The forthcoming R232 Mercedes-AMG SL has been sighted once again at the AMG test centre near the Nurburgring in Germany, and this time the SL 53 has been photographed as its V8-powered big brother takes to the tarmac. As the differing bodywork suggests, there will be two versions, each with its own powertrain, and both have also been previously sighted undergoing cold-weather tests.

Of the two, the more potent, turbo V8 is visually identified by its more extroverted bodywork, its front bumper sporting a more aggressive-looking set of intakes, while the rear end gets a set of quad trapezoidal exhaust outlets. Here, the example on circuit can be seen with its retractable rear spoiler deployed. The bent-eight test unit here also wears a larger set of wheels and tyres compared to its SL53 stablemate.

Comparatively speaking, the SL53 is visually more subdued, as it is seen here shod in rolling stock smaller than the items fitted to the V8-powered car. Up front, its bumper features a more reserved-looking set of intakes, while its rear end of the SL53 is further distinguished from its bigger brother with its rounded quad exhaust outlets.

Mercedes-AMG SL53 development unit

Powertrain units, among other mechanical specifications distinguish the two, where the SL53 and SL63 are likely to employ the latest developments of the German performance arm’s 3.0 litre inline-six and the 4.0 litre V8 turbocharged engines, respectively. The engine in the current AMG 53 range deploys 435 PS, while the bent-eight in the AMG 63 range can produce in excess of 600 hp at present.

The SL’s return to a fabric roof may also see an encore of the SL73 badge, though any larger numbers for the upcoming roadster are to denote an electrified powertrain, rather than a literal translation of its engine displacement. This could come courtesy of a 204 hp electric motor augmenting the V8, for a total output of around 800 hp and 1,000 Nm of torque, according to our early sources.

With Mercedes-AMG assuming responsibilities for the development of this upcoming R232 SL, indicating that the luxury roadster will take on a sportier stance than before. Its role as a high-performance roadster appears to be confirmed with the news that it will pick up where the Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster departs, and the new SL has been designed to be a “more balanced car than the GT,” said Mercedes-AMG CEO Philipp Schiemer.

R232 Mercedes-AMG SL, eight-cylinder

R232 Mercedes-AMG SL, six-cylinder