Rumor: Baby SLS AMG in the works

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

AMG's next project is speculated to be a smaller V8 coupe intended to rival the Porsche 911. AMG has said that after it has launched the new Mercedes-Benz SLS Gullwing, it will be producing more stand-alone products. During the media launch of the SLS Gullwing Monterey, California, company executives informed reporters that it will soon broaden the AMG model line-up in the coming years.

The next addition to the SLS range won't arrive until at least five years from now. The company executives said that at the moment, no official proposal has been submitted to AMG's bosses at Mercedes.

The SLS must first be able to prove the feasibility for bespoke machines. But they did admit that there have been talks about future projects, signifying that they're leaning towards a more compact sports car built around a version of the SLS chassis.

A rear-engined configuration has been taken out of the picture as it would not be in line with the AMG brand values. A new-generation V8, which has between 5.8- and 6.2-litre capacity, is likely to be featured on the new baby SLS.

The V8 features direct injection and cylinder cut-off technology. This means that only four cylinders will be used during smooth driving or when serious performance is not required. Actually, AMG is already developing this technology, which uses a hydraulic mechanism to close valves in the unused cylinders.

Energy losses are then minimized due to the 'spring' rebound of compressed air in the cylinder. According to AMG's product plan, the new engine with cut-off tech will appear in the next-generation SLS as well as the proposed smaller sibling, where its output might be reduced.

The baby SLS is likely to retain the front/mid-engined layout of its big brother; however, it will have a shorter front end. This detail became possible because the SLS has a bonnet almost two meters long and an engine set well back towards the driver. This means that some empty space could be cut out at the front of the package.

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