Mercedes Reveals Interior For All New Generation SL
The Mercedes SL should not exist. It currently doesn’t because it was discontinued in 2020 to make way for an all-generation that is set to launch in 2022. That being said, the SL should have been discontinued 5 years ago. Annual sales were miserable. Let’s take a quick look at U.S sales. Annual sales during 2019 totaled 1,191. Throughout the pandemic stricken 2020 Mercedes managed to shift 1,781 SLs. Canada was the worst performer, Mercedes sold just 135 units in 2019 and 145 units during 2020. Europe shows a similar trend, in 2019 the SL found 998 new owners. During 2020 sales dropped to 552. The biggest sales period for the SL occurred in 2002. When the R230 was introduced European sales tripped over 15K.
Since 2002 sales of the SL have gradually declined. And why would you buy a Mercedes SL when you can get the Bentley Continental for not much more money? But Mercedes is intent on keeping the SL alive. Perhaps it has become a showcase, or it is an alternative marketing platform, a lifestyle choice aimed at the mental wellbeing market. Whatever the reason Mercedes is continuing to fund the SL’s existence. And here it is, the first official pictures of the 2022 Mercedes SL, albeit an interior reveal.
Mercedes have re-introduced the 2+2 seating configuration. That’s a big thing in the automotive world. Because motoring journalists have very little to say. But in reality, it means cramped rear seating. Not good for mental wellbeing. Nevertheless, the new interior borrows heavily from the interior design of the Mercedes S Class. Which leans a lot on the Tesla Model S.
So, the SL interior is dominated by a central, portrait-mounted 11.9-inch infotainment touchscreen with quick access buttons neatly arranged in-line for ancillary controls. The instrument binnacle is also fully digital and separately mounted. The interior design was inspired by the roadsters of the 1950s. The SL has always focused on luxury and no doubt the 2022 SL looks like Mercedes luxury. But it can never match the bespoke luxury nor the exclusivity offered by the likes of Bentley.
Of course, Mercedes will offer a myriad of technology, performance and luxury interior options… but as I said, the SL can not match the bespoke nature of a Bentley Continental. The SL is scheduled to replace the AMG GT Roadster. We don’t know how the product planning works at Mercedes but the AMG GT despite its limited volume, is selling more than the SL.
The new Mercedes SL will be built on an all-new chassis. Steel, aluminum and, composite materials and magnesium are used throughout to keep weight down. Mercedes says the new chassis will offer improved structural integrity by around 45-percent which will improve ride and handling.
Prices are expected to start from $100K. But if I were in the fortunate position to be able to afford such a car I would go for the Bentley Continental GT. And no we are not being sponsored by Bentley.