While the new Mercedes-AMG SL launched exclusively with V8s, it may be getting a variant with just half of those cylinders if a new report is to be believed. According to Germany's MB Passion Blog, an entry-level SL43 is coming and will rock a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.
Said to possibly become available as early as March, the SL43 could use a variant of the new C-Class' M254 mild-hybrid engine tuned to make 390 horsepower with 20 extra hp available via electricity. The turbocharger here will also apparently feature a 48-volt electric motor driving the compressor wheel, eliminating turbo lag. Style-wise, MBPB says this 43 model will get round twin exhaust tips instead of the squared-off quads found on the current versions.
For comparison's sake, the AMG-only SL is currently available exclusively as a 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V8 in either SL55 or SL63 guise. The former makes 469 horses while the latter is turned up to 577 ponies.
Per the same report, Mercedes is also said to be preparing a plug-in hybrid SL, a four-cylinder variant of the next-gen AMG GT, and a C43 sedan that uses the same four-cylinder as the alleged SL43.
I've reached out to Mercedes for comment and will update this story when we hear back.
Silver Arrow fans with long memories will remember that this would not be the first SL to get a four-pot. From 1955 to 1963, Mercedes built the 190 SL—a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, entry-level alternative to the legendary 300 SL Gullwing. Ever since then, though, the grand tourer Benz has exclusively been powered by straight-sixes, V8s, and V12s.
That said, something tells me most SL43 buyers won't see it as any sort of spiritual successor to the 190 SL but rather a cut-price, more efficient way to live the Mercedes SL rock star life.
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