After unveiling the new generation of its SL roadster last October, Mercedes-AMG has now revealed a new “entry-level” variant to the lineup — and it features some nifty racing tech that’s never been seen before in a production car.
The new Mercedes-AMG SL 43 is the world’s first consumer car to make use of an electric exhaust gas turbocharger. The tech was derived from the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team, meaning drivers of this roadster will have access to some of the same systems that helped propel Lewis Hamilton to all those victories (you still won’t drive like him, but still). The unique turbocharger completely eliminates turbo lag, guaranteeing spontaneous throttle response across the entire rev range. It does so by integrating a 4cm-thin electric motor directly on the turbocharger shaft. Controlled by a 48-volt onboard electrical system, the motor drives the shaft of the turbocharger directly, meaning it stays spooled up even before you hit the gas. This provides hybrid-like high torque at low revs and an even greater boost once you do smash the gas pedal.
It’s a good thing this little roadster has such a fancy turbocharger, as its engine is tiny compared to its AMG SL siblings. Unlike the AMG SL 55 & 63, which are both powered by big V8 engines, the SL 43 has an M139 2.0L i4 under the hood. Mated to an AMG SPEEDSHIFT MCT 9G transmission, the longitudinally-mounted powerplant boasts an output of 381HP and 354LB-FT of torque, with an additional boost of 14HP. That’s good enough to propel the 3,990-LB roadster from 0-62mph in just 4.9 seconds, with an electronically-limited top speed of 170mph. It’s also worth noting that the SL 43 is RWD, while the more powerful AMG SLs are both AWD.
Mercedes-AMG has revealed neither pricing nor a release date yet for the upcoming SL 43 roadster, but we look forward to seeing how its F1-derived tech performs in the real world once it hits the streets.