Due to ride on what Mercedes-Benz calls the Modular Sports car Architecture (MSA), the next-generation SL-Class will find itself between a rock and a hard place. That’s because the advent of the GT 2-seater and S-Class Cabriolet have made it harder for the current-generation SL-Class to fit in with the rest of the lineup.
In production since 2012 and updated for the 2017 model year, the R231-generation SL-Class is, arguably, a bit of a flop. The upcoming model, however, is expected to wash away the sins of its not-that-sporty-nor-lightweight predecessor. Purportedly codenamed R232, a new report on the next SL-Class states that 2+2 seating is a possibility worthy of consideration.
Here’s the tell-tale passage from Auto Bild: “you don’t need much imagination to imagine the new SL as a 2+2-seater.” The phrasing is, without a shadow of a doubt, the making of someone gifted with a wild imagination. The German publication suggests that the 2+2 seating configuration would be welcome as a means to make the SL more distinctive in the brand’s open-top lineup.
The thing is, a 4-seater SL-Class would then cannibalize the S-Class Cabriolet. It’s rather clear, then, that the possibility for the SL to go 4+4 is low. Yet another argument toward the SL retaining its 2-seater layout comes in the form of spy pics of the all-new model, hiding as a shrunken S63 Coupe. Mercedes-AMG, the skunkworks behind the awe-inspiring GT, is said to be behind the development of the next SL in terms of chassis development.
In this regard, hearsay suggests that the upcoming MSA platform (Modulare Sportwagen Architektur) will act as the basis for the SL, GT, and SLC. For the full-blooded SL63, the next-gen model will most likely adopt the 4.0-liter biturbo V8 from the W213 E63, along with the 4Matic+ all-wheel-drive system. Whatever the future holds, the only solid information we have on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz SL is a batch of spy photos portraying a test mule.
2019 Mercedes-Benz SL Rumored to Go 2+2 - autoevolution