A NEW Mercedes-AMG SL is on the way 69 years after the original set the world alight as a racing car.
True to its roots, the latest incarnation of the legendary roadster has blistering performance and initially will be available with two powertrains both with sub-four second 0 to 62mph acceleration times.
A hybrid model is slated for production later and the new car sees the return of a retractable soft top which can be opened and closed in around 15 seconds at speeds of up to 37mph.
The roof is some 21kg lighter than the metal vario design of the current SL which has resulted in a lower centre of gravity to aid handling.
Boot capacity is now up to a maximum of 240 litres while the new roadster - the seventh generation - will be powered by a 4.0-litre biturbo V8 engine developing either 585 horsepower in top specification SL 63 guise or 476hp as the SL 55.
Fuel economy for both is officially 19.9mpg at best with emissions of 268g/km.
Taking some design cues from the AMG GT, the new SL looks as potent and powerful as it should for a car that has a top speed of 196mph as the SL 63 and 184mph as the 55.
The AMG-specific radiator grille emphasises the effect of the width of the SL's front and, with its 14 vertical slats, cites the 300 SL racing sports car of 1952.
Other distinctive design elements include slim, sharply outlined LED headlamps and equally slim LED rear lamps.
Inside, the SL has a 2+2 seating arrangement - although Mercedes says the rear seats are for those less than 1.5 metres (about six feet) tall.
Active aerodynamics, spoilers front and rear and nine drive modes are standard fit as is a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
The new SL will be on the road around springtime next year and although prices are still to be announced the SL 55 will be expected to start from around £85,000 with the SL 63 closer to the £100,000 mark.