Earlier this week, Mercedes-AMS introduced a new entry-level version of the all-new SL roadster. It comes with a four-cylinder gasoline engine equipped with an F1-inspired electric turbocharger. An AMG roadster without a V8 under the hood may not sound super exciting, but bear in mind the new SL43 hits 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in just 4.9 seconds. Mercedes hasn’t confirmed its plans about bringing the new base SL to the United States but at least the door doesn’t seem to be closed for now.
Car and Driver contacted the German automaker and asked if it is going to sell the four-cylinder SL on the US market. Mercedes didn’t give a firm confirmation but said the beautiful roadster “is currently still under consideration for the US market.” That’s surely not much to go by but at least it’s not a negative answer.
If it receives the green light to be sold in the United States, the SL43 will obviously be much more affordable than the V8-powered models. Unfortunately, Mercedes hasn’t released pricing for the roadster yet, but we estimate the SL55 will start at around $135,000, while the range-topping SL63 will kick off at about $165,000. As for the SL43, a figure around $115,000 sounds reasonable to us.
The new base model’s 2.0-liter engine is known with an internal designation M139 and uses a single electric exhaust gas turbocharger with an electric motor attached to the turbocharger shaft. It spins that shaft up until the exhaust gases take over and keep generating the boost like a traditional turbocharger.
The result from this magic trick is a peak output of 381 horsepower (284 kilowatts) and a decent 354 pound-feet (480 Newton-meters) of torque starting at 3,250 rpm. There’s a starter-generator system that can add an extra 14 hp (10 kW) to the mix for short periods. A nine-speed automatic gearbox sends all the power to the rear wheels exclusively.