The replacement for the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG is under development, and it will not be called the Mercedes-Benz SLC AMG if a report from Autocar is to be believed. Instead, this Porsche 911-fighting sports car will be called the Mercedes-Benz GT when it debuts in mid-2014.
The 2015 Mercedes-Benz GT will be smaller than the outgoing SLS, with an aluminum spaceframe chassis and a body made of aluminum and composite panels. Power will reportedly come from a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 with similar architecture as the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder in the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG. This new engine will also make its way into the next Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG. Autocar says to expect output in the range of 500 horsepower, meaning that the GT would compete with the 520-horsepower Porsche 911 Turbo.
We spied a prototype of this SLS replacement testing at the Nürburgring earlier this year, and it appears to maintain the same long-hood, short rear deck proportions as the SLS but on a smaller scale. The gullwing doors from the SLS will not continue, though, as the Mercedes-Benz GT will adopt conventional doors for a broader consumer appeal. A coupe version will debut first, but there are rumors of a roadster version as well.
In other Mercedes-Benz news, Autocar is also reporting that the company is developing a lineup of new engines, starting with a straight-six that will result in new three- and four-cylinder units as part of a new modular powertrain architecture. These engines are expected to debut on the next-generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class which is likely to arrive in 2016. Reports surfaced about two years ago that Mercedes would reconsider straight-six mills for the next E-Class, an interesting decision given that the E-Class long ago abandoned gasoline inline-sixes in favor of V-6 engines.
Another rumor from Autocar concerning the next E-Class hints at a new technology called “Autobahn Pilot” which is described as an “autonomous driving assistant with an overtaking function.” This sounds to us like a more advanced version of adaptive cruise control that could also allow the car to pass slower traffic without driver input.
Keep an eye out for more news from Mercedes-Benz over the next few months about the upcoming 911-fighter and new engine technologies.