We had an inkling that this would be coming soon, but according to a new report from Autocar, Mercedes-Benz executives have officially confirmed that they have approved the baby-SLS supercar for production.
According to Autocar, Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche confirmed the new sports car while discussing the brand's ambitious expansion plan for the next three years. This plan is nothing new to regular readers, as the baby-SLS was discussed as part of the new naming scheme that Mercedes is set to begin rolling out later this year.
The smaller sibling to the SLS had long been rumored to wear either the SLV or SLC badge, but under the new naming system, the current CL-Class is slated to become the SLC. According to the latest information, the new front-engined sports car will revive the recently axed SLR moniker.
When the new SLR hits the market in 2014, it will set its aim squarely at Porsche's 911. Mercedes doesn't have a competitor in that segment, since the SLS AMG is too expensive, and the SL roadster lacks the sporting credentials needed to compete with the 911. Autocar expects the price tag for the new car to fall around $120,000, roughly $70,000 less than the current SLS. Similar to the SLS (pictured here), the new SLR will be a joint project between Mercedes-Benz and its AMG performance brand.
Autocar doesn't say what may power the new car, but we've previously ruminated on the fact that the rear-wheel drive sports car may use some kind of V-6 engine paired with a dual-clutch transmission. Expect to see a shortened version of the SLS' aluminum architecture to underpin the new SLR as well. As with the SLS, expect the car to debut in coupe guise, with a drop-top variant following a year later.