4-cylinder, RWD Mercedes-AMG SL43 has electric turbo from Formula 1

Hyperblue is the best color.


Mercedes-AMG unveiled a new entry-level version of its seventh generation SL roadster called the SL43, and it’s the first SL since the original 190SL of the 1950s and 1960s to use a four-cylinder engine. The SL43 is unlikely to come to the US, which is honestly a shame as it should be the purest model in the line.

The SL43 is powered by the same hand-built 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four found in models like the CLA45 and GLA45, but with a Formula 1-inspired twist. This new version of the powertrain uses an electric gas turbocharger – the first application of a in a production car – directly derived from the turbo found in Mercedes’ championship winning F1 car. Compared to a regular turbo, it improves throttle response throughout the power band, allowing for more torque at low revs and maintaining boost pressure, even when not accelerating. The turbo is driven by the 48-volt mild-hybrid system, which can provide an additional 14 horsepower boost, thanks to its belt-driven starter generator. Total power is 381 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque, or 88 hp and 162 lb-ft. at the bottom of the bi-turbo V8-powered SL55 but topping a base 911 Carrera by 2 hp and 23 lb-ft.

This is the first 4-cylinder SL since 1963.


Unlike the V8-powered SL55 and SL63, which come standard with a sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, the SL43 is rear-wheel-drive. It has the same nine-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission as the other new SLs, and Mercedes says the SL43 will hit 62mph in 4.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 171mph, at just 1.1seconds and 14mph. of the SL55. The SL43 comes standard with steel suspension, and it is available with all the same performance features as the V8 models, such as adaptive dampers, carbon-ceramic brakes, rear axle steering, differential electronic limited slip, dynamic engine mounts and a racing mode drive with launch control. According to Mercedes, the SL43 weighs around 300 pounds less than the SL55.

There are some slight styling differences to mark the four-cylinder model, but the SL43 looks just as good as its siblings. The lower bumper has a less aggressive design, the rear bumper ditches the faux vents, and the rear diffuser features quad round exhaust tips. 19-inch wheels are standard, but 20 and 21 are optional, and the SL43 is available with an aero package that adds different bumper trim and modified spoilers for more downforce.

The interior is identical to the other SLs.


The four-seat interior of the SL43 is identical to that of the other new SL models, with a “hyper-analog” design that includes a digital gauge cluster, a central 12.3-inch touchscreen with an electronically adjustable angle and soft turbine-style air vents mixed with stitched leather and real metal trim. Fancy nappa leather, carbon fiber accents, performance bucket seats, tons of driver assistance features and tech systems like augmented reality navigation are all available.

With significantly less weight on the front axle, rear-wheel drive and all the performance benefits you want, the SL43 is shaping up to be the purist driver’s choice among the new SL range, even though it only has four cylinders – the more it will surely be a little cheaper. Unfortunately, the SL43 is unlikely to come to the US, but there are other variants on the way. Debuting later this year will be a plug-in hybrid SL63 E-Performancewhich could offer over 800 horsepower, and there could also be a PHEV version of the SL43.