AMG-developed SLC sports car to rival Porsche 911 and Aston Vantage; on sale in 2015
19 July 2012

Mercedes-Benz is gearing up its new Porsche 911-rivalling SLC sports car for a launch late in 2015. The model is still very much on the agenda due to Mercedes’ desire to appeal to a younger audience, despite some senior officials wanting the SLC to be put on hold to allow the German giant to focus on more profitable cars.

Pictured here in an exclusive rendering, the new two-seater will be the second stand-alone model to be created by Mercedes’ AMG performance arm after the SLS.

But AMG sources are remaining tight-lipped on whether the SLC will be built instead of the SLS rather than alongside it in a Mercedes sports car line-up that could swell to include four models: the SLK, SL, SLC and SLS.

The SLC, codenamed W190, is to sport a more contemporary appearance than the retro-inspired SLS as part of Mercedes’ youthful brief. “It is important that it appeals to the youth crowd, even though in all likelihood it will be bought by older customers,” a senior design source revealed.

Mercedes officials who have seen the car claim it gets a distinctive swept-back silhouette and an evolution of the ‘soft nose’ treatment seen on recent Mercedes models.

Dimensionally, it is described as being as wide as the SLS but shorter. Unlike the gullwing-doored SLS coupé, the initial fixed-roof version of the SLC is planned to receive conventional front-hinged doors. A roadster version using a traditional fabric roof is set for launch in 2016.

The coupé’s targeted 2014 launch has been pushed back a year, due to engineering capacity problems caused by the new 2014 C-class.

However, despite the delay, development is on track. “We are progressing the project in a methodical fashion, but there are limits to how many cars we can engineer at the same time,” confirmed a source.

Sources say AMG is benchmarking the SLC against the Aston Martin Vantage as much as the 911 due to its similar front-engined, rear-drive layout.

The SLC will adopt a lightweight aluminium body that weighs around 220kg and is expected to be supplied by Magna. A kerb weight of around 1480kg, some 100kg more than the lightest 911, is being targeted.

The SLC’s V8 will be mounted as far back as possible to optimise weight distribution, with a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox located in the rear axle.

Mystery surrounds which Mercedes V8 engine the SLC will use. Initial plans were to provide it with a new twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8, early engineering of which has already taken place. But the cost of developing the new engine, which would produce around 450bhp in the SLC, is leading Mercedes’ financiers to push AMG towards using the SLK55 AMG’s normally aspirated 5.5-litre V8.

This engine currently produces 416bhp — 4bhp less than the Aston Vantage V8 but 21bhp more than the Porsche 911 Carrera S. But the V8’s 398lb ft comfortably eclipses both the Porsche and Aston.

AMG boss Ola Källenius has dismissed speculation of a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 for a base version. “The V8 engine commands cult status at AMG,” he said. “It is what our customers demand.”

The issue of which engine the SLC will use is further clouded by Mercedes’ need to engineer its famed 6.2-litre V8 to meet future stringent EU6 emissions regulations without robbing it of power.

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Comments
9

TS7

20 July 2012

Quote:

“It is important that it appeals to the youth crowd, even though in all likelihood it will be bought by older customers,” a senior design source revealed.

 

Lost. For. Words.

 

Quote:

The issue of which engine the SLC will use is further clouded by Mercedes’ need to engineer its famed 6.2-litre V8 to meet future stringent EU6 emissions regulations without robbing it of power.

 

Not a huge difference between EU5 & 6 for petrol cars. Are they that worried...

 

 

20 July 2012

The engine appears to be very good.

20 July 2012

Bit of the TT about it?,and as the article says,it's got to beat what they percieve as the target cars ,if they want to do that, then they had better ditch this design,slashes and scoops and huge grills aren't going to do it,and, just as an observation, don't you think all sportcars are just a response to other makers products?, very rarely do they come up with a unique design.

Peter Cavellini.

20 July 2012

This car has been on-again-off-again more times than <insert z-list celebrity relationship names here>

The car does need to hold its money a lot better than the SLS and have more handling talent than just being a tailhappy AMG powerslider if it wants to take on the 911.

 

20 July 2012

Call me a spoil sport - but really this "nitch" filling is making the market look like a smiing horse teeth show. I am all for choice, but just maybe the number of choices is choking many and making it harder to chew for everyone.

what's life without imagination

20 July 2012

Autocar wrote:

AMG boss Ola Källenius has dismissed speculation of a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 for a base version. “The V8 engine commands cult status at AMG,” he said.

Well then, there's still hope that we won't see the end of the V8 too soon (what with car makers now moving towards ever smaller-capacity engines packed with turbos). Personally, I think it will be interesting to see what Mercedes/AMG will come up with.

 

- Follow your own star -

20 July 2012

I wonder if car manufacturers ever use instinct when creating cars these days. There might be a business case for this - but instinct tells me it's a bloody terrible idea and for exactly the reason mentioned by Orangewheels - depreciation - and the huge damage AMG are going to do to themselves with this. Weird - I instinctively know this is going to be rubbish. I have very briefly driven the SLS (two years ago at Millbrook - and only with an MB bloke next to me) and it lacked any sense of occasion. It's very quick, very quick indeed. But it's dull.

Bring back steel wheels.

21 July 2012

I'm glad this car will have a V8 engine. I recently went to Brooklands and drove a C63AMG Black Series and the engine was incredible. The naturally aspirated 5.5 V8 that might be used in the SLC sounds like the sort of thing that the tree-huggers hate, but it does over 33.6mpg on the combined cycle in the SLK and emits just 195g/km of CO2. Alternatively, the twin-turbo 4.7 V8 used in some Mercs would make a great engine for the SLC as well, as it would also easily deliver over 30mpg on the combined cycle.

22 July 2012

Much as it may be a good car I would bet it will only come with an autobox, so in the absence of a manual option it will never in any circumstances be a true 911 rival.

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