Tony O'Kane | May 12, 2008

CAR Online claims to have the scoop on the rumoured development of a new gullwinged Mercedes super-coupe that will take the place of the Mercedes-McLaren SLR (above) as the top-of-the-range performance flagship.

Codenamed the C197 and previously referred to as the SLC, the gullwinged coupe is expected to debut at the 2010 Geneva Motorshow where it's said it will be badged as an AMG rather than a Mercedes-Benz - making this the first stand-alone product of M-B's tuning division. CAR's source says that the C197 will be 4650mm long, 1950mm wide and 1250mm high with a wheelbase of 2700mm and an estimated weight of 1650kg - 45kg less than the SLR. Power from the 6.3-litre AMG V8 is expected to be around the 550hp mark while torque will most likely be close to 445lb/ft, which should be sufficient to propel it to 100kph in 3.8 seconds.

While the overall shape is said to be reminiscent of the current SL, the C197's underlying architecture is going to be a major departure from past Benz designs - except for those roof-hinged gullwing doors of course, which are an obvious throwback to the iconic 300SL of the 50s. An aluminium spaceframe chassis is responsible for keeping weight in check, while the gearbox and final drive will be housed in a rear-mounted transaxle, much like the R35 Nissan GT-R and recent Corvettes. Electronically-adjustable gimmickry will be absent from the suspension and the steering system will be similarly low-tech - a decision made to solidify the model's sporting intent. The cost of admittance is rumoured to be around EUR150,000 and production is expected to be around 12,000, evenly split between roadster and coupe models.

As yet, nobody knows what the final design looks like, but CAR has published their own renderings of what they think represents the finished product. Are they on the money? We'll find out at Geneva in 2010.

[Source: Car Online]

Follow Tony O'Kane on Google+