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Mercedes Reportedly Working on Small Roadster

2000 Mercedes SLA Vision concept2000 Mercedes SLA Vision concept2000 Mercedes SLA Vision concept2000 Mercedes SLA Vision concept2000 Mercedes SLA Vision concept
German automaker Mercedes is currently working on a small front-wheel drive roadster based on the new-generation A-Klasse that may reach the market as soon as 2012, a report published by drive.com.au said. The two-seater model is especially aimed at the younger segment of buyers as it will boast a sporty design plus fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly engines. The SLA Vision roadster concept showcased in 2000 may reach mass production in 2012, the aforementioned source added quoting a Mercedes insider who attended the 2009 North American International Auto Show.

Another thing worth mentioning concerns the new A-Klasse, which may abandon the sandwich platform used since 1997 in the favor of other systems that may provide more flexibility to the upcoming model. For example, the German manufacturer aims to adopt a front-wheel drive platform, despite the fact that an all-wheel drive system could be also implemented.

“The next-generation A- and B-Class will use a new front-drive platform that will lend itself to many new bodystyle options. The sandwich floor is not suitable for a roadster design because it is too heavy and the roof would be too high. BMW’s 1-Series is a rear-wheel-drive small car, but the space limitations of this style of drivetrain mean there’s no [practical] rear seat,” the aforementioned source said reported.

The Mercedes insider also denied rumors that Mercedes may be interested in designing a special model to compete with Alfa Romeo MiTo, Audi A1 or MINI, explaining that smart will remain a two-seater car for the time being.

“The market for that kind of [premium hatch] car is limited. The MINI has a lot of heritage, even if the new Mini is very different to the original Mini. The Mini brand is one that fits well with its parent company [BMW]. And we have our own young and funky brand in Smart. But Smart will remain a two-seater car,” the aforementioned source quoted the source as saying.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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