BERLIN -- Mercedes-Benz has given the famed SL an AMG badge after upgrading the roadster with all-wheel drive, a stiffer body structure and powerful engines.
The latest generation of the Porsche 911 fighter, unveiled Thursday, is the first SL created by the brand's AMG performance division. It will be sold exclusively as a Mercedes-AMG model and go on sale in the U.S. in the first half of 2022.
In a major change, the Mercedes-AMG SL also gets a soft top roof, replacing the previous generation's hard top, and a 2+2 seating configuration.
The roadster is underpinned by Mercedes' lightweight composite aluminum Modular Sports Architecture. The torsional rigidity of the body shell structure is increased 18 percent and, together with the low center of gravity, the construction gives the car outstanding driving dynamics, Mercedes said in a statement.
The SL will be launched with AMG's 4.0-liter V-8 twin-turbocharged engine with power outputs of 585 hp and 476 hp.
The 585-hp top model accelerates from 0 to 100 kph (62 mph) in 3.6 seconds and has a 315 kph (196 mph) top speed, Mercedes said. The two models are equipped with all-wheel drive technology standard.
A hybrid drivetrain will be added later, the company said.
The SL is also equipped with standard active rear-axle steering. Depending on the speed, the rear wheels steer either in the opposite direction or in the same direction as the front wheels to give the roadster agile and stable handling characteristics, Mercedes said.
"The new SL combines the sporty genes of the original SL with the driving performance typical of AMG," Mercedes-AMG Chairman Philipp Schiemer said in the statement.