The Mercedes-Benz SL has a long and colorful history. What started life as a lightweight coupe (with gullwing doors) and a roadster has evolved throughout the decades. That particular model even has a place in local pop culture as Mr. Slim (ask your dad or tito about it).
The third and fourth generation SL Roadsters became a bit of a must-have of celebrities too, with folks like Michael Jordan, Bob Marley, and Princess Diana owning one at some point.
But now, the SL is in a bit of an odd place these days. It's neither sporty nor light, which is what SL stood for in the first place. If you want something lightweight and sporty, there's the AMG GT Roadster. On the flip side, if you want a big top-down, there's the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet. So, where does that leave SL in this day and age?
Well, Mercedes-Benz still believes there is a place for the SL in its wide range of cars. As it turns out, the German automaker's original roadster is alive and kicking. They are even getting ready for the next-generation model.
At the same time the S-Class was being launched, Mercedes-Benz also gave a sneak peek of the all-new SL Roadster. For now, it's what we would call an official spy shot. The photos came from Mercedes-Benz, but the car still wears heavy camouflage and false panels. For now, then, we can't see the next-generation SL Roadster will look.
So what will the future Mercedes-Benz SL have? It will likely get the new turbocharged inline-six and V8 engines. It's also possible that it will get mild-hybrid power across the range. That metal-folding roof might still make an appearance, given that the car has had it since 2002. As for tech, we might see some of the goodies from the S-Class to be available, or standard, in the future SL. At the moment, there is no mention of a launch date.
However, it does show that Mercedes-Benz isn't giving up on the SL. After all, it is the longest-running nameplate from the brand. It has spanned 60 years, so we don't think they have any plans to end the tradition of making a luxury roadster. The SL may not sell in huge numbers, but it's significant enough for Mercedes-Benz to keep building them.