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Is the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG dead?
We’re receiving reports that make for uncomfortable reading: Mercedes may be about to kill off the SLS.
Rumours abound that Merc is preparing a celebratory ‘final edition’ SLS for next week’s Los Angeles Motor Show, signalling the end of production for one of the world’s great supercars.
Mercedes hasn’t shown its hand just yet, so we’ll have to wait and see if it’s true, but if so, it will be a crying shame because we’re quite taken with the SLS here at Top Gear. The noise is worth the entrance price alone, and our very own Clarkson was smitten, declaring in 2011 how he loved it “more than my own dog”. That’s praise.
Then there’s the SLS Black Series, which is not so much off the scale, as on its own planet entirely. We like that planet.
Why exactly then, would Mercedes can the SLS? On the face of it, that’s a tough one to understand. After all, the gullwing V8 has barely been on sale for three years, and has acted as a superb halo for Benz.
Perhaps to make way for its little brother. We know that a ‘baby SLS’, codenamed the Mercedes C190, is waiting in the pipeline, a car we’ll see revealed in spring 2014. That car will go head to head with the Porsche 911, though will retain Merc’s favoured front-engined, rear-wheel-drive layout. Or perhaps because of the capacity of the production line, hinting strongly that the new car will be all-aluminium.
No word on engines, but were the C190 to get Merc’s latest 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 monster - or indeed a likely 500bhp 4.0-litre V8 - it’d certainly be in danger of trampling on the SLS’s hairy toes.
But here’s the big question for now: if it does indeed materialise, exactly how insane will the end-of-the-line ‘final edition’ SLS be? And how can it possibly top the deranged, sublime Black Series?