Mercedes-Benz’s entry-level sports car, the SLK-Class, is about to undergo a mid-cycle update and in the process be rebranded an SLC. According to a new report, when the SLC arrives, there won’t be a dedicated performance offering to replace the current SLK55 from Mercedes-AMG. Instead, the new performance range-topper will likely be an ‘AMG sport’ model built by Mercedes-Benz rather than Mercedes-AMG. Spy shots of prototypes have already been spotted.
This model is expected to feature a version of the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 fitted to existing AMG sport models like the C450 AMG and GLE450 AMG Coupe. However, in an interview with Australia’s Motoring, Mercedes-AMG chief Tobias Moers hinted that we will likely see more power extracted from the engine in the SLC than the unit’s current highest rating of 362 horsepower. He also hinted that it may wear a badge we haven't seen yet.
"It's more part of the AMG family than the sport models as of today are," Moers said. "So we are going to change something, let's wait and see."
We’ll have more details soon, as the first information on the SLC is due out in December and a world debut is expected at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show next January. The car will arrive in showrooms later in 2016, as a 2017 model.
Note, with the SLK55 and its 5.5-liter V-8 being phased out, it means Mercedes will no longer offer a car with a naturally aspirated V-8 engine. It’s a trend sweeping across most major automakers due to tightening emissions and fuel consumption regulations.