A Mercedes SLA Roadster Would Give The Porsche Boxster A Problem

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We could be on to something here.

Mercedes has been making plenty of moves lately, releasing new electric vehicles with new technological innovations, but it's also looking to reinvent the old Mercedes SL by making it the lightweight sports car it was always supposed to be. That got us thinking - could the now-dead Mercedes-Benz SLC benefit from similar introspection? That car died because it didn't evolve, so with a fresh approach that gives the old roadster a modern outlook, could it become a hot seller once more? To find out, we took a crack at designing our own version called the SLA, and as the name suggests, it would borrow much from the premium CLA sedan.

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We'd give the new SLA similar proportions to the current BMW Z4, and like that car, we'd use an engine that has already proven to be versatile in other products. Thus, we'd have our top trim - an AMG Line car rather than a full AMG model - feature the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine from the Merc-AMG CLA 35 and 45 models. This model would thus produce up to 382 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque, while lesser versions would get between 221 hp and 302 hp. As a roadster, it would ideally send its power to the rear wheels via a dual-clutch automatic gearbox - an AWD system simply wouldn't fit and would increase weight too much.

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2020-2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA35 Front Angle View CarBuzz
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2020-2021 Mercedes-AMG CLA35 Rear Angle View CarBuzz
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Greatest Roadsters Of All Time
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Greatest Steeda Fords Of All Time

As for the interior, we'd fit some AMG seats and much of the interior from the CLA. After all, most modern Mercs are mirror images of each other inside. A pair of 10.25-inch screens would take care of infotainment and driver readouts, while ambient lighting, dual-zone climate control, and Merc's AIRSCARF system would all be fitted for a luxurious yet simple cabin. However, it would need to be fairly cheap to build. The most expensive CLA costs over $70,000 with all the options and the Porsche 718 Boxster starts at $59,600. But if Merc could keep pricing below that of Porsche's while offering a RWD rocket in a glamorous body, Stuttgart's other manufacturer could have a winning recipe.

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