Mercedes-Benz has given its AMG division the green light for a second stand-alone model to sit alongside the new SLS, as part of a programme aimed at establishing the brand among the world’s supercar elite.
The new two-seater, which will be cheaper and sell in greater numbers than the SLS, will form the entry point to an expanded number of uniquely engineered AMG models when it arrives in showrooms in 2013.
“Mercedes’ management has been very supportive of AMG’s efforts in developing the SLS,” a senior official revealed to Autocar. “The feedback we’ve received since showing the car at the Frankfurt motor show has been extremely encouraging. A second model that will project a similarly exclusive image but be more accessible in terms of its pricing is already in planning.”
The new AMG is said to reflect a more contemporary approach, with modern styling created under Mercedes design boss Gordon Wagener.
While no official name has been given to the new car, those privy to early proposals say it sets out to encapsulate the spirit of the 1928 SSK, whose name is taken from the German words Super Sport Kurz (‘kurz’ means ‘short’).
In keeping with the plans drawn up for the SLS, the new AMG will come in a choice of two body styles: coupé and roadster. Like the SLS drop-top, the smaller AMG roadster is likely to have a cloth roof rather than a folding hard-top in a bid to keep weight down and improve packaging.
To keep costs down and save more weight, both coupé and roadster versions of the new AMG model will forgo the SLS’s expensive gullwing doors for regular front-hinged items.