An AMG-developed Porsche 911 rival is expected to get the go-ahead as a result of the sales success of the Mercedes SLS coupé and roadster. Mercedes sources have long indicated that they would like to establish the AMG brand among the supercar elite, but only if there was a sound business case for doing so — something profits from the SLS have helped to prove is possible.

“AMG is a financial company and runs with targets, just like every other company,” said AMG boss Ola Kallenius when asked about the possibility of extending the range of cars developed by Mercedes’ performance brand. “These products can’t just be built for fun. We need a reasonable return to new fund projects.

“But the SLS has a return, as well as succeeding by building a brand and being fascinating technologically. Could we grow the family? Probably, yes, but that is not a decision we’ve made at this stage,” he said.

“What is clear is that we have entered a segment with an overwhelming reaction from customers and fans — and many of them are entirely new customers to AMG — so it would certainly be the right strategy to grow the AMG brand.”

The mooted new £80,000 two-seater is expected to form the entry-level point for what would become a much wider stand-alone AMG range, and could be on sale as soon as late 2013.

Power is likely to come from an all-new 500bhp twin-turbocharged 5.4-litre V8, which will sit in the front-mid position and drive the rear wheels. That should mean Porsche 911 Carrera S-rivalling performance of 0-62mph in 4.5sec and a top speed of 180mph. Coupé and roadster variants are also expected to be built.

Jim Holder

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