by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

REPORT: Future Mercedes-Benz SLC AMG supercar arriving in 2016

The anticipated mid-range supercar engineered by the Affalterbach-based firm is slated to hit streets in around 3 years from now, according to latest rumors. Although during spring 2012 there were numerous reports the outcome of the SLC AMG is put under question amidst expected high development costs, it now looks the new Star-badged performance vehicle is ever closer to serial production.

The C 190 project is intended to be a versatile, fun to drive and attractively priced mid-sized supercar to compete with Porsche 911 and Lamborghini Gallardo. First test mules should start on-road development in early 2014, whereas the first camouflaged, finished design test prototypes could appear towards the end of next year. Then we will likely depict the general silhouette, which allegedly boasts aerodynamic supercar proportions with a low centre of gravity and sleek design, unlike the retro-styled SLS AMG. There will be no Gullwing doors, but conventional ones (maybe upward opening "scissors"?), to shave off important kilograms, improve bodyshell rigidity and ride dynamics. Through 2017, a roadster version (R 190) of the SLC AMG, using a low-weight retractable cloth roof, could also arrive in the family.

The future SLC AMG will receive company's brand new twin-turbo V8 engine with a total displacement of 4.0 litres. In its most powerful version, this new powerplant, featuring state-of-the-art direct injection, cylinder management and further solutions to increase efficiency, boasts no less than 585 hp. A slightly less powerful variant of the same eight-cylinder unit, this time developing 485 hp, will also be offered for the new SLC AMG, while the entry-level model will be powered by a 3.0-litre V6 engine rated at 333 hp. Power transmission to the rear axle will be the job of a new AMG SPEEDSHIFT dual-clutch 7-speed automatic gearbox which sends the torque through a limited slip differential.

The rear-wheel-drive architecture of the C 190 will be engineered from zero - the super-tweaked technical platform of the SLS AMG Black Series and Merc's new MRA rear-driven underpinnings should serve as inspiration for more cohesion and a smoother implementation. A new generation of the AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension management system, as well as high performance, forged alloy/ceramic brakes and an enhanced 3-stage ESP, will also be fitted to the new SLC AMG.

Standard pricing for the Mercedes-Benz SLC AMG variants will spread over the €80,000 - €140,000 interval in Europe. The supercar is also bound to reach showrooms from the United States and China in 2017, at similar, currency updated price tags. In the upcoming years, we could get a preview of the SLC AMG in the form of a concept car to bow at one of the major auto shows, but that is still an assumption. If the sales of the "electrifying" SLS AMG go well, the C 190 might also receive an Electric Drive variant in 2018, while a range-topping, hardcore Black Series version for the SLC AMG is rather unlikely at the moment, given the high-end 585 hp model. However, it is highly possible the SLS AMG gets discontinued the same year the SLC AMG comes into force, as this future model is already seen as a replacement for the current Merc supercar.

Image Credits: Autocar

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