Mercedes-Benz SLC testing at the Nurburgring

As of late, every six years or so, Mercedes-Benz introduces a new sportscar starting with the letters SL. Each one has had some manner of V8 engine, and each successive model tends to be downmarket from the one that came before. There was the SLR McLaren that went into production in 2003 with a 5.4-liter supercharged V8 and a half-million-dollar price tag. Six years later, Mercedes unveiled the SLS AMG with a 6.2-liter naturally-aspirated V8 and an MSRP of around $200k. And in late 2014 – just under six years since the SLS bowed in Frankfurt – Benz is expected to launch the car you see here.

Tipped to be called SLC, it's expected to pack a twin-turbo V8 and take aim at the upper end of the Porsche 911 range. Project C190, as it's known internally, will offer a variety of outputs starting at around 485 horsepower in the base model and reaching as high as 600 hp in the anticipated Black Series model.

The prototype pictured here testing at the Nürburgring is still all taped up, but without any major body cladding, this is our best look yet at the coupe's overall shape. Expect a 2+2 layout (instead of the strict two-seat layouts of the SLR and SLS), probably with conventional doors (instead of the SLR's butterfly portals or the gullwings on the SLS), and with the possibility of a convertible version to follow after it hits the market a little over a year from now.