Mercedes-Benz has confirmed to a UK car magazine that it will launch a compact all-wheel-drive sports car to take on the Porsche 911.
The sports car has been anticipated as one of the numerous new models to be spun off the company's new 'MFA' modular platform that underpins the recently released Mercedes-Benz B-Class and will sit beneath the next-generation A-Class due here in early 2013, as well as a compact four-door 'coupe' and a baby SUV that will take on the Audi Q3 and BMW X1.
Autocar magazine reports the chief of Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler, Dr Dieter Zetsche, hinted that a baby SLS, which will reportedly be called the Mercedes-Benz SLC, would be one of 32 new or significantly updated models the German car maker would launch before 2016.
Due to launch in 2014, the two-door SLC will be priced around £75,000, roughly the same price as the new 911 Carrera, which starts at £71,499. In Australia, the 257kW/390Nm Porsche 911 Carrera is priced from $229,900, which gives an indication of where Mercedes’ sports car is likely to be positioned if it is introduced to out market.
The MFA platform supports both front- and all-wheel-drive layouts, but insiders indicated to CarAdvice the SLC would only be available with all-wheel-drive underpinnings.
Autocar says the SLC is being developed jointly by Mercedes-Benz’s regular passenger car division and its sports-oriented AMG branch.
AMG has already been involved in the overall development of the Mercedes-Benz A-Class hatchback, and there will be an AMG-badged model included in the range.