The new Mercedes-AMG SL: the interior design

Oct 28, 2021

The interior of the new SL transforms the tradition of the first 300 SL Roadster into the modern era. With its Mercedes-AMG performance genes, the new edition serves the sporty target group as well as customers who are focused on maximum comfort. Fine materials, meticulous workmanship and attention to detail further underscore the high standard of luxury in the interior. The cockpit design, right up to the electrically adjustable central display in the centre console, is focused on the driver and captivates with a harmonious overall impression. The completely redesigned dimensional concept with 2+2 seats offers more function and space in the interior at the same time. The MBUX infotainment system offers a choice of several specific display styles and different modes.

The first 300 SL Roadster is one of the most famous automotive icons. Its minimalist and high-quality interior inspired the designers in creating the interior for the new Mercedes-AMG SL. For the new edition of the icon, they created a mix of analogue geometry and digital world - called "hyperanalogue". A good example of this is the fully digital instrument cluster, which is integrated into a three-dimensional visor.

"The interior of the new Mercedes-AMG SL pampers driver and passengers with sophisticated luxury. The new SL combines the highest levels of comfort and quality in its interior, coupled with just the right amount of sportiness. The high-quality combination of analogue world and state-of-the-art digital equipment makes it clear: the new SL is the rebirth of an icon for the modern era", says Philipp Schiemer, Chairman of the Board of Management at Mercedes-AMG GmbH.

"The SL is the icon of our brand: For decades, this roadster has stood for automotive fascination and desirability. This is a great opportunity and challenge for the design, because every designer wants to create icons", says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer Daimler Group. The result is a revolutionary experience in the interior as a combination of digital and analogue luxury". We have created the most iconic SL ever, the luxury icon of the 2020s".

The new, highly sophisticated dimensional concept once again allows a 2+2 seating configuration for the first time since 1989 (Mercedes SL model series R 129). This makes the new SL even more versatile. The rear seats increase everyday usability and offer space for people up to 1.50 metres tall (up to 1.35 metres with a child seat). If the extra seating is not needed, a plug-in wind deflector behind the rear seats can protect front-seat passengers from draughts on the back of their necks. Or the second row of seats can be used as additional stowage space and accommodate a golf bag, for example.

Aviation-inspired instrument panel

The symmetrical instrument panel is designed as a sculptural, powerful wing and structured into an upper and lower section. Highlights include the four newly developed, galvanised turbine nozzles. Their surfaces merge into the instrument panel in the form of powerful power domes. The lower section of the instrument panel evolves fluidly from the centre console, seamlessly connecting the two elements.

Despite symmetry, the cockpit design creates a clear focus on the driver: The high-resolution 12.3-inch LCD screen of the instrument cluster is not designed to be free-standing, but integrated into a high-tech visor. This prevents reflections caused by sunlight.

Centre console with adjustable touchscreen

The centre console dominates the separation between driver and front passenger. Of maximum width and rising sharply towards the front, it flows into the lower section of the instrument panel. The functional and visual heart of the centre console is the metallic panel that penetrates the leather surfaces at the front and rear. With the NACA air intake signature, it carries on the genes of the AMG GT and GT 4-Door Coupé. This design element thus becomes a typical AMG style element in the interior. The NACA air intake transitions almost seamlessly into the 11.9-inch portrait-format multimedia touchscreen. To avoid disturbing light reflections caused by different sun positions when the soft top is open, the touchscreen can be electrically adjusted in its inclination from 12 degrees to 32 degrees. Its portrait format offers clear advantages, especially for navigation, as well as more leeway in terms of ergonomics. The touchscreen floats between the two central, high-quality air vents, which elegantly cite the history of the SL, as a digital contrast to emotive design elements.

The door panels are integrated into the balance of the interior

Similar to the centre console, the surfaces in the doors also develop fluidly from the instrument panel. The result is a gradient accentuated with decorative topstitching that frames the entire interior and runs past the turbine nozzles at the sides. The door centre panel is designed as a sensual layered topography. The pull handle is also designed in the same way as the centre console and is another eye-catching feature. The materiality and modelling of the surfaces are repeated in the doors, creating balance in the interior. High-quality Burmester loudspeakers in real metal, whose perforation pattern also stands out visually, are integrated into the doors.

Sculptural seat design with integrated headrests

The avant-garde, sculptural seat design of the standard, electrically adjustable AMG sports seats plays skilfully with layers and wrapping surfaces. This makes the seats appear lighter and less voluminous. The headrests are integrated into the backrest and thus contribute to the sporty proportions of the seat. Perfect ergonomics and various progressive seam and quilting patterns complete the symbiosis of high-tech, performance and luxury.

AMG performance seats optional

Even the standard sports seats offer a high level of lateral support in addition to excellent comfort. The optional AMG Performance seats with integrated head restraints are even sportier still. The seat bolsters of the optional multicontour seats automatically tighten in the Sport, Sport+ and RACE driving modes to ensure optimal lateral support at all times.

The large selection of different upholsteries also reflects the range from comfortable to performance-oriented features. Customers can choose from single or two-tone nappa leather, particularly elegant nappa STYLE leather with diamond quilting, or the sporty combination of nappa leather with DINAMICA RACE microfibre and contrasting topstitching in yellow or red. On request, inflatable air cushions and three massage programmes in the multi-contour seats for driver and front passenger ensure outstanding long-distance comfort. And the ENERGIZING Package Plus combines, among other things, seat functions such as massage and various lighting scenes to create stimulating or relaxing comfort programmes.

AIRSCARF comes as standard on the eight-cylinder models: Warm air flows into the passenger compartment from air outlets in the head restraints and wraps around the head and neck area of the driver and front passenger like a scarf. The temperature of the seat heating for driver and front passenger can be controlled separately for seat surfaces and seat backrests. In addition, a three-stage seat ventilation system is available.

AMG Performance steering wheel in twin-spoke design

The AMG Performance steering wheel with its seamlessly integrated buttons also offers tangible and visible added value. The three rounded twin spokes combine strength with lightness. The steering wheel rim, which is flat at the bottom and covered in nappa leather or nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre, can be heated as an option. Also included is a sensor mat to detect "hands-on". If the driver does not have their hands on the steering wheel for a certain time, a warning cascade is started, which finally activates Emergency Brake Assist if the driver remains inactive.

Visual and technical highlights are the buttons, which are seamlessly integrated into the surfaces of the horizontal double spokes. Haptic sensing aids in the area of the symbols make control easier. The left sensor surface of the upper steering wheel spokes controls the instrument cluster, while the right sensor surface controls the media display. The lower spokes contain the controls for the cruise control/DISTRONIC (left) and telephone/hands-free system/volume control (right).

The two round, standard AMG steering wheel buttons impress with intuitive operation, brilliant, colour LCD displays and modern icons. This allows important driving functions and the driving modes to be controlled without having to take your hands off the steering wheel. They work by turning (the setting ring) or pressing (on the display button) as is widely known. The selected setting is shown on the display, which is directly integrated in the respective button. The AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission can also be shifted precisely and quickly manually via the aluminium paddle shifters located on the left and right behind the steering wheel rim.

Intuitively operated and capable of learning: the latest-generation MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience)

Some functional contents and the operating structure of the second-generation MBUX system correspond to those of the S-Class. They have been extensively supplemented or replaced by AMG-specific content and views. The five display styles Classic, Sport, Supersport, TRACK PACE and Discreet are available. The AMG-specific Supersport style offers the option of displaying various contents, for example current engine data, temperature data of various vehicle components, current vehicle settings as well as an audio/media menu. In addition, the other display styles were also adapted to the AMG requirements. This makes the new SL highly distinct in terms of communication and information. Exclusive menu items such as "AMG Performance" or "AMG TRACK PACE" emphasise the sporty character.

The stand-alone content reserved for the SL includes the staging of the soft-top opening and closing, race track settings, and different vehicle views depending on the model. In addition, there is the configuration of various driving parameters such as manual transmission shifting, vehicle sound, chassis settings, ESP® or active rear spoiler.

In the AMG Performance menu, the driver can call up a wide range of data at the touch of a finger on different tiles, from power, torque or lateral acceleration to the power distribution of all-wheel drive and the current vehicle status with tyre pressure and fluid temperatures. The attention to detail goes so far that even the wheel angles on the front and rear axles or the oil pressure in the active anti-roll stabilisation system can be read out.

The interior has become even more digital and intelligent, as hardware and software have been extensively enhanced. Brilliant images on the LCD screens make it easy to control vehicle and comfort functions. The driver's and central displays offer an aesthetically pleasing and holistically coordinated experience. The appearance of the instrument cluster can also be personalised with different display styles and individually selectable main views.

Using the capacitive display button on the control bar below the central display, the driver selects various functions such as media volume, assistance systems, vehicle functions or the appropriate driving mode from "Comfort" to "RACE".

The optional head-up display contributes to relaxed driving, as the driver does not need to take their eyes off the road. It displays relevant cues and actions three-dimensionally in the real driving situation and surroundings. Here, too, there is a choice of several style variants. Depending on the equipment or personal taste, the ambient light frames the exclusive interior in 64 different colours. The "Discreet" display style is coupled to the ambient light. A total of seven background colours are available here, each of which is assigned to one of the 64 colours. Among them are two exclusive AMG background colours.

AMG TRACK PACE: Data logger for use on the race track

AMG TRACK PACE, the virtual race engineer, is on board as standard for the SL 63 4MATIC+ and optionally available for the SL 55 4MATIC+: The software is part of the MBUX infotainment system and records more than 80 vehicle-specific data (for example speed, acceleration, steering angle, brake pedal actuation) ten times per second while driving on a race track. On the "Telemetry" screen, 40 parameters can be displayed live, of which up to four - individually selected by the driver - can be displayed simultaneously.

This is complemented by the display of lap and sector times on the multimedia display, head-up display and in the instrument cluster, as well as additional training and analysis tools. Selected race tracks such as the Nürburgring or Spa-Francorchamps are already stored, and it is also possible to record your own tracks. The race navigation in the head-up display shows cornering angles and braking points to help you find the racing line. The augmented reality function of MBUX also allows the racing line of a saved recording to be displayed on the multimedia display. In this way, the driver can improve their lap times as if with a virtual instructor. Acceleration and deceleration values can also be measured and stored.

With the Dash Cam option (not available in all markets), videos can also be recorded on a USB storage device using the HD camera integrated in the vehicle. Various data can be integrated into the recording as an overlay, for example lap and sector times, a mini-map of the track and vehicle-specific data such as speed, acceleration, steering angle or brake pedal actuation.