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2015 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Spy Shots

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Talk of a new sports car built along the lines of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG dates back all the way to 2011, with numerous reports on the car, which was previously thought to be called an SLC AMG, emerging over the years. A very early test mule based on the SLS was spotted in 2012, though plans for that car were shelved on the basis it would be too expensive compared to its intended rivals, namely, the Porsche 911, Audi R8 and even Nissan's GT-R.

Mercedes-Benz apparently went back to the drawing board and devised a new sports car, as we now have spy shots of a prototype for it, which our sources tell us shares little with the SLS. The new car, which carries the internal code C190 and is rumored to be called the AMG GT, will target younger buyers than those of the retro-inspired SLS, and its styling, which already appears much more modern than that of the SLS, will reflect that.

It will have traditional doors (i.e. no gullwing design) and its engine, an AMG-built V-8, mounted up front. It’s not clear if all-wheel drive will be offered, but given AMG’s newfound love of all-wheel-drive cars it’s entirely possible. Another indication that all-wheel drive may at least be offered is the sighting of a Nissan GT-R testing alongside in some of the shots.

We do know it will be significantly smaller than the SLS, as the spy shots confirm, meaning a lighter curb weight. A new aluminum spaceframe structure has been developed, which should help keep weight at or below 3,300 pounds. The SLS, which also features aluminum construction, weighs more than 3,600 pounds.

A new twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 said to be in the works is likely to be fitted, and at least two different power outputs are expected, as evidenced by the different exhaust tips on the prototypes. The most potent should offer upwards of 600 horsepower. AMG’s seven-speed SPEEDSHIFT dual-clutch ‘box, meanwhile, will handle gear changes. It will be mounted at the rear to help even out the weight distribution. Note, the 4.0-liter engine is expected to feature in a new C63 AMG as well.

The launch of the SLS AMG GT Final Edition at the recent 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show represents the last opportunity for customers to order the SLS AMG, as this new sports car will be replacing it. A reveal of the new sports car, whatever it’s called, is expected in the lead up to the 2014 Paris Auto Show in early October. A convertible is expected roughly one year after the launch of this coupe version, and it’s almost certain an even higher performance Black Series model will eventually be launched.

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