SPYSHOTS: R232 Mercedes-AMG SL – six- and eight-cylinder versions seen running cold-weather tests – paultan.org

The R232-generation Merecdes-Benz SL has been sighted running trials again, this time in Sweden for cold-weather testing. Here, we can see the forthcoming roadster testing with different powertrains, namely a six-cylinder engine likely to be the 3.0 litre inline-six that produces 435 PS in current AMG 53 models, as well as a development of the 4.0 litre V8 that the Affalterbach firm has used in recent years.

As we have already seen from earlier test unit appearances, the next-generation SL sees the return of the fabric folding top in place of the folding metal roof that has been in use for the R230 and R231 generations of the luxury roadster. The end product can be expected to be sportier in nature than its predecessors, as the German automaker has confirmed that AMG has taken over development of the SL.

The two powertrain versions seen here for the SL can be identified from the rear by their exhaust outlets; the V8-engined AMG SL 63 uses quad trapezoidal exhaust outlets, while the AMG SL 53 is fitted with four rounded tips. For now, bodywork appears similar for both versions, though the SL 63 is less camouflaged, while the SL 53 here is covered over its bootlid, third brake light, and on parts of its rear bumper.

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The front end of the SL remains somewhat camouflaged particularly where the outer intakes are located, though now visible is the Panamericana vertically slatted grille.

Once again, we get a glimpse into the forthcoming SL’s cabin, this time with a slightly better view that all but confirms the roadster will get the large, vertically-oriented infotainment screen that serves in the W223 S-Class, along with instrumentation in a rounded cowling. SL-specific design elements here include circular air-conditioning vents, for the middle at least, whereas the S-Class employs rectangular items.

In addition to the pair of SL development units, there was also an accompanying Mercedes-AMG GT73 EQ Power+, which could beat the R232 SL to making its debut. Tipped to provide around 812 PS, AMG’s plug-in hybrid GT 4-Door could share its powertrain with the SL later on. As for the once-again fabric-roofed roadster, the new-generation SL is expected to debut some time this year.

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