2022 Mercedes-Benz SL Beauty's Skin Deep

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz SL is a timed release. Its dramatic entrance will come before the end of 2021. Before its arrival, will you tire of it, or be that much more enthralled?

Previously, we saw SL prototypes drifting in the snow, showing off their all-wheel drive (AWD) capabilities. Now the automaker wants you to see beneath the surface, reinforcing the rigidity of its composite aluminum structure.

If you owned an original SL, it had a space frame with the lowest weight and highest torsional rigidity.

The 2022 SL combines a lightweight composite aluminum chassis and a self-supporting structure. Neither any preceding SL nor the AMG GT roadster provided any part to the new 2022.

“The body shell design team was faced with the overall development of the new SL, starting from scratch, without any existing structure,” said Jochen Hermann, Chief Technical Officer of Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

“We reconciled the high package demands, while achieving excellent rigidity with a favorable weight, providing agile driving dynamics and exceptional comfort,” Hermann said.

The requirements for the new roadster were more comprehensive scope than its predecessor. The 2+2 layout with 2+2 seats and a number of drive systems created complex challenges. The driving performance characteristics of the brand, plus comfort and safety were all taken into account.

The space frame, the basis of the SL’s success 70 years ago, was very light with high torsional rigidity. However, regular doors were not possible due to their entrance height, which resulted in the original’s gullwing doors.

Today’s frame construction design can cope with tensile and compressive stress. Closed triangles transfer stress to a tubular pyramid at the engine compartment’s end.

Aluminum, steel, magnesium, and fiber composite intelligent material composition ensures the highest possible rigidity in conjunction with low weight in the new SL.

The magnesium instrument panel support, along with the carbon fiber front module cover bridge demonstrates the effort to achieve the best possible diverse material use.

SL production will take place at the Bremen plant where its predecessor was built.

[Images: Mercedes-Benz]

Jason R. Sakurai
Jason R. Sakurai

With a father who owned a dealership, I literally grew up in the business. After college, I worked for GM, Nissan and Mazda, writing articles for automotive enthusiast magazines as a side gig. I discovered you could make a living selling ad space at Four Wheeler magazine, before I moved on to selling TV for the National Hot Rod Association. After that, I started Roadhouse, a marketing, advertising and PR firm dedicated to the automotive, outdoor/apparel, and entertainment industries. Through the years, I continued writing, shooting, and editing. It keep things interesting.

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2 of 5 comments
  • GregLocock GregLocock on May 20, 2021

    "If you owned an original SL, it had a space frame with the lowest weight and highest torsional rigidity." Could somebody translate that into meaningful English?

  • JaySeis JaySeis on May 20, 2021

  • Alan Like all testing and analysis work you need a good set of requirements. If you don't you'll find or end up with gaps.
  • Alan In aviation there is more vigourous testing, well, until Boeing changed things.
  • Alan This outcome was certain.The US, Australia and Canada need to approach this differently. A policy towards plug in hybrids should of been a first step. As in CAFE gradually tighten FE from there.There's no reason why you can't have a 2 litre F-150 with electric motors putting out 400-500hp. A 2 litre turbo is good for 200hp more than enough to move a pickup.Also increase fuel tax/excise every year to fill the void in loss of revenue.
  • Doug brockman hardly. Their goals remain to punish us by mandating unsafe unreliable unaffordable battery powered cars
  • Lorenzo It looks like the curves are out and the boxy look is back. There's an upright windscreen, a decided lack of view obstructing swoop in the rear side panels, and you can even see out of the back window. Is Lexus borrowing from the G-Class Mercedes, or the Range Rover?