Mercedes has expanded its SL range with a new 2.0-litre petrol option.
Alongside two V8-powered variants, the SL 43 would use turbocharger technology straight from Formula 1. This electric exhaust turbocharger is a world first for a production car, according to Mercedes.
Overall, the 2.0-litre four-cylinder produces 375bhp and 480Nm of torque, while a 48-volt electric system with a belt-driven starter-generator also brings a 12bhp boost in certain circumstances.
Essentially, the technology sees an electric motor built into the turbocharger shaft between the exhaust-side turbine wheel and the intake-side compressor wheel. By electronically controlling this motor, response from idle is improved, as is response over “the entire speed range”, according to Mercedes. The firm claims that the engine responds “even more spontaneously to the accelerator pedal”, in fact.
Linked to a nine-speed automatic gearbox sending drive to the rear wheels, the SL 43 can handle the 0-60mph sprint in 4.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 170mph.
Philipp Schiemer, Chairman of the Management Board of Mercedes-AMG, said: “Thanks to this technology, the SL also has an outstanding performance range in its entry-level version. This means that our seemingly smallest SL combines typical AMG driving performance with luxury and comfort at the absolute highest level. In addition, with this innovative engine, we are undoubtedly addressing a wider clientele.
The SL 43 gets a series of details to set it apart from other models in the range, including round tailpipes – different from the angular ones fitted to the V8-powered versions – and differentiated front and rear aprons. All cars come with 19-inch alloy wheels as standard, although these can be upgraded to 20- or 21-inch versions as an option. The same folding fabric top is also used on this model.
Pricing for the SL 43 has yet to be announced but likely will be soon.