Latest Update: 2023 Mercedes AMG SL 43 Roadster revealed in May 2023, with a price tag of $110,000.
The Mercedes SL has a rich history of powerful engines, including V12 options, but the current R232 model initially arrived with a V8 engine. However, in a surprising move, AMG introduced the SL43 in April 2022, equipped with a four-cylinder engine. Now, in May 2023, the base version of this luxurious 2+2 convertible has been confirmed for release in the United States, starting at $109,900, excluding destination fees and options.
Compared to its higher-powered siblings, the SL55 and SL63, the base SL43 is significantly more affordable, priced $27,500 below the SL55 and an impressive $68,200 below the SL63. The SL43 features a variation of the M139 engine, which is found in the AMG "45" compact cars, with a transverse configuration, and in the new AMG C63, where it is installed longitudinally. Given that the SL is a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, the engine’s orientation is longitudinal. Notably, the SL43 stands out as the first production model to incorporate an electric exhaust gas turbocharger, borrowing technology derived from Formula 1.
Under the hood, the SL43 boasts a four-cylinder, 2.0-liter engine that delivers 375 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque, channeled to the rear axle. The engine’s unique adaptation of F1 technology includes a 1.6-inch electric motor integrated onto the turbocharger shaft. This motor’s purpose is to spin the compressor wheel before the exhaust gas flow engages, resulting in improved throttle response throughout the entire rpm range.
Thanks to its intricate four-cylinder powertrain, the SL43 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 4.8 seconds, with a top speed electronically limited to 170 mph. While the weight of the US-spec model hasn’t been specified, the European version tips the scales at 1,810 kilograms (3,990 pounds).
The 2023 SL43 will make its way to US dealerships this summer, exclusively available with rear-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include 19-inch wheels, but customers can upgrade to larger 20- or 21-inch alloys. In terms of design, the entry-level SL43 sports its own distinctive front fascia, rear apron, and round exhaust tips to differentiate it from its V8-powered counterparts.
With the SL now featuring a four-cylinder engine, it raises the question of whether the upcoming next-generation AMG GT Coupe, set to debut later this year, will also introduce a base "43" model. Both vehicles have been developed concurrently by AMG, with the SL taking the place of the GT Roadster, adding an exciting dynamic to the AMG lineup.
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