Over the course of the next two years, Mercedes-Benz is set to release three new roadsters…well, sort of. The company has announced plans to introduce three “new” convertibles by 2017; however, two of the vehicles are more of a redesign.
According to this plan, Mercedes-Benz will give the SL an update and redesign, tweak the SLK (part of the changes will include renaming the SLK the SLC), and add a roadster variant of the Mercedes-AMG GT, which would become widely available within the next two years.
In a convertible industry that really isn’t growing in popularity – the market for these cars is pretty stagnant – Mercedes is betting on beating the odds with this new line of high-class roadsters. Given the company’s track record for creating some of the finest sporty rides around, however, the company’s plans don’t seem overly ambitious.
When it comes to the iconic Mercedes-Benz SL, recent years have found the car’s design looking a bit out of sorts, the product of too many subtle changes that don’t really fit together. Mercedes plans to address the car’s less-than-ideal aesthetics by adding a new grille inspired by the famous 300 SL Panamericana. The changes on the SL will also include a new rear end design with enhanced taillights and bumpers. and an update to the interior, with a better infotainment system. Other than design elements, not much will change though – under the hood, the SL should remain the same.
With the Mercedes-Benz SLK, the changes will be less noticeable. The car will receive a facelift of sorts, and will be rebranded as the SLC, showing its relation to the C-class. Other changes will likely include a more powerful engine and a nine-speed automatic transmission, adding even better performance to an already-great vehicle.
The Mercedes-AMG GT Roadster has been waiting in the wings for some time now evidently, as Mercedes has been waiting to release a roadster version of the car until the SLK is rebranded. Like the AMG GT coupe, this car would feature a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 engine and an automatic transmission. In contrast to the coupe version, the roadster version here would feature a fabric top in lieu of a retractable hard top. The AMG GT is arguably Mercedes most exciting sports car, and a roadster version of it would no doubt be a hit.
Thus far, there is no solid release date for the three “new” vehicles, but look for all three to be on the market by 2017. Here’s hoping Mercedes-Benz continues to impress.