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mercedes vision sla lead 597x294 SLA Roadster Breaks New Ground For Mercedes

Times are really changing, as demonstrated by the report of Mercedes’ new roadster, which will be offered in front-wheel drive. Traditionalists will no doubt be dismayed, as the quintessential roadster is a diminutive rear-wheel drive two seater, as popularized by iconic roadsters from MG, Lotus, and Triumph.

But a FWD layout has demonstrably been a very efficient method of
powertrain packaging, and the new SLA is based off the B-Class platform,
so here we are. Power will be decidedly more exciting, as the engines
to be offered will all be turbocharged. The gasoline 1.6 and diesel 1.8
will be available with both a 7-speed DCT transmission or a 6-speed
manual.

As with most roadsters of yore, the SLA will be available in soft-top
versions only, and we can expect the final features and design of the
car to appeal to a younger demographic, as exemplified by the new
offerings from the German manufacturer.

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The new roadster is squarely aimed at the Audi TT (roundly aimed at BMW’s 1 Series) and should be priced accordingly. The 2013 SLA will be based on the Vision SLA Roadster Concept, which was first shown at the 2000 North American International Auto Show, which is what all these pictures are of.

So, what do you think? Is a front wheel drive roadster a good move for MB? Voice your opinion here!

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