Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Crash tests from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) haven’t happened and most likely won’t: Neither agency makes it a priority to test high-dollar, low-volume luxury sports cars. Mercedes-Benz hasn’t released any information about available driver-assistance features, but we anticipate the best and most modern tech to make its way to the 2022 SL-class. Key safety features likely include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control with a semi-autonomous driving mode
With a legacy that stretches back all the way to the original 300SL Gullwing, the Mercedes-Benz SL-class is a true automotive icon. Recent examples haven’t been as impressive as expected and a host of newer two-door four-seat grand-touring convertibles have crowded the field, but we’re happy to report that Mercedes is working on a new SL-class that will launch in 2021 as a 2022 model. The 2022 SL-class will share a platform with the Mercedes-AMG GT sports car, so performance and handling should be a big step up from what the 2020 model offered. Details are scarce so far, but we expect both six- and eight-cylinder engine options, a luxurious and tech-heavy cabin, and a folding fabric roof in place of the last-generation car’s power hardtop.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
We expect the 2022 SL-class to have Benz’s most modern powertrains, featuring 48-volt hybrid systems to mitigate turbo lag. The entry-level SL450 will likely borrow the turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six from the CLS450, which pumps out a healthy 362 horsepower in that application. The step-up V-8-powered model—likely called SL580—will presumably boast the 483-hp twin-turbo 4.0-liter from the GLE-class and GLS-class. Such powertrains will allow the revived SL-class to take on convertible versions of the BMW 8-series and the Lexus LC, both of which are offered with powerful V-8 engines.