Mercedes-Benz has been looking into building a direct competitor to the Porsche 911 for some time now. They've confirmed this information to U.K. magazine Autocar that they have officially given a codename to the project, SLC, meaning it's officially entered the development phase. It would be placed below the highly successful SLS AMG. This new V8-powered two-seater is scheduled to launch in 2014 followed by a soft-top roadster in 2016.
It would also be a so-called joint exercise between the German automaker's regular car department and their high performance division, AMG. AMG would handle engineering, development, and testing and are specifically targeting the 911 Carrera S as their benchmark. However, Mercedes has no intention of going with a mid-engine car, sticking strictly to their traditional front-engine layout. Styling wise, designers at the company's Sindelfingen studio near Stuttgart are working on something that's being described as a "contemporary retro" and will make the 911 "seem old-fashioned."
Power could come from AMG's 5.5-liter V8 that produces some 420hp. More details will be coming out in the near future, but for now, only this rendering has been released. Photos courtesy of Lehmann Photo-Syndication.