The Mercedes-AMG SL 43 has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine that makes 381 horsepower, in part, Mercedes says, thanks to technology it developed from its Formula 1 team. It comes in at least one fun color. It has rear seats that are only intended for children and golf bags. It gets up 26 mpg. It has a retractable rear spoiler. It has a soft top for less weight that takes 15 seconds to open or close. It has modern safety and driving assistance systems. It is rear-wheel drive. You’ll have a hard time convincing me that this isn’t close to the perfect car.
The headline, for Mercedes, however, is that bit it took from its Formula 1 team, which Mercedes describes like so:
An electric motor around four centimetres thin is integrated directly on the turbocharger shaft between the turbine wheel on the exhaust side and the compressor wheel on the intake side. Electronically controlled, this drives the shaft of the turbocharger directly and thus accelerates the compressor wheel before the exhaust gas stream starts to drive it conventionally.
This significantly improves immediate response from idle speed and across the entire engine speed range. The combustion engine responds even more spontaneously to accelerator pedal input, while the overall driving experience is more dynamic. In addition, the electrification of the turbocharger enables higher torque at low revs. This also increases agility and optimises acceleration from a standstill. Even when the driver takes their foot off the accelerator or applies the brakes, the technology of the electric turbocharger is able to maintain the boost pressure at all times. This ensures so that a continuous immediate response.
That is a lot of words to say that there is more immediate power, but that is the Mercedes way. The engine sends all of that power through a nine-speed multi-clutch transmission, which also has a launch mode and can go from zero to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds. That is far from the quickest in the world, but is quick without being uncomfortably so.
The configuration is 2+2, but Mercedes, quite endearingly, is up front about the fact that the rear seats are useless for adults.
The rear seats increase daily practicality and offer space for people up to 1.50 metres tall (up to 1.35 metres with a child seat). If the extra seating is not needed, an insertable draft stop behind the rear seats can protect front-seat occupants from draughts on the back of their necks. Or the second row of seats can be used as additional stowage space and accommodate a golf bag, for example.
Note: One-and-a-half meters is a little under five feet. It is now that we must turn our attention to the spoiler, which, frankly, is a little extra, though Mercedes’ release has convinced me that it has some practical utility.
...the retractable rear spoiler seamlessly integrated into the vehicle profile. It changes its position depending on the driving status. In doing so, the control software takes into account numerous parameters: It factors the driving speed, the longitudinal and lateral acceleration and the steering speed into the calculation. The spoiler assumes five different angle settings from 80 km/h to either optimise the handling stability or reduce drag.
The optional Aerodynamics Package for the Mercedes-AMG SL 43 includes larger flics on the front and rear bumpers and a larger rear diffuser. This improves both downforce and aerodynamic drag even further. The modified speed thresholds of the rear spoiler and its steeper angle of attack of 26.5 degrees (instead of 22 degrees) in the Dynamic position also contribute to this.
Meanwhile, Mercedes says that the soft top saves around 46 pounds in weight, and that the brake disc and brake disc pot “are now connected with special pins.” There are six different drive modes, including one called RACE, in addition to your typical SPORT and SPORT+. There is a trim called the AMG Night Package, which makes more things on the exterior black. There is another trim called the AMG Night Package II which makes even more things black.
Mercedes says the car’s overall curb weight is a hair under 4,000 pounds, which is a shade heavy for a car like this but mitigated by all that horsepower. Mercedes did not give pricing or say where this car will be sold, but I’d guess the answer is “not America” because that would be too good to be true. Move over GR Corolla. Give me Mercedes-AMG SL 43 instead.