The Mercedes-AMG PureSpeed Is An SL That Wants To Be An F1 Car

The open two-seater speedster is the first of Mercedes’ limited-run Mythos series, and just 250 will be built
Mercedes-AMG PureSpeed - front
Mercedes-AMG PureSpeed - front

Any car manufacturer with a connection to Formula 1 will almost inevitably jump on the chance to knock out a special edition road car capitalising on its relationship to the pinnacle of motorsport. Sometimes it’s just a case of chucking on some badges and calling it a day – the less about the Fiat Stilo Schumacher, the better – but in some cases, like the Renault Megane F1 Team R26 and Aston Martin Vantage F1 Edition, it leads to a marked improvement over the base car.

This, though, is a third way of leveraging a factory F1 entry – trying to make one of your cars look like an actual F1 car. It’s officially called the Concept Mercedes-AMG PureSpeed, and it kicks off Mercedes’ new Mythos line that’ll see it produce various limited-run specials in the same sort of vein as Bentley’s Mulliner cars.

Mercedes-AMG PureSpeed - front detail
Mercedes-AMG PureSpeed - front detail

While Merc has shied away from the fact, the PureSpeed is quite clearly based on the current Mercedes-AMG SL, albeit with a radically altered body. Now a strict two-seater rather than a 2+2, the SL has been reinterpreted as a doorless, roofless ‘speedster’, a body style Mercedes last explored with the SLR Stirling Moss in 2009. As with that car, Merc cites the massively successful 300SLR racer of the 1950s as an inspiration.

Slightly more obvious source material, though, are current Formula 1 cars, because the PureSpeed has a halo. An utterly enormous one, since it has to stretch the length of a two-person road car cabin and not a tiny single-seater racer’s cockpit. Since it still leaves the occupants' heads exposed, we have to assume it’s entirely aesthetic.

Mercedes-AMG PureSpeed - cockpit
Mercedes-AMG PureSpeed - cockpit

Elsewhere, the PureSpeed gets some very aggressive carbon aero bits on the bumpers and skirts, and the SL’s big grille has been ditched for a smoothed-off ‘shark nose’ look. Carbon fibre aerodiscs adorn the wheels.

The interior (if you can really call it that on a car with no roof or windows) looks to be largely standard SL, but it does get some racy bucket seats and a custom IWC Schaffhausen clock on the dash. Also, Mercedes has inexplicably debuted the PureSpeed with Daft Punk sat in it.

Mercedes-AMG PureSpeed - rear
Mercedes-AMG PureSpeed - rear

No powertrain details have been given yet, but since it’s called the PureSpeed, it’s probably not based on the four-banger SL. For reference, the current range-topping SL is the 603bhp hybrid SL63 S E-Performance. If it does have that powertrain, it shouldn’t have too much of a job keeping up with Merc’s actual 2024 F1 car.

Just 250 will be made, apparently available only to “the most dedicated Mercedes‑Benz enthusiasts and collectors.” We have to assume that Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have been offered them too, which might make things awkward when Lewis heads to Maranello next year.

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