Mercedes-AMG SL undergoes final winter development for series-first 4Matic+ all-wheel drive, fabric roof –

The next-generation Mercedes-AMG SL is undergoing the latter stages of its testing, and as the name indicates, the German manufacturer’s high-performance arm is in charge of the forthcoming roadster’s development, and which has so far been tipped to be dubbed the R232.

Cold-weather testing for the upcoming Mercedes-AMG SL is conducted at a private, closed-off proving ground in Sweden, where the development team finds that “a certain amount of analogue development driving is still essential,” despite a large proportion of roadster’s development taking place in digital form, the firm said in its statement.

Mercedes-AMG also confirms that the SL will receive the fully variable 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system, a first for the SL range in its history, and the wintry climate in Sweden play a key role in the fine tuning of the SL’s driveline. The conditions near the Arctic Circle also help test the robustness of the fabric roof arrangement on the roadster, which is making a comeback after generations of the folding metal roof structure.

Subsequent to the cold-weather testing will be the customary lapping of the Nurburgring Nordschleife, where the firm will be signing off on the roadster’s high-speed attributes and durability. The SL “draws even more than ever on its sporting roots,” says Mercedes-Benz, and should be indicative of sportier bent compared to past generations, especially as this will likely share its architecture with the next Mercedes-AMG GT.

In addition to the V8 engine – turbocharged and displacing 4.0 litres in the modern era – that has become a hallmark of the large Mercedes with AMG blood in its veins, the R232 SL line-up will also feature a six-cylinder version, likely derived from the 3.0 litre inline-six unit that produces 435 PS in AMG 53 models.

Set to take the peak of the SL tree is the SL 73, which has been said previously to feature an electrified V8 powertrain for outputs rumoured to be around 800 hp and 1,000 Nm of torque, according to our earlier sources. The powertrain will feature in the recently confirmed plug-in hybrid Mercedes-AMG GT 73, its electrification denoted by “V8 Biturbo E Performance” badging on its flanks.

With development of the R232-generation Mercedes-AMG SL entering its final stages, a debut could take place around the middle of this year.

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