Updated: Mercedes-AMG Cuts SL 63 Roadster Ahead of Model’s Upcoming Replacement
AMG’s venerable twin-turbo 5.5-liter finally ends its production, too.
We’ll forgive you for forgetting that Mercedes-AMG still produced the SL 63 Roadster, what with its newer, svelter, more powerful AMG GT Roadster sibling taking up much of the public’s attention. But after its nearly eight-year production, Mercedes-AMG has pulled the plug and the SL 63 Roadster is no more.
The news broke on CarBuzz, which saw that Mercedes-Benz had removed the SL 63 Roadster from its global offerings across its websites. CarBuzz then confirmed with Mercedes-Benz that there would be no SL 63 Roadster for the 2020 model year. This, though, shouldn’t come as a surprise for a number of reasons, nor should you panic that Mercedes-Benz is killing the nameplate.
First, as compared to the rest of Mercedes-AMG’s lineup, the SL 63 Roadster is ancient. The SL platform became the brand’s oldest offering after Mercedes-Benz killed the SLC earlier this year. As for the SL 63 Roadster itself, the nearly eight-year-old model is also the last AMG powered by the now-obsolete twin-turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 engine after Mercedes-AMG switched to the more fuel- and emissions-efficient twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 and the all-new mild-hybrid 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder in its 53-badged models.
Second, and far more importantly, Mercedes-Benz is getting the model’s replacement ready. According to Tobias Moers, Mercedes-AMG’s head boss, there’s an eighth-generation SL currently being developed, and in conjunction with a second-generation AMG GT, which is set to debut sometime in 2021. The eighth-generation SL is set to include standard gas, hybrid, and all-electric variants, and will likely include an AMG-ified iteration which will replace the SL 63 Roadster’s hole now in the lineup.
But specifics aren’t set on what the new SL will look like. Autocar quoted an unnamed AMG official, who said, “[The SL] is being kept secret at the moment, but AMG is heading the engineering of the new [generation]. It’s going to be a vastly different proposition to today’s model.” And indeed, from recent rumors, the forthcoming car could be greatly different with a hybrid, all-wheel drive drivetrain being one of the top rumors circulating the industry.
The Mercedes-Benz SL nameplate is one that won't go away. Though it lost some of its luster compared to previous iterations, including the now beloved and ludicrously valued SLS, the SL is still part of Mercedes-Benz’s history and continues to deliver the brand recognition companies need to survive. So despite initial reports from other publications, the sky isn’t falling and the world won’t have to survive too long without an AMG-powered SL Roadster. We’ll just have to wait and see what it takes the shape of.
For the time being, those craving a Mercedes-Benz “Super-Leicht” can still purchase either the SL 450 Roadster or the SL 550 Roadster, which features a 362 horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 or a 449 horsepower twin-turbocharged 4.7-liter V8, respectively.
UPDATE: After publishing, The Drive spoke to Mercedes-Benz which stated, "Mercedes-AMG can confirm that the SL63 production has concluded, and according to plan. I can offer that Mercedes-AMG confirmed earlier this year that they have assumed development responsibilities for the next-generation SL, but have no additional details to offer at this time."
Until then, will you miss the SL 63 Roadster or is the AMG GT the drop-top Mercedes you’d want in your garage?