The new Mercedes-AMG SL43 packs a downsized engine, but gets F1 turbo tech

Under its hood is a 376hp four-cylinder engine
by Greg Potts | Apr 11, 2022
Mercedes-AMG, 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL43, mercedes-amg sl43 specs, mercedes-amg sl43 photos, mercedes-amg sl43 exterior, mercedes-amg sl43 interior
PHOTO: Mercedes-AMG

Mercedes has pulled the wraps off an entry-level version of the new SL, and the big news is the presence of a dinky little 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.

Yep, Merc and AMG have halved the cylinder count for this SL43, which arrives after the 4.0-liter V8-engined SL55 and SL63. Brave for a luxury roadster, no? Mercedes does have previous, though. In the 1950s, you could have a four-cylinder 190 SL, which Merc marketed as a smaller sibling of the iconic 300 SL.

Mercedes-AMG, 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL43, mercedes-amg sl43 specs, mercedes-amg sl43 photos, mercedes-amg sl43 exterior, mercedes-amg sl43 interior

Continue reading below ↓

The engine in this SL43 is actually a longitudinally-mounted version of the M139 four-pot that’ll be familiar from the A45 AMG, but don’t think this baby SL is an afterthought from Affalterbach. In fact, it gets some supremely complicated F1 tech that makes it rather interesting indeed.

Continue reading below ↓
Recommended Videos

ALSO READ:
Driving an unregistered vehicle? Here are the fines and penalties
Everything you need to get your LTO registration in order

For the first time ever on a production car, AMG has fitted an electric exhaust gas turbocharger. Sounds fancy, but it is actually rather easy to explain. Here goes: a super small electric motor is mounted on the turbocharger shaft and powered by the car’s 48-volt mild-hybrid electrical system. At low revs, the motor spins up the turbo so that there’s less lag when you press the throttle and the turbo is driven by exhaust gasses. Then, when you come off the power or even get on the brakes, the electric motor can keep the turbo spooled up so that power delivery is instant when you get back on the loud(ish) pedal.

Continue reading below ↓

Mercedes-AMG, 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL43, mercedes-amg sl43 specs, mercedes-amg sl43 photos, mercedes-amg sl43 exterior, mercedes-amg sl43 interior

Essentially, the hope is that it solves the age-old problem of ‘small turbo=low peak power, but large turbo=loads of lag.’ Clever, right?

The end result is a lightweight engine up front that still manages to send 376hp and 479Nm of torque to the rear wheels through a nine-speed auto gearbox. Not quite as much power as the 415hp in the bonkers A45 S, but it’d be fair to say that that’s one highly-strung unit.

Continue reading below ↓

Mercedes claims 0-100kph in 4.9sec and a top speed of 275kph for the 2+2 SL43, and the only real visual differences from the V8 cars are round exhaust tips and ever so slightly different front and rear bumpers. Some nice ‘Turbo Electrified’ badging on the flanks, too.

Mercedes-AMG, 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL43, mercedes-amg sl43 specs, mercedes-amg sl43 photos, mercedes-amg sl43 exterior, mercedes-amg sl43 interior

Continue reading below ↓

Smaller 19-inch wheels are standard on the entry-level car, with 20- and 21-inch units available as an option. Merc will also let you tick boxes for an Aerodynamics Package, AMG adaptive adjustable damping, rear-wheel steering, and the AMG DYNAMIC PLUS Package. The latter adds a race mode, dynamic engine mounts, a limited-slip diff, and 10mm lower suspension.

Mercedes-AMG, 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL43, mercedes-amg sl43 specs, mercedes-amg sl43 photos, mercedes-amg sl43 exterior, mercedes-amg sl43 interior

Continue reading below ↓

Inside you get the SL’s monster, portrait-mounted MBUX screen and ARTICO man-made leather seats, although Nappa leather will be another option.

But which option would you go for—V8 or 4cyl?

Mercedes-AMG, 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL43, mercedes-amg sl43 specs, mercedes-amg sl43 photos, mercedes-amg sl43 exterior, mercedes-amg sl43 interior

Mercedes-AMG, 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL43, mercedes-amg sl43 specs, mercedes-amg sl43 photos, mercedes-amg sl43 exterior, mercedes-amg sl43 interior

Continue reading below ↓

Mercedes-AMG, 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL43, mercedes-amg sl43 specs, mercedes-amg sl43 photos, mercedes-amg sl43 exterior, mercedes-amg sl43 interior

Mercedes-AMG, 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL43, mercedes-amg sl43 specs, mercedes-amg sl43 photos, mercedes-amg sl43 exterior, mercedes-amg sl43 interior

Continue reading below ↓

Mercedes-AMG, 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL43, mercedes-amg sl43 specs, mercedes-amg sl43 photos, mercedes-amg sl43 exterior, mercedes-amg sl43 interior

Mercedes-AMG, 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL43, mercedes-amg sl43 specs, mercedes-amg sl43 photos, mercedes-amg sl43 exterior, mercedes-amg sl43 interior

Continue reading below ↓

Mercedes-AMG, 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL43, mercedes-amg sl43 specs, mercedes-amg sl43 photos, mercedes-amg sl43 exterior, mercedes-amg sl43 interior

Mercedes-AMG, 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL43, mercedes-amg sl43 specs, mercedes-amg sl43 photos, mercedes-amg sl43 exterior, mercedes-amg sl43 interior

Continue reading below ↓

Mercedes-AMG, 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL43, mercedes-amg sl43 specs, mercedes-amg sl43 photos, mercedes-amg sl43 exterior, mercedes-amg sl43 interior

Mercedes-AMG, 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL43, mercedes-amg sl43 specs, mercedes-amg sl43 photos, mercedes-amg sl43 exterior, mercedes-amg sl43 interior

Continue reading below ↓

Mercedes-AMG, 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL43, mercedes-amg sl43 specs, mercedes-amg sl43 photos, mercedes-amg sl43 exterior, mercedes-amg sl43 interior

NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.

See Also

Top Gear Philippines is now on Quento! Click here to download the app and enjoy more articles and videos from Top Gear Philippines and your favorite websites.

View other articles about:
Recommended Videos
PHOTO: Mercedes-AMG
  • Quiz Results

  • TGP Rating:
    /20

    Starts at ₱

    TGP Rating:
    /20
    Starts at ₱