And it could have styling cues inspired by the Project One hypercar.
A few months ago, a rumor emerged that Mercedes-AMG is plotting a new standalone sports car to rival the Porsche 718 Cayman. The mystery model still hasn't been officially announced by AMG, but Autocar reports the car is now in the planning stages. It will reportedly slot below the current GT and could act as a replacement for the SLC, which could be axed after the current generation. Like the 718 Cayman, AMG is planning its new two-seater to adopt a mid-engine layout.
It could also be available in two bodystyles: a fixed-roof coupe that will compete with the Cayman and an open-top roadster to battle the 718 Boxster, while the pricing will be competitive against Porsche's rival car. According to Autocar, Mercedes-AMG's new model could utilize the company's updated 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline unit delivering up to 400 hp, which will also power the upcoming A35 and A45 models. A more powerful track-focused variant will likely round off the line-up towards the end of the car's seven-year model cycle. Intriguingly, Autocar also claims the car's styling will have "clear links" to the upcoming Mercedes-AMG Project One hypercar, so it could look quite radical.
The proposed model is more likely to go into production than a dedicated AMG SUV because of its potential to build on the company's motorsport heritage. "A lot of thought has gone into how Mercedes-AMG can better leverage its success in motorsport, particularly Formula 1 and endurance racing," a senior Mercedes-Benz manager told the publication. "One idea is a sports car that is relatively attainable financially and ideally suited to track day running. But it is just an idea and not a committed project right now." Another source suggested AMG's Cayman rival could share elements with the next-generation SL, which is being engineered by AMG and is expected to share design elements with the GT.
This means it would have a front-mid-mounted engine like most other AMGs, but a mid-rear-engined layout isn't being ruled out for the new model. "Project One represents the start of a new era for Mercedes-AMG, not only in terms of the electrified driveline but also the placement of it behind the cabin," the source said to Autocar. "Just how it will affect future models remains to be seen. However, a mid-rear layout is no longer taboo."