2023 Mercedes-AMG SL43 with four-cylinder engine costs $111,050

The luxury cabrio generates 375 horsepower from a 2.0-liter engine that uses turbo technology derived from Formula 1.

2023 Mercedes-AMG SL43 side view

Several generations of the Mercedes SL were available with a V12 engine, but the current R232 initially came out with V8 power only. AMG has done what seemed unthinkable many years ago and put a four-cylinder engine in the SL43 unveiled in April 2022. Fast forward to May 2023, and the base version of the 2+2 premium convertible has been confirmed in the US. The math starts at $109,900, plus $1,150 destination fee, and before options.

This makes it $27,500 cheaper than the SL55 and $68,200 less than the SL63. It uses a variant of the M139 found in the AMG compact “45” cars where the engine is mounted transversely and in the new AMG C63 where it is mounted longitudinally. Obviously, with the Sport Leicht being a rear-wheel drive car, the engine orientation is longitudinal. The SL43 utilizes technology derived from Formula 1 by being the first production model to feature an electric exhaust gas turbocharger.

This 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is good for 375 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque directed to the rear axle. This F1-compatible technology includes a 1.6-inch electric motor integrated into the turbocharger’s shaft. Its role is to accelerate the compressor wheel before the exhaust gas flow begins. Doing so boosts throttle response across the full rpm bandwidth.

The complex quad enables the boat to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 4.8 seconds before reaching an electronically controlled top speed of 170 mph. Weight isn’t specified for the US-spec model but we do know that the European version tips the scales at 1,810 kg (3,990 lb).

When it arrives in US dealerships this summer, the 2023 SL43 is sold by AMG only with rear-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission. 19-inch wheels are standard, but customers can choose larger 20- and 21-inch alloys. The entry-level SL gets its own front fascia and rear apron along with rounded exhaust tips to set it apart from the V8-powered flavors.

With the SL getting a four-banger, it will be interesting to see if the next-generation AMG GT Coupe coming later this year also spawns a base ’43 model. Both cars were developed in conjunction with AMG, with the SL replacing the GT Roadster.

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