The Mercedes-Benz SL-Class is without an AMG model for the first time since 1995, the company has acknowledged. The last performance variant of the soon-to-be-replaced tourer does not return for 2020.
The SL 63 variant doesn’t appear on the company’s product pages as a 2020 model. CarBuzz reached out to Mercedes-Benz for confirmation, and was told that the model is not part of its 2020 lineup. While that doesn’t rule out a return of the V-8-powered model down the line, it will have to wait for a new SL-Class to hit showrooms.
That leaves the 2020 lineup with the 362-horsepower SL 450, which starts at $91,995 and comes with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6, and the 449-hp SL 500, which costs $115,695 and boasts a twin-turbo 4.7-liter V-8.
If there’s any good news, it’s that we may not have to wait too long for the new SL to surface. Spy photographers have caught what is obviously a shortened E-Class being tested on public roads in Germany. As evidenced by the comically short rear doors and wider fenders, this test mule is hiding something more than simply a variant of Benz’s mid-size sedan.
What’s less clear is which variants of the SL will return when the new car is introduced. Mercedes-Benz has been in the process of phasing out its larger engines. The twin-turbocharged V-12 which powered AMG 65 variants of its S and SL models was discontinued after the 2018 model year and is not expected to return except perhaps in very low-volume, special-edition models.
On top of that, Mercedes-Benz has been looking at ways to downsize from its V-8s. Rumors point to a Mercedes-AMG C63 that might utilize a 4-cylinder engine with some help from a hybridized powertrain. Electric assist could supplant the torque lost from the larger V-8, and forced induction would take care of the rest.