In 2003, Mercedes-Benz and McLaren linked up on a supercar project that showed Mercedes-Benz had a bone to pick with some of the world’s fastest vehicles. At the time, the German automaker owned 40 percent of McLaren Automotive, so it had access to some superb race-bred technology. As a result, the Mercedes SLR McLaren was born.
Few production vehicles could match the SLR’s 617 horsepower and 580 pound-feet of torque from its supercharged V8. In fact, only Ferrari’s Enzo, with its 650 hp V12, made more power and was quicker to 60 mph. Other entrants followed, including the Porsche Carrera GT (2004) and Bugatti Veyron (2005) gave the SLR more of a challenge, but it was still a force to be reckoned with — especially when it fired back in 2006 with the 640 hp “722 Edition.”
Though Mercedes-AMG offered a spiritual successor in the form of the SLS AMG in 2010, it was less powerful, less exclusive, and ultimately less competitive. The performance car world has only continued to grow in insanity; a Corvette makes 650 hp and a Dodge makes 707 horses. Thus, supercars have to become more “super.”
However, Auto Bild is reporting that Mercedes-AMG is preparing to re-insert itself in the top-tier game with a true SLR successor — and that means a front-engined, rear-wheel drive monster. That’s where the similarities end, though. MB’s skunkworks division is apparently considering a twin-turbocharged V6 paired with an electric motor for about 650 hp, rather than a more traditional V8, as the SLR-take-two’s powertrain. The new model would feature active aerodynamics and a “new door concept.”
First up will be a coupe, followed by a convertible, and finally a Black Series. If everything is approved, Mercedes-AMG plans to produce about 3,000 vehicles per year at $250,000-300,000 each.
Oh, we almost forgot to mention that there’s an alternate reality in which Mercedes-Benz produces a genuine hypercar made of carbon fiber and powered by a mid-mounted turbocharged V8 and two electric motors, good for over 1,000 hp. This version of an SLR successor will only come into existence if the automaker does not move forward with the front-engined idea.
If Mercedes-AMG goes insane with 1,000+ German horses, only 500-750 examples will be built, each with a map of Ferrari LaFerrari’s, Porsche 918’s, and McLaren P1’s goodies.