2015 Mercedes-Benz AMG SLC Rendering

A little more than three years ago, Mercedes-Benz revealed its SLS AMG, and Benz’s performance division is in high gear working on a smaller and more nimble sports car designed to complement its high-performance supercar. It will most likely be called SLC, even though that model designation previously served to denote the oversized, slightly lethargic four-seat version of the 1970s SL roadster, which was built until 1981.

The SLC, which we previewed a year ago, will use a shortened version of the aluminum frame and structure of the SLS it will be sold alongside. The SLC will be a two-seater and feature traditional doors—no SLS gullwings or SLR McLaren scissor doors here. While we originally anticipated that the company would make use of the M159 6.2-liter V-8, or its detuned M156 variation, British publication Car reports that the SLC will receive an entry-level 3.0-liter V-6, which would make around 330 horsepower and bring the price right down into base-model Porsche 911 territory.

There also will be two V-8–powered versions, writes Car, motivated by two variations of a new 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8: the first is known internally as M177 and will produce nearly 500 horsepower, and the second, M178, will make close to 600 horsepower. Another engine that would fit the package well is the M157 naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V-8 that currently powers the SLK55 AMG. All-wheel drive will not be offered, while an automatic transmission will be standard. Down the road, AMG could offer a roadster version of the SLC. All of this seems to be squarely aimed at the Porsche 911 and its various derivatives, and Mercedes clearly wants to get as much out of the architecture as possible.

  • Comparison Test: V12 Vantage vs. R8 V10, 458 Italia, SLS AMG, 911 Turbo S
  • Comparison Test: 2013 Audi S6 vs. 2013 BMW M5, 2012 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG
  • First Drive: 2013 Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG

All of a sudden, there is a lot of activity in the segment. With the new Corvette, the Jaguar F-type, and now the SLC, the battle suddenly seems tougher for the Porsche 911.

By Jens Meiners