Talk of a new sports car built along the lines of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG dates back several years and has yet to lead to any tangible evidence that such a car is even in the works.

At least, that was until today.

One of our spy photographers has managed to scoop a test mule for this new sports car exiting the Nürburgring race track in Germany. The car, which Mercedes-Benz design chief Gorden Wagener has previously revealed will be called the SLC, will share its platform with the SLS AMG but will feature enough unique elements to make it a standalone car.

A new mechanical package for the SLC is being tested by AMG engineers and is concealed under the crudely built SLS AMG body you see above. You can clearly see that the wheelbase has been made shorter than on the SLS AMG, and the front overhang is slightly shorter as well. Engineers have also heavily concealed the front and rear sections of the test car, suggesting that it's wearing some of the final car's components, possibly items for aero and cooling.

More 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 version of AMG's latest 5.5-liter twin-turbo V-8, although a V-6 engine may be offered as well, as an entry-level option. The most powerful model should develop something close to the 500-horsepower mark.

Mercedes will also attempt to keep both the weight and price low by cutting out the SLS AMG's gullwing doors, a defining feature of Merc's supercar. Expect plenty of aluminum, possibly some carbon fiber, and a slightly retro look in terms of its styling. Pricing, meanwhile, should come in just above $100k, making this a direct rival for the Porsche 911 and Aston Martin V8 Vantage.

As the car is still in the very early stages of development, don’t expect to see it launch any earlier than late 2014, which means it’s most likely coming as a 2015 model. A roadster version to join this coupe is expected shortly after. Stay tuned for updates as development of the SLC progresses.


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