2013 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG
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Mercedes-Benz has had great success with its front-wheel drive compact platform that underpins the CLA-Class, GLA-Class and other models. Now, it looks like that spirit of sharing might be moving up market for the Three-Pointed Star. AutoBild in Germany suggests the company is working on a modular chassis for the next SL-Class and SLK-Class, and it would be just one of many rumored changes for the droptop models.

The report claims that Mercedes is developing a new Modulare Sportwagen-Architektur platform. As the name suggests, it would underpin the company's sports cars, including the SL in 2021 and SLK in 2020. This solution would mean cheaper development costs and more shared parts. However, it would also provide a performance advantage with a lower mounting position for the engine and transmission, according to AutoBild.

The SL and SLK would also see major changes to their roofs. The new SL would move from its current folding hardtop to a fabric top to save weight and go for a more classic design. On the other hand, the SLK would stick with its current retractable hardtop.

In terms of future engines, AutoBild believes that Mercedes' rumored 3.0-liter inline-six is going to make up most of the SL's engine options with 365-horsepower and 435-hp versions. The SLK would make do with four-cylinder engines and lower power tunes of the inline-six.

Commenting on the possibility of a shared platform, Christian Bokich, Mercedes-Benz US manager of product and technology PR said: "At this point, it's too early to tell."


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  • 28 Comments
      john m
      • 11 Months Ago
      Keep the retractable hardtop. Ditch the headlights. They're hideous!
        sparrk
        • 11 Months Ago
        @john m
        The current Mercedes generation of cars is the ugliest ever because of their horrible headlights.
      Winnie Jenkems
      • 11 Months Ago
      Hopefully it will ditch those ugly blob headlights
      rsholland
      • 11 Months Ago
      Bad idea to ditch folding hardtop. Current owners would revolt.
      Ken
      • 11 Months Ago
      How does that make sense!? Put the soft top on your smaller, sportier, cheaper car. Make a world-class hardtop for your lux cruiser.
      Dfelix70
      • 11 Months Ago
      Reserve the soft top for the SLS/SLC. That's the car that needs to save on weight. And it would be more appropriate on the SLK. The SL hardtop is a classic design feature that shouldn't be touched. The hardtop has become iconic and no one else has been able to build a proper competitor. I truly believe that's why it's so successful with the more mature richer folk, for safety and security. And it may lend to a slightly noisier cabin as a softtop can only filter out so much wind, road, and traffic noise.
      Jonathan
      • 11 Months Ago
      Honestly, I'm ok with this idea. Reminds me of the Mercedes of the 80s when they took time with the engineering Also, I would LOVE for the SL to have a soft top, and a removable hardtop like the R107. Honestly, I would just like a new R107, but baby steps...
      Phoneboy101
      • 11 Months Ago
      I'm glad they're keeping at least one retractable hardtop. I know there's a big weight/performance penalty, but I love 'em. They are just so cool!
      Eta Carinae
      • 11 Months Ago
      I dont get it......if you remove the hardtop (its crown feature) what will be the difference between it and the S class coupe ? Also MB is readying a new GT to replace the SLS.....what would the SL be there for ? 3 grand touring coupes ?
        Neil
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Eta Carinae
        the SL is and has always been a 2-seater. the s class coupe is a 4 seat coupe. there is currently no convertible version. the SL hasnt always had a retractable hardtop. it had a soft top with a removable hardtop. retractable hardtops add much more weight than soft tops do, hence the reason the SL has become a beached whale. giving the SL and SLK a soft top will not only save weight, but will also make them faster.
      Brett Red-Dog Evans
      • 11 Months Ago
      To clarify, the article isn't suggesting that the A-class platform is moving upmarket, right? It's merely suggesting that the SL/SLK will share a same, modular rear-drive platform? If that's the case, I'm down with it. I really dislike hardtop convertibles.
        Brett Red-Dog Evans
        • 11 Months Ago
        @Brett Red-Dog Evans
        What I'd LOVE to see is a return to inline-six engines. BMW spreads development costs out by putting L6-derived four-cylinders in its smaller cars. Wouldn't that be easier and cheaper than designing a bespoke I4 and V6 for each car, particularly since Benzes usually have enough space to house an inline-six up front?
      yo
      • 11 Months Ago
      that is one ugly car. ICK
      pickles
      • 11 Months Ago
      BMW seems to get all the press for ugly cars but these two MBs sure do deserve some comment. Their bigger concern should be hiring a designer that makes them covetable in stead of worrying about the convertible design.
      Mike McDonald
      • 11 Months Ago
      Much better idea: make it more attractive and keep the hardtop...
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