Great preview here of the rumored Mercedes-Benz SLM AMG. A must see!
Mercedes is still interested in a derivative of its new halo model, but that prospect is currently being referred to internally as SLM. The M stands for mid-engine, as captured in the proportions of our spy illustration.
The change in course is primarily due to concerns about overlap within the Mercedes lineup. “Our friends in corporate rightly pointed out that a front-engine sports car would have been too close to the SL, which is an important cash cow for the brand,” explains our source at AMG. The performance division considered going in the opposite direction and building a “super SLS”-something wilder than the defunct SLR McLaren-but soon realized that such a concept wouldn’t fit the times. AMG has found that even its elite customer base expects more environmental and social responsibility going forward, so the SLM will emphasize lightness and efficiency. But why go with a mid-engine configuration, which will basically require AMG to start from scratch rather than adapting Gullwing components?
“A mid-engine car is the best way to avoid cannibalizing sales-and to challenge rivals like the Audi R8 and the upcoming production version of the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics coupe,” our source answers.