Confirmed to be developed by AMG rather than Mercedes-Benz, the R232 is the open-top cousin of the next-gen GT coupe. Spied in close proximity to the Nurburgring, this particular test mule features production-spec body panels, the Panamericana front grille, and pop-out door handles.
Expected as a 2022 model, the all-new SL is equipped with a canvas roof, black double-spoke wheels, and bronze calipers for the braking system. The color of the calipers may indicate a ceramic-composite braking system, which is exactly what you want in a sports car on the grueling Green Hell.
The camouflaged prototype also integrates LED headlights and taillights, a quad-piped exhaust system with trapezoidal outlets, as well as active aerodynamics in the guise of an electronically-deployable rear spoiler. Mercedes-AMG may have confirmed a 2+2 layout, but the size of the rear quarter windows already makes me feel uncomfortable in the back.
Expected to enter production at the Bremen plant by the end of 2021, the R232 features a composite space frame with very high aluminum content. Mercedes-AMG quotes a frame weight of 260 kilograms (573 pounds) and better torsional, transverse, and longitudinal rigidity than the current R231.
It’s hard to tell if Mercedes-AMG will continue to utilize the Getrag-developed transaxle of the GT (and Ford GT), but regardless of transmission type, you can look forward to a selection of straight-six and eight-cylinder engines.
The most vanilla of them all should be the 3.0-liter SL 43, followed by the 53 and probably the 55 series. Higher still, the S 63 will be joined by at least one plug-in powertrain although rumor has it that Mercedes-AMG is developing two plug-in hybrid powertrains. They’re called 63 e and 73 e, and the latter option has been confirmed with over 800 horsepower on tap.
On that note, do look forward to rear-wheel steering as well.