Mercedes made an announcement over a year ago about the SL 43, a four-cylinder model, but there were uncertainties about its availability in the United States. However, it has now been confirmed that the SL 43 will indeed be sold in the U.S., offering a more budget-friendly option compared to the V8-powered SL 55 and SL 63 versions of the convertible.
The SL 43 is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, featuring AMG’s innovative electric exhaust gas turbocharger. Yes, that’s right, you get a turbo 4-cylinder with 375 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque, which puts it 94 horses below the next level up, the SL 55 with its 4.0-liter V8 engine. Considering smaller engine, this power output is still quite impressive. The SL 43 comes with AMG’s multi-clutch nine-speed transmission and gets a 0-60 mph time of 4.8 seconds, which is only 1.0 second slower than the SL 55. Its top speed reaches a respectable 170 mph.
Unfortunately, the specific curb weight figures have not been released by Mercedes yet. However, it is reasonable to assume that the SL 43 sheds a significant amount of weight compared to the V8-powered variants.
While it requires actual driving experience to confirm, the lighter front end of the SL 43 could potentially make it a strong contender for the best-handling model in the lineup. Additionally, the optional AMG Ride Control suspension is available for the SL 43, providing sophisticated adaptive dampers, like the ones featured in the SL 55. Moreover, the SL 43 is exclusively offered with rear-wheel drive, in contrast to the all-wheel drive standard in both V8 models. Such a setup could make the SL 43 a better handling vehicle, but we will have to wait to find out.
The pricing of the new 2023 SL 43 starts at $111,050, which makes it significantly more affordable compared to the SL 55, which begins at $138,450. That’s a price difference of $27,400 between the four-cylinder and V8 variants. Mercedes plans to release the SL 43 for sale this summer here in the United States.