While the two elements would seem unrelated, Mercedes engineers are reportedly set on using the classic SL door configuration as a space-saving, access-enabling solution. The battery packs for the electric motors are earmarked to sit in the door sills, leaving reduced space for entry and exit that could be alleviated by the use of the top-hinged gullwing doors that appeared on the original 300SL – the very same door type that is earmarked to appear on the new range-topping SLC.
The hybrid propulsion system – based on that of the Concept BlueZero E-Cell unveiled earlier this month in Detroit – will reportedly be supplemented by a gasoline-burning V6, an F1-derived kinetic braking system and start-stop engine management. Word is that the combination should be good for AMG levels of performance while returning exemplary gas mileage and low emissions. The next-generation SLK, which could itself include a folding glass roof mechanism, is expected to arrive by 2011, with the hybrid gullwing model following the year thereafter.
[Source: Auto Express]