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Despite shrinking take rates among leisure-engineered funmobiles, the 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL marks the beginning of a brand-new generation. Coded internally as the R232, impressions seem to be generally positive. It’s fast, heavy, comfortable, and stylish, all features that are mostly on-brand for the SL badge. It’s not meant for focused corner carving, but rather for eating up highway miles and romping around Rodeo Drive. The SL needs to look the part, too, and this is the most premium-looking example in years. In a world filled with massive grilles as far as the eye can see, Mercedes still has the best design.

  • Car: 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL
  • Location: Unknown
  • Photog: Unknown (used with permission from Mercedes)
  • Camera: Unknown

“It all starts at the front, where the SL shows off its most familiar trait: a long hood that stretches away from the driver and dips into the large Panamericana grille,” The Drive‘s Managing Editor Jerry Perez wrote in his review. “Designers took advantage of the lengthy wheelbase (106.3 inches) to factor in short overhangs and push the cabin as far back as possible. The windshield is drastically raked to build up visual momentum before the roofline drops into the wide rear arches. Lower the soft top and the design changes drastically, confidently making the SL look like it was designed to be permanently topless.”

It’s also not a Mercedes-Benz, but rather a Mercedes-AMG. This is an important distinction, as it signifies that it’s built under the performance-centric direction of AMG, not the tri-pointed brand’s more pedestrian departments. This is sort of a conflict with the SL’s history, though. Because the only available SLs, the SL 55 and SL 63, are AMGs, they gets angry faces and some aggro power figures, which I bet purists would call an affront to the SL badge. SLs are historically meant for leisurely cruising, not on-track raging. Still, reviewers seem to agree that it is indeed a comfy cruiser, just one that sports more racy looks.

To me, that’s the best of both worlds: Mercedes’ wild M177 V8, beautifully aggressive design, and what seems like endless luxe and comfort.

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