The company Mercedes-Benz will once again discuss the launch of the Roadster SLA

The company Mercedes-Benz will once again discuss the launch of the Roadster SLA

Leonid Popov, 21 hours ago. Photo: Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Fiat, autoblog.com

For 14 years the idea a little Roadster Mercedes-Benz illustrates the concept Vision SLA. Serial car will hardly do to have something in common, except proportions and sizes.

In  the depths of the company Mercedes-Benz has once again revived the idea of creating a Roadster with a length of about four metres. He would be on a step below SLK (4134 mm), competing with the Audi TT Roadster (4178 mm) and with Mini Roadster (1010 mm). Mini, by the way, in the future can replace it with a completely different model (the unofficial information), but by 2015 it is still in the game. Harbinger same compact Roadster from Stuttgart had a concept of Mercedes Vision SLA shown back in January 2000 in Detroit. Front-wheel-drive Roadster with a length of only 3.77 m built using pendants and other elements of the chassis from the hatchback And the class of the first generation. It is a concept borrowed petrol engine 1.9 (125 PS), which is good enough on the background of a curb weight of only 950 kg

The dimensions of the concept Vision SLA consisted of aluminium framework and plastic exterior panels. If the small Roadster goes into series production, it will execute more traditional technologies for reasons of cost.

About running a production version SLA Germans informally talking in 2008. Then the idea was postponed and again returned for consideration in 2011, and then took a break. Three years ago it was assumed that built Roadster will be on the new front-wheel-drive platform MFA. Previously the company managers reported that it will form the basis of only five models (this A-class, B-class, CLA, GLA and CLA Shooting Brake). However, insiders say: sixth model (this little Roadster) is now again being discussed in the manual Mercedes. Former project SLA-based «ancient» a-class was hacked on economic considerations. The platform was not profitable enough, and would not justify the costs of adapting it under the car. Another thing MFA with her family really massive machines.

Front-wheel-drive roadsters was not so much. In addition to the Mini and TT remember the Fiat Barchetta (1995-2005) and Daihatsu Copen (2002-2012’s.), the last can soon return in the new generation. But what is common for companies with a large front-wheel drive model (and the corresponding image), very strange would look in the line Mercedes. Yet from roadsters (especially with the three-pointed star) decided to wait some kind of drive, and hence, more athletic build.

If the project SLA is approved, we will get another Mercedes with a complex image. On the one hand, it is worth remembering the fate of the first time Smart Roadster (2003-2006), which is very popular not earned, but was built on sports canons: mid-engined layout, rear-wheel drive. On the other hand, making a decision, Mercedes may keep in mind the upcoming model from the nearest competitor — compact Roadster BMW Z2. It must be built on a platform UKL1 (as, for example, Active Tourer). For the Bavarians such Roadster will also be a challenge: how the new product will be perceived by the public? Well that these two front-wheel cart» (and UKL1, and MFA) suggest the possibility of adding a full drive. Maybe both of the «German» will to receive such transmission, and thereby correct the image.

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