2021 Mercedes-Benz SL spied

Developed by AMG, the new SL will be sportier than today's car and share a lot in common with the AMG GT.
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The next-generation Mercedes-Benz SL has been spied ahead of its global launch some time in 2021.

Last year Tobias Moers, head of Mercedes-AMG, confirmed his division was leading development of the new SL, which rumours indicate will be available exclusively as a roadster.

It's understood the upcoming SL and the second-generation AMG GT will be based on the Modular Sports Architecture. This should improve the economies of scale for both models, and make the new SL a lighter and sportier vehicle than today's iteration.

Compared to the current SL, the new version has a lengthened bonnet and an improved door-to-axle ratio.

While the last few generations of the SL have featured a folding hardtop roof, the new car looks as though it will switch back to a fabric top. The shift simplifies the design of the rear haunches and boot, and further reduces weight.

This prototype has a prominent lightning bolt warning sign indicating it has an electrified drivetrain of some sort, most likely the company's EQ Boost 48V mild hybrid system, which incorporates an integrated starter motor capable of giving a 16kW boost for short bursts.

Under the bonnet, the new SL is likely to feature turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six and 4.0-litre V8 engines.

As Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Källenius confirmed the next-generation S-Class will be available with a V12 engine, there's a possibility 12-cylinder power could also be employed in the new SL.