedes-AMG SL to replace AMG GT Roadster: report – paultan.org04/05/2021
The Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster will be phased out of the German automaker’s product line-up when the next-generation Mercedes-AMG SL makes its debut, said Mercedes-AMG CEO Philipp Schiemer in an interview with Car and Driver. Dubbed R232 for its latest iteration, the upcoming SL has been revealed by the automaker last month to be undergoing its final stages of testing.
Now under the responsibility of Mercedes-AMG, the R232 SL has been designed to be a ‘more balanced car than the GT’ with a wide spread of characteristics, according to the magazine. Schiemer also hinted at a car that, while set to be perfectly suited to lazy cruising, it will reflect the fact that “the roots of the SL are in racing,” the magazine wrote.
Its newfound sportiness could be attributed to, among other aspects, the weight savings from its return to a fabric roof construction, compared to the current model’s arrangement of a folding metal roof. In terms of powertrain, the R232 SL will likely start its range with a version of the 3.0 litre inline-six engine from AMG 53 models, while the V8 versions can be expected to continue to be the 4.0 litre biturbo V8 units.
On Mercedes-AMG’s direction in terms of electrification, Schiemer also described the forthcoming ‘P3’ hybrid powertrain as the next step in Formula 1-derived high-performance battery technology which was first used in the Project One.
This is aimed at carrying on where the Project One will eventually conclude, as “it is enormously difficult to meet the regulatory requirements, and we want to build cars that are street-legal everywhere,” the CEO of Mercedes-AMG said. For that reason, “it is safe to assume that there will never again be such as extreme project [as the Project One],” Schiemer said.
The heart of the new plug-in hybrid powertrains from Mercedes-AMG is the AMG High Performance Battery (HPB), which weighs 89 kg, has an energy capacity of 6.1 kWh and attains energy density of 1.7 kW/kg. This however does not mean that all future AMGs will be either PHEVs or fully electric, as every AMG will have some form of electrification, though this will include 48-volt hybrids without plug-in capability, said Schiemer.
The firm’s 3.0 litre inline-six engine will not have the P3 architecture applied to it, for instance, as “these engines are not pure AMG engines, and the P3 drivetrain is specifically designed for our AMG engines, he said. The next iteration of the CLA 45 and GLA 45 won’t be PHEVs, and the R232 SL will be offered as both 48-volt and PHEV versions, Schiemer added.
For the AMG brand overall, Schiemer pointed out that his task is to carry the performance division into the electric era and to “speak to a younger, more female customer base besides our heritage customers,” he said, adding that “we will not be politically correct.” Any guesses what that might mean?
GALLERY: R232 Mercedes-AMG SL 53, 63 spyshots
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