After the success of the SLS AMG supercar, Mercedes-Benz may be ready to craft yet another exotic sports car — dubbed the SLC — to counter the Porsche 911 Carrera S and the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. But does the world really need yet another twist on the SL formula?
According to the new report from Autocar, the new SLC is designed to challenge rival offerings sportier than the SL-Class line yet less expensive (and powerful) than the SLS AMG. The British magazine claims the car will share most of its major components with the forthcoming next-generation SL-Class, but will be engineered, developed, and tested by AMG — as is the case with the larger SLS. As such, the car will receive bespoke interior and exterior designs, allowing it to potentially adopt a “contemporary retro” look that recalls the SL (and, for that matter, the SLS). A hardtop coupe and a cloth-top convertible are both expected.
Autocar claims power will likely come from a naturally aspirated form of Benz’s new 5.5-liter V-8, and will be tuned to provide at least 420 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque. A revised version of the SLS’ six-speed dual-clutch transmission will also be used. No performance metrics have been estimated, but seeing as the SLC’s curb weight is expected to be light (thanks in part to bodywork crafted primarily from aluminum and carbon fiber), expect it to be quick.
The new high-end coupe is set to slot between the SL-Class roadster and the SLS AMG supercar, and will possibly be priced fromaround $120,000. Currently, the 2011 SL550 starts at $104,775, while the 2011 SLS AMG carries a price tag of $187,450 (both figures include destination charges).
Don’t expect to see any signs of the new super-coupe for at least two or three years, as it is reportedly still only in development. However, we will get a preview of its mechanicals when the new SL-Class makes its public debut next year.
What do you think? Is there room near the top of the Mercedes-Benz lineup for another high-priced, V-8-powered luxury supercar, or are the folks at AMG slicing the pie too thin? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.