The automotive journalism term “official spy photographs” sounds about as oxymoronic as “jumbo shrimp,” though the product they describe isn’t nearly as delicious. Manufacturer-released spy shots are a classic way for a car company to get ahead of a story, and the automotive equivalent of a photo-shoot selfie; instead of letting the Brenda Priddys of the world snap up pictures of prototypes with their pants down, the car company puts out a flattering image that shows just what they want you to see.
In this case, Mercedes-Benz and AMG want to show us that they are, indeed, working on a new sports car—one that, from the looks of it, shares the SLS AMG’s general cab-backwards proportions in spite of being a bit smaller overall. From the looks of it, the car doesn’t have gullwing doors, but if those proportions are any guide, it’ll be a looker.
That’s what we know for sure. However, the gang over at Car and Driver have their ears to the ground. They say the car will likely be called GT or SLC, and instead of being an SLS replacement, it’ll supplement the bigger sports car in showrooms at a lower price point (figure in the low-to-mid $100,000 range). In spite of reduced usage of carbon fiber for cost reasons, the GT/SLC should still be a couple hundred pounds lighter than the SLS (off whose platform it’s based). Power is expected to come from AMG’s new twin-turbo 4.0 liter V8, making around 500 horses to start; subsequent versions, such as a Black Series model, will likely push that up towards or past 600 ponies. The AMG dual-clutch seven-speed automatic will handle the grunt en route to the rear wheels.
As much as we don’t want to see the SLS AMG (or its naturally-aspirated 6.2 liter V8) pushed to the sidelines, the notion of a smaller, lighter sports car built on the same rock-solid platform fills us with a fair amount of glee. Plus, we’re hoping this new car will give AMg a chance to rectify the SLS’s biggest flaw: those really unfortunate headlamps. [via Mercedes-Benz, Car and Driver]