MERCEDES-AMG SL55 4MATIC+
MERCEDES’ SL IS NO NEWCOMER TO ECOTY. It’s appeared in a couple of iterations over the decades and while it’s never troubled the podium, each has been admired by many and desired by a few. An all-new SL designed and developed by AMG rather than Mercedes could buck that trend and see the roadster become a challenger for the first time.
On paper it certainly appears to have what that goal would require, including an aluminium chassis into which is installed Mercedes’ latest adaptive four-wheel-drive system, air-suspension, every conceivable driver aid and a 4-litre, twin-turbocharged V8. The range-topping 577bhp SL63 hadn’t arrived by the time ecoty took place, but the SL55’S 469bhp version of AMG’S twin-turbocharged V8 should be plenty in a car that’s as much GT as it is a hot rod.
Speaking of which, the SL has the toughest assignment here as it is the only car among our contenders that serves a dual role. But while no one is expecting it to be as cutting edge and focused as others in the test, its broader remit and different approach could give it the advantage required to rise above its more extreme competitors here.
We have also thrown the new SL in at the deep end. This is the first time we have had access to the car since its December 2021 launch, so it arrives as a complete unknown to every judge. Yet while this means the SL55 has more to prove during this test, it also comes from a company with more resources than any of its rivals here bar Toyota, so it should hit the ground running.
‘AMG’S INPUT IS CLEAR FROM THE MOMENT YOU APPROACH IT. IT BROODS WITH CONFIDENCE FROM EVERY ANGLE’ – STUART GALLAGHER, EVO.CO.UK