The AMG GT is stealing all the thunder of another exclusive, pricey vehicle from parent company Mercedes-Benz, and crossovers are eating up what’s left of the sales. The Mercedes-Benz SL is not doing so well, in other words. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s ready to be put out to pasture.
In fact, Mercedes is currently working on the next version of its luxury convertible grand tourer, now heading toward the end of its sixth generation. What’s in store for the seventh generation? According to CEO Dieter Zetsche, bold steps to produce a stunning car.
Those words came from Dr Z as he spoke to at the Geneva auto show. He went on to say that previously, when the SL-Class was reworked to be more daring then the prior model, it did well in sales. A new generation will certainly need to pack in the “wow,” because serious competition abounds both inside the expanding Mercedes family and outside from other makers who want a piece of the sexy, pricey, exclusive sports tourer market.
If you asked us whether you should buy a current SL, we’d probably steer you up towards either the AMG GTC or an S-Class coupe. Both of those are better vehicles. Heck, an E-Class convertible may be a smarter buy right now.
But we don’t expect Mercedes to let that remain the case much longer. The next SL-Class is undergoing testing at the hands of AMG engineers. In other words, the more sporting side of the family is testing the next grand tourer. And we should expect it to be quite grand indeed when it eventually lands. The family design language has gotten smarter, we gather, and the engine tech has gotten better since the current SL-Class was shipped out back in 2013.
It will soon be time to say goodbye to the R231 (the current SL’s project designation) so we can say hello to a successor, which should prove to be more in line with the best from Benz.