This is gonna be one of the most important news of the year! Mercedes is working on the next generation SLK and apparently it’s Gullwing, a smaller version of forthcoming SLC supercar, and it’s a hybrid! Hold on a minute! Gullwing? So SLK won’t a roadster no more? Or maybe it’s a top-of-the-range flagship variant of the next gen SLK? Actually because it’s hybrid, designers, returning to Gullwing shape, moved the doors on the roof so side sills can be large enough to house batteries. Fabulous! If you wanna make a hybrid this is the way you should do it!
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It’s likely the range-topping SLK will use the same advanced lithium-ion battery technology as the Blue Zero E-Cell concept which debuted at the Detroit Motor Show earlier this month. It has batteries that drive an electric motor, and the model can run for around 120 miles before needing to be recharged.
In the SLK, this combination will be teamed with a petrol engine, possibly a development of the 3.5-litre V6 used in the current car. With a brake-energy regeneration system – like the KERS set-up on this season’s Formula One cars – plus stop-start, the SLK Gullwing would be extremely efficient, with fuel economy of around 40mpg and CO2 emissions of 150g/km.
Performance will be superb, too. Combined with the V6 engine, the petrol-electric set-up would have as much torque as a regular V8. And with the electric motor assisting the engine under full throttle and up hills, owners could expect awesome acceleration, with 0-60mph in five seconds and a top speed of 155mph. Fine-tuning of the performance and handling is likely to be carried out by Mercedes’ AMG division.
The baby Gullwing is still some way off yet, though. It’s likely that the new SLK range will go on sale in 2011, with this flagship version arriving in 2012. The SLK will continue to be rear-wheel drive, although changes to the line-up will include a slight increase in size, and the availability of a folding glass roof for the first time.
Mercedes’ new SLK is not the only major development at the smaller end of the firm’s range. It is also planning a new front-wheel-drive A-Class-based roadster, which would gun for BMW’s 1-Series Convertible. It’s expected to arrive in 2010, and will draw its styling inspiration from the Vision SLA concept car.
Great! Return of Gullwing is a fantastic news. Of course we have to wait until 2011 or 12 to see this car but the SLC is about to come in next few month. If next SLK is so great this new SLC supercar is going to be a masterpiece. And maybe this is the start of a new Gullwing era, maybe more is to come…
source : Autoexpress