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Mercedes-Benz SL, SLK May Share Architecture, Offer AWD

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/5/2014 Karla Sanchez

The Mercedes-Benz SL and SLK are in for major changes, as Automobile Magazine reports the roadsters will be built on a new lightweight sports car architecture.

Although the current generation is by no means old since it was launched in 2012, Mercedes now wants the roadster to hearken back to the glory days of the SL when it was offered as a gullwing coupe and as a soft-top convertible. With that, the new SL will reportedly offer an available classic soft-top, while the SLK will retain the hardtop. But perhaps the biggest change in store for the roadsters is that they will reportedly share the same architecture. In an effort to cut costs, the automaker is developing a new platform dubbed the MSA (Modular Sports Car Architecture) that will underpin both the next SLK (out in 2020) and the all-new SL (out in 2021). The new architecture is the most recent to come after the MRA (Modular Rear-wheel drive Architecture) and MHA (Modular High-floor SUV Architecture) platforms. MotorTrend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTrend Image

Mercedes-Benz SL, SLK May Share Architecture, Offer AWD

With the new platform, the SL and SLK are expected to improve on performance and balance. The engines and transmission will be mounted much lower compared to current models, resulting in a lower center of gravity. Also a first for the roadsters, the architecture will allow them be available with all-wheel drive. Both models will also be much lighter, with weight-saving targets more than 330 pounds for the SL and about 220 pounds for the SLK. MotorTrend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTrend Image

As for what will lie underneath the SL's hood, Automobile says we can expect the all-new 3.0-liter straight-six to be the main powerplant, though a four-cylinder CLA engine that makes 400 hp is also a possibility. There could even be a Black Series SLK that puts out an impressive 465 hp, however, with the changeover six years away, it's too early to know for sure.

Source: Automobile Magazine

2014 Mercedes Benz SL550© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 Mercedes Benz SL550
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