Mercedes is working on a spiritual successor to the 300 SL Gullwing, one of the most revered cars in history. Priced between €140,000 and €200,000, the mega-Merc will be built on a shortened SL platform and is codenamed W198. Unlike the Mercedes-McLaren SLR, which was deemed to be a failure, the W198 will be built internally by Mercedes and AMG and the company expects to sell 3000-5000 units per year, according to a report from Germany’s Auto Motor Und Sport.

It’s expected the venerable 6.2L AMG V8 will once again make an appearance, this time developing close to 620hp. Despite the platform being shared with the SL, it’s expected most other components will be different to allow for some differentiation and to make room for the distinctive gullwing doors. The new model will sit between the SL and SLR in terms of performance and price.

Despite being a homage to the old 300 SL, don’t expect the W198 to be shamelessly retro. Apparently the first drawings provided by the designers were too close to the original and they were sent back to create something more modern. It’s expected the W198 will hit the streets in 2010.

In the meantime, Mercedes will be replacing the SL55 with the SL63, featuring the 6.2L V8. You can also expect to see a lightweight “superleggera” version of the SL weighing 100kg less than the standard model and developing up to 700hp.