The first huge step away from this trend towards luxury and comfort over performance was the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, a Mercedes-Benz-McLaren Automotive joint venture that featured a hand-built 5.4-litre, supercharged 626 PS (460 kW; 617 hp) all-aluminum V8 engine.The 571 PS (420 kW; 563 hp) 6,208 cc (378.8 cu in) V8 powered Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG made its debut in 2009.
Described by Mercedes as a spiritual successor to the 300SL Gullwing, it was geared to out-and-out performance while still maintaining expected Mercedes luxury, peaking at 631 PS (464 kW; 622 hp) in the 6,208 cc (378.8 cu in) Coupé Black Series introduced in 2013. SLS AMG production was brought to a close at the end of 2014.
Subsequent generations of the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class have been continually produced, not always in the same sporting spirit of the original 300SL, such as the Mercedes-Benz W113 (1963-71) and the Mercedes-Benz R129 (1989-2001).
In the 2000s Mercedes oriented its SL series back towards performance, and included styling nods to the 300SL. The R230 (2002-2011) and the R231 (2012-present) have air inlets in the front fenders which are inspired by the 300SL Gullwing.
The SLS AMG is slated to be replaced by a substantially less costly tourer with traditional doors and a much smaller forced induction engine, designed to compete against the Porsche 911 and Audi R8.