Mercedes has just released the brand-new Mercedes SL which aims to steal customers from the Porsche 911 department. The SL now comes exclusively in AMG form which means that it’s positioned as a sports car cruiser and not a luxury roadster even though it does not lack any luxury credentials.
The Porsche 911 is arguably the best sports car in existence because it sits on a decade-long legacy of impressive rear-engine mounted glory. Porsche manages to continuously deliver superior performance out of a flat-six engine while also offering lots of luxury.
The Mercedes SL feels more luxurious and it comes in roadster form only. It offers more impressive luxury features, is more comfortable, and offers larger and more exciting engines. The 911 offers 6-cylinder engines exclusively, but the 911 GT division offers the best engines in the form of naturally aspirated flat sixes.
The 911 is still a more agile and better handling car because it weighs significantly less. You can get the 911 as a coupe, a Targa, and a convertible. The SL is more luxurious, more comfortable, and more technologically advanced, but the Porsche badge holds a lot more value.
2022 Mercedes SL AMG – A new AMG flagship
The Mercedes Benz AMG GT has ceased production with the ferocious Black Series model so AMG is now focused on the SL. The SL should start at around $100,000 for the entry-level 55 AMG version which packs a 469hp 4.0L Bi-Turbo V8 while the range-topping SL 63 offers 577hp and should cost considerably more.
All Mercedes SL models come with a retractable soft-top that can be optioned in either black color, gray, or red. The greatest benefit the SL has over the 911 is the interior which is in line with the most luxurious Mercedes models such as the S-Class.
The SL offers a dynamic driving experience with a great sounding V8 but it can’t match the 911 as far as agility is concerned. Space-wise the SL is more or less identical to the 911 as both of these are not intended to be practical.
Design-wise it’s a close call between the two because both look stunning. The SL should be able to reach 60mph from a standstill in a little over 3 seconds. It comes with AWD from the factory with adaptive dampers and AMG DYNAMIC SELECT driving modes.
2022 Porsche 992 911 – A sports car icon
Hardly any car out there holds such an iconic status as the Porsche 911. A classic recipe of a rear-mounted flat-six engine and rear-wheel drive make the 911 a true delight. The 911 can still be had with a manual gearbox while the SL is a strict automatic.
The 911 starts at $101,000 for the standard 911 model while the range-topping Turbo S model costs $171,300. The track-oriented naturally aspirated GT3 starts at $161,100 and the mid-level GTS starts at $136,700.
The 911 offers a more exciting drive because it weighs less and offers a manual gearbox. The entry-level 911 offers 379hp while the range-topping Turbo S offers 640hp. The Turbo S can reach 60mph from a standstill in a blisteringly fast 2.6 seconds which makes it one of the fastest cars on the market.
The 911 is not as luxurious as the SL but it does offer a nicely laid out interior with high-quality build materials. The SL is a lot larger with a higher turning radius which means that the 911 is more maneuvrable around town.
Conclusion – The 911 is still king, but the new SL is impressive
It’s difficult to compare any Mercedes model with a Porsche because Porsche badge appeal is significantly higher than Mercedes. The 911 is the best sports car in history and every 911 generation is special for a variety of reasons.
The 911 holds its value better and it likely going to be a lot more reliable. The 911 is more agile, has better handling, and is faster in its top-spec. The 911 GT3 offers the best engine pick out of the bunch and even the larger V8 the SL offers can not match the naturally aspirated flat-six found in the GT3.
If you want a cruiser that can do a lot of miles and you are not 100% focused on handling, the SL might be a better choice for you. However, if you want a more capable car that offers similar levels of luxury and comfort, the 911 is still king.
Is the Mercedes SL available as a coupe?
The new Mercedes SL is being offered exclusively as a roadster with a soft-top which means that you cant buy a hardtop coupe anymore. Mercedes did this because the soft top weighs less, costs less money to develop, and is able to retract faster while also taking up less space.
The 911 on the other hand is available as a hardtop coupe, a stylish Targa, or a standard convertible. There is also a limited-edition Speedster 911 which is not exactly common nor easy to get these days.
Is the Mercedes SL more reliable than the Porsche 911?
The Mercedes SL has not yet hit the roads which means that we can not correctly estimate how reliable it is going to be. However, given the fact that the 911 is one of, if not the most reliable sports car in existence, chances are that the SL is not going to be able to match that.
We will have to wait and see but judging by the initial reports, the 911 should still retain superior reliability results.
Is the Mercedes SL more comfortable than the 911?
The Mercedes SL is a physically larger automobile which means that it feels more substantial on the road. This also enabled Mercedes to increase the overall interior space in the SL which made it a bit more spacious than the 911.
Both the SL and the Mercedes offer relatively useless rear seats but if you opt for comfort seats, the SL should be more comfortable than the 911. Either way, if you want a comfortable large cruiser convertible, you are better off with a BMW 8-Series Convertible or a Bentley Continental GTC.