Continue reading this on our app for a better experience

Open in App

Mercedes-AMG SL43 Drive Review : Star Struck

David Khoo
David Khoo • 4 min read
Mercedes-AMG SL43 Drive Review : Star Struck
Mercedes-AMG SL 43 is a handsome machine
Font Resizer
Share to Whatsapp
Share to Facebook
Share to LinkedIn
Scroll to top
Follow us on Facebook and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.

Now available in SL 43 guise, we revisit the SL-Class, arguably Mercedes-Benz’s most legendary roadster.

Singapore - Know what the problem with a storied model like the SL-Class is? Continuing its legacy.

It’s never about the model name per se, but the vision of the people that has brought it that far. So, the worst thing to do is to think that big shoes can be filled on auto-pilot, which is an especially pertinent concern given the SL-Class’ long and illustrious lineage.

Thankfully, the folks at Mercedes-Benz have not been resting on their laurels, which is why the SL has evolved into the striking sporting machine you see today.

See also: Charlotte Dickson promoted to Regional Director of Asia Pacific at McLaren Automotive

Now branded under the ‘AMG’ umbrella, the iconic SL-Class has been updated and is well-armed with the fangs to accompany the roadster’s edgy, sporty looks, in both the SL55 4Matic+ guise, as well as the SL43 we have on test.

The “SL” moniker can trace its roots back 90 years, where a road-going version of the legendary 300SL race-car “gullwing” was launched in the mid-1950s, almost in tandem with the dainty 190SL roadster, thus creating two distinct personalities to the SL model – one racer, the other refined.

See also: 911 Dakar sets up camp at Porsche Singapore's Roughroads showcase

The 300SL would go into hibernation until the appearance of its spiritual successor in 2010, the SLS – a gorgeous gull-winged spectacle with a heaving naturally-aspirated V8 under its bonnet – until its discontinuation in 2015.

On the other hand, the 190SL’s lineage as genteel grand tourer would continue uninterrupted, with this latest R232 the seventh iteration to bear the legendary model-plate.

We personally like that Mercedes has brought back the soft-top, a feature we feel contributes to the SL43’s elegant silhouette.

However, that’s the only thing ‘soft’ about it, because Mercedes-Benz has clearly unified the two SL personalities within this current incarnation, with ample bite injected into the car so it performs as well as it cruises.

For more lifestyle, arts and fashion trends, click here for Options Section

At the heart of the SL43 is a four-cylinder, which ties neatly back to the original 190SL – the new model is turbocharged though.

Additionally, technology trickle-down from the brand’s F1 involvement sees the use of an electric exhaust gas turbocharger in the new SL, which improves responsiveness across the engine’s rev-band.

Its proportions look daunting, but the SL43 is a doddle to pilot around thanks to the rear-axle steer system, which also has the added benefit of transforming it into a nippy handler.

Roof-down visibility is great, so there’s no difficulty in placing the car precisely, and it also receives the familiar in-car MBUX system, including a ginormous Dynamic Central Display – a free-standing, tilt-adjustable touchscreen.

As far as Singapore roads are concerned, the responsive four-cylinder’s 381hp and 480Nm offer plenty of punch for the cut-thrust of urban traffic, with a complementary dramatic soundtrack to go with the action.

Furthermore, there’s sufficient verve in its dynamic repertoire to rekindle one’s love for the winding roads as you start carving into the corners, with the “Sport Leicht” (or Sport Light) demonstrating how light it is on its feet.

Gratuitous image of current R232 SL43 alongside a W113 280SL "Pagoda"

Cornering capers aside, the SL43 is still eminently suited for cruising and this is something to be relished on cool evenings (or early Sunday mornings) with the roof-down.

In any event, it’s always hard not to be star-struck whenever you’re in the presence of the SL, regardless of generation, or whether the roof is up or down.

PHOTOS BY Mercedes-Benz / David Khoo (Last two images)

Engine 1991cc, inline4, turbocharged
Power 381hp at 6750rpm
Torque 480Nm at 3000-5000rpm
0-100km/h 4.9secs
Top Speed 275km/h
Transmission 9spd AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT Auto

Loading next article...
The Edge Singapore
Download The Edge Singapore App
Google playApple store play
Keep updated
Follow our social media
© 2024 The Edge Publishing Pte Ltd. All rights reserved.