While thewon’t make its full debut until later this year, Mercedes on Tuesday released the first photos of the new droptop’s interior, which it says is “hyperanalog.” I’ll get to what that means in just a sec, but the biggest deal is that the seventh-generation SL will feature back seats for only the second time in its history.
The only other SL to offer a rear seat was the R129 generation that debuted in 1989, and the US never got the four-seat setup. As you can see from the photos, Porsche 911 and Lotus Evora. But having an extra set of seats in a pinch makes the new SL more practical as a daily driver, especially because a golf bag or other luggage can be set back there. If the rear seat isn’t needed, a wind deflector can be affixed.back seat is gonna be pretty damn tight for anyone but children. Mercedes calls it a 2+2, in the vein of cars like the
When it comes to the rest of the interior the design is a little more retro than you may expect from a modern Mercedes. “Hyperanalog” refers to the designers combining analog shapes and controls with digital elements, with the interior also being a nice mix of sportiness and luxury. The brand says it was inspired by the original 300SL, with a horizontal theme that’s also reminiscent of the current AMG GT. The top of the dashboard is shaped a bit like an airplane’s wing, with four turbine air vents affixed like jet engines. The lower part of the dash wraps around onto the door cards and is finished in contrasting leather, at least on this car.
The main event is the portrait-oriented, 11.9-inch touchscreen nabbed from the new C-Class, running the brand’s latest MBUX infotainment system. But in a first for Mercedes, the angle of the screen is electronically adjustable, so when the top is down you can easily combat glare on the display. It’s set on top of a metallic frame on the center console that surrounds a storage cubby (likely for cupholders). It looks a little out of place at first, but I think this is the best application of Mercedes’ new screen yet — overall I’m a really big fan of how the SL’s interior looks.
Unlike on other models where it’s free-standing, the SL’s 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster is set into an aviation-inspired pod that combats glare and looks more interesting to boot. Mercedes says multiple seat designs will be offered, including an AMG Performance seat option, and there will be a range of upholsteries including quilted nappa leather and microsuede. Also expect trim options like real aluminum and carbon fiber, and as this is a modern Mercedes, there’s fabulous configurable ambient lighting.
The new SL will only be available as an AMG, effectively replacing the current GT roadster. That doesn’t mean it will have a basic engine lineup, though — expect multiple versions of AMG’s inline-six and twin-turbo V8 engines, with the top-end SL73 getting a plug-in-hybrid setup. All-wheel drive will be available for the first time ever, and there’s even the possibility of a four-cylinder model. The new SL will also ditch the folding hardtop for a powered cloth roof.