- The 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLC AMG coupe — the smaller, lighter replacement for the SLS supercar — is slated to get all-wheel drive.
- All-wheel drive is being developed to make the car more usable in adverse conditions, insiders said.
- The SLC AMG coupe will target the Porsche 911.
LONDON — The 2015 Mercedes-Benz SLC AMG coupe — the smaller, lighter replacement for the SLS supercar — is slated to get all-wheel drive, Edmunds has learned.
The recipe this time is for a more affordable hardtop that will target the Porsche 911, as well as derivatives to satisfy owners of today's $200,000-plus SLS.
All-wheel drive is being developed to make this powerful car more usable in adverse conditions, says one source, by providing it with an intelligent drive system that seeks out the most grip from four wheels rather than two. Like the recently face-lifted E63 AMG, it will be configured with a rear-drive bias.
AMG is currently examining the ideal method to send drive to the front axle from the SLC's longitudinally arranged powertrain, says this insider. The complex twin-propshaft arrangement of the Nissan GT-R has been rejected, and though AMG engineers are intrigued by Ferrari's all-wheel-drive FF system, with each front wheel individually controlled via wet clutches installed within a second, engine-driven gearbox that provides drive on demand, it's likely the Germans will favor something different.
The 2015 SLC will be smaller than today's SLS and is to be offered with V8s and a smaller V6 that lowers the entry-level price to the level of a 911 Carrera — around $95,000.
The base 3.0-liter V6 variant is expected to offer more than 330 horsepower, pitching it straight at the 911 Carrera, while the V8 S version, serving more than 480 hp, is aimed at the Carrera S. The ultimate version, a V8 with 100 hp more, is intended as a true replacement for today's SLS and a 911 Turbo alternative.
The SLC will retain the same core architecture as the SLS, whose modular aluminum construction allows significant dimensional flexibility. However, the SLS's gullwing doors will depart in favor of conventionally hinged panels.
Edmunds says: Mercedes is aiming for a much wider audience with its SLS successor, as part of a strategy to broaden the appeal of the AMG performance sub-brand. Expect to see all-wheel drive offered on increasing numbers of AMG models, too.