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What Mercedes-Benz lacks is a car to go head to head against the Porsche 911 in both pricing and performance, and rumors of a sub-SLS AMG sport coupe have been circulating for the better part of two years.
Now Auto Express is confirming both the existence of the car and its name, the Mercedes-Benz SLC. Both details were revealed in an interview with Mercedes-Benz head of design Gorden Wagener at this week’s Beijing Auto Show.
Details are sparse, but the front-engine, rear-drive SLC is expected to be developed in conjunction with performance partner AMG. The most likely engine option is a new 4.0-liter V-8 currently under development, although the 3.5-liter V-6 used in the SLK 350 could also be fitted to lower cost SLC models.
To keep pricing competitive, expect the SLC to drop the SLS AMG’s signature gullwing doors in favor of a more conventional design. Word is that the SLC could hit dealer showrooms as early as 2014, which means we’ll likely start seeing spy photos by the end of the year.
Between now and the the SLC’s release, Wagener advises that we can expect to see two new versions of the SLS AMG, including the SLS AMG Black Series scheduled for release in July.