Jul 14, 2021 - Economy & Business

An iconic Mercedes for the modern era

Side by side interior images of a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster and the upcoming 2022 SL.
The iconic Mercedes 300 SL Roadster, along with its high-tech successor, coming in 2022.

Feast your eyes on this iconic 300 SL Roadster, produced from 1957 to 1963, and the upcoming 2022 Mercedes-AMG SL.

Why it matters: The SL was one of the most famous automotive design icons in history. Creating a modern interpretation of that classic interior is a challenge when everything runs via computer.

What they did: For the new-generation SL, Mercedes designers created a mix of analog geometry and digital technology — what they call "hyperanalog."

  • One example: The digital instrument cluster's 12.3-inch screen is integrated into a 3-D visor in front of the driver.
  • The position of the 12-inch touchscreen on the center console can be adjusted electronically to prevent reflections from the sun.

What they're saying: "The SL is an icon ... that has stood for automotive fascination and desire for decades," said Gorden Wagener, chief design officer for Mercedes' parent company, Daimler Group.

  • It's "a great opportunity and challenge for design, because every designer wants to create icons."
  • "The result is a revolutionary interior experience caught between digital and analog luxury. We created the most iconic SL ever since — the luxury icon of the 2020s.”
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