First sighted by our spy photographers at the beginning of this year, the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz SL will make a return to the fabric roof after earlier generations which employed the folding hard-top roof configuration.

This time around, our spy photographers have sighted the forthcoming roadster once again near the Nurburgring test centre, and it appears to be the AMG SL 63 model, as judged by its quad-trapezoidal exhaust outlets. This will likely employ the firm’s 4.0 litre biturbo V8 engine producing in the region of 612 hp, and possibly form the ICE basis for an upcoming hybrid SL73 with 800 hp and 1,000 Nm of torque.

Other powertrain options set to join the upcoming SL line-up are likely to be the 3.0 litre biturbo inline-six with 435 hp, as well as a 522 hp version of the aforementioned 4.0 litre V8, and feature some combination of AMG 43, 53 and 63 badges.

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Development of the forthcoming R232-generation SL will be taken over by Mercedes-AMG, which all but confirms a sportier direction for the roadster, especially since it will likely share a platform with the next-generation AMG GT.

This somewhat translates visually as well, where lower, more aggressive lines from the current GT can be made out, with slim headlamps likely flanking a Panamericana grille, while slim-line tail lights feature at the back.

An open window offers a partial glimpse into the SL’s cabin here, where a digital instrument cluster appears housed in a rounded cowling compared to the open panel in the W223 S-Class flagship sedan. The very large, sloping centre touchscreen from the S-Class appears here.

According to our spy photographers, the upcoming roadster will also feature a pair of rear seats for a 2+2 arrangement, and its side profile suggests some usable room behind the main seats. The R232 Mercedes-Benz SL will likely debut some time in 2021, with the next-generation AMG GT to follow a year later, according to our sources.

GALLERY: R232 Mercedes-Benz SL development vehicle