Mercedes-AMG announced the SL 43 four-cylinder model over a year ago, but it wasn’t sure if this version would be sold in the U.S. or not. Today, the answer to that question is officially a yes. The little-engine SL is coming here, and it’s coming as a much more budget-conscious choice than the V8-powered SL 55 and SL 63 versions of the convertible.
All the in-depth details you might want to know can be found in our original SL 43 reveal post linked above, but we’ll review the highlights real quick. The 43 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine — utilizing AMG’s fancy electric exhaust gas turbocharger — that makes 375 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. That leaves it 94 horses down on the next level up, the 4.0-liter V8-powered SL 55. For cutting the engine size in half, that ain’t so bad! The SL 43 uses AMG’s multi-clutch nine-speed transmission and claims a 4.8-second 0-60 mph time, which is exactly 1.0 second slower than the SL 55. Top speed for the 43 is a respectable 170 mph.
We can’t share curb weight figures yet because Mercedes hasn’t released that information, but it’s safe to assume the 43 drops a considerable amount of poundage versus the V8-powered cars. It’ll require driving to know, but the lighter front end of the SL 43 could make it a sneaky candidate for best-handling of the bunch. You can even spec the optional AMG Ride Control suspension, which isn’t as fancy as the 63’s “Active” AMG Ride Control setup, but still consists of sophisticated adaptive dampers which we absolutely loved in the SL 55.
Another interesting aspect of the SL 43 is that it’s being offered exclusively with rear-wheel drive, while both V8 models feature all-wheel drive standard. You’ll see that as either a plus or a minus depending on your use case, but we’re excited to see how it transforms the convertible.
The 2023 SL 43’s price is an undeniable plus, as it begins at $111,050. From here, the next cheapest model is the SL 55, which starts at $138,450, leaving a $27,400 gulf between the four-cylinder and the V8. Mercedes says the SL 43 will go on sale this summer.