Mercedes are planning a mid-engined, baby SLS. Is this Mercedes’ way of raining on McLaren’s MP4-12C parade?
Ever since the Mercedes SLS launched – in truth, even before – there have been rumours of a smaller version. Just like we’ve had with the Audi R8. But it seems that unlike Audi – who will be making an Audi R4 – Mercedes and AMG have decided that another front-engined supercar – even a smaller, cheaper one – would erode the sales base for the SLS. So they’re going a different route – the mid-engined route, to be precise.
The Mercedes SLM will be aimed at the likes of the top end Audi R8 and whatever BMW do with the Vision ED Concept. Which means the SLM offering up not just performance but some sort of eco credentials too. And coming in more than one guise – no doubt a coupe to start with and a roadster to follow.
In terms of power plant it looks like it will be a 350bhp, 3.5 litre twin turbo V6. The engine will sit in the middle and drive the rear wheels. But up front we’ll see a pair of electric motors – one on each wheel. Which we expect to carry over from the development work on the SLS e-Cell.
Also carrying over from the SLS will be the seven speed transaxle and an adaptation of the SLS’ aluminium spaceframe. Performance should be pretty impressive from the hybrid setup and you can expect a car that comes in around the size of the new McLaren MP4-12C. But cheaper – probably £50k cheaper. Which may be one big reason for pursuing this direction.
A chance to rain on McLaren’s MP4-12C parade?
Source: Automobile Mag