Linked Esses: Future Sports Cars and Roadster from Mercedes-Benz Revealed

We brought you Mercedes-Benz's future cars yesterday, and today we're hitting the esses and giving you what to expect from the German automaker in terms of sports cars and roadsters.

SLK-Class: The SLK is due for a redesign next year and will include styling cues from Mercedes' latest supercar, the SLS AMG, including a more prominent and upright grille, as well as a more rounded rear end. The engine lineup will continue to feature gasoline V-6s and V-8s, but a fuel efficient turbo-diesel V-6 may also be added. The next-generation SLK will likely make its first public appearance at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2011.

SL-Class: Due next year as a 2012 model, our sources indicate that the roadster has been redesigned from the ground up. It will be loosely based on E-Class architecture with a longer wheelbase to better facilitate ingress and egress, and will accommodate more passenger and luggage space.

Unlike Mercedes' other roadster which may get a thrifty diesel engine, the SL will utilize a gasoline-only lineup. The base SL for the U.S. will likely remain the SL550, but will use the twin-turbo, direct-injected, 4.6-liter V-8 making its way through the Benz lineup. A model using Mercedes' 3.5-liter V-6 may be added, and the V-12-powered SL600 is likely to stay on. The non-AMG SL models will also get Mercedes' new nine-speed transmission, which replaces the current seven-speed unit.

The SL63 AMG and SL65 AMG will still be offered. The SL63 gets Mercedes' other twin-turbo, direct-injected V-8, the 5.5-liter unit that will reportedly produce 565 horsepower in the SL. The SL65 AMG retains the twin-turbo, 6.0-liter V-12 but sees output bumped up to 630 horsepower (rather than 604). Both AMG versions get the seven-speed automatic and may be offered with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission from the SLS.

SLS AMG: Mercedes' reborn gullwing is an impressive car with a 563-horsepower, 6.2-liter V-8 coupled to Mercedes' first dual-clutch transmission with seven-forward ratios. Although 563 horsepower is enough to catapult the super car to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, a more hardcore SLS Black Series is rumored to be on the way. A soft-top convertible is set for sometime next year.

In addition to a convertible and possible Black Series version, the SLS will get an all-electric variant. It will feature all-wheel drive and will be powered by a lithium-ion battery pack coupled to four electric motors for a total of 526 horsepower, with instant torque. According to Mercedes-Benz, it will have a range over 120 miles, depending, of course, on how you drive it. Sales may start as early as 2012.

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