Mercedes-Benz is planning a major expansion of its sports car line-up over the next three years - and these spy images show that it’s preparing a new SLK to be part of the range.
The next-gen folding hard-top, due next year, will sit at the base of an expanded model line-up that will also include the ‘baby’ SLS (known as SSK, for Super Sport Kurz), a C-class coupe and a sub-C-class four-door coupe, a baby brother to the CLS.
The prices of Mercedes’ ‘sporting’ range will stretch from around £30,000 to £250,000 - although there could yet be a smaller cabrio, based on the next-gen A-class platform.
Codenamed R172, the new SLK is being brought into line with Mercedes’ future styling direction, recently introduced by new design chief Gorden Wagener.
This car’s relatively light disguise cannot hide the switch to a large, trapezoidal front grille, as seen on the recently launched SLS AMG supercar and the F800 Style Geneva motor show concept.
The rear spoiler is similar in style to that on the SLS. And the rectangular patch just behind the front wheel arch probably covers a side vent, another cue from the range-topper.
The links to the AMG gullwing supercar do not end with exterior styling, though. The interior spy shot - our first glimpse inside the cabin - reveals that the dashboard architecture, centre console and air vents closely follow the design of the SLS’s, a look that is said to have been influenced by aircraft.