Mercedes-AMG SL-Class concept interior is a Gullwing-era throwback

Mercedes-Benz has revealed the “dimensional concept” interior of its upcoming SL-Class roadster, invoking the design of the original SL300 Gullwing and reviving the 2+2 seating arrangement last offered on the SLC back in the 1980s. 

The word that Mercedes is using to describe the cabin is “hyperanalog,” meaning “a mix of analog geometry and a digital world.” Considering the number of screens and capacitive controls visible in these photos, we’re not sure we’d put the word “analog” anywhere near this design, but it sure is pretty. 

“The interior of the new Mercedes-AMG SL pampers the driver and passengers with sophisticated luxury,” says Philipp Schiemer, chairman of the board of management at Mercedes-AMG GmbH. “The new SL combines the highest levels of comfort and quality in its interior, coupled with just the right amount of sportiness. The high-quality combination of the analog world and state-of-the-art digital equipment makes one thing clear: The new SL is the rebirth of an icon for the modern era.”

Viewed side-by-side, the similarities with the first SLs are fairly subtle. Apart from the turbine-style air vents (which aren’t unique to this particular cabin), the key element both have in common is the lack of a roof. Mercedes says the center console and door panel were both incorporated into the design in such a way that they appear to flow from the instrument panel. The headrests were designed to be visually integrated into the concept’s seats; the original 300 SL didn’t have them at all, so that’s a subtle nod all its own. 

“The SL is an icon of the brand with the three-pointed star: This roadster has stood for automotive fascination and desire for decades. A great opportunity and challenge for design, because every designer wants to create icons.” says Gorden Wagener, Daimler Group’s chief design officer. “The result is a revolutionary interior experience caught between digital and analog luxury. We created the most iconic SL ever since — the luxury icon of the 2020s.”

The new SL will also embrace the past in another way: It’s losing its folding hardtop roof. As we learned from prototypes spotted testing on public roads, the cloth top is back. 

The standard Mercedes-Benz SL-Class should be revealed soon, with this sportier model likely to follow soon after. We’re expecting the base model to feature a turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six making at least 400 horsepower, with an optional twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 making more than 500. With the AMG’s new E Performance powertrains, there’s quite a bit of potential power to be harnessed in the sporty SL. 

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