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As Mercedes-Benz begins to reduce the number of architectures it uses for their vehicles, an interesting question pops up: Could Mercedes-Benz do a front-wheel drive roadster? Will Maley reports from TorqueNews.com.
Crazy?! Not so when you consider the Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class and GLA-Class use a front-wheel drive architecture. A possible candidate could be the next-generation SLC roadster.
“A front-wheel-drive roadster is a very different animal,” said Mercedes-Benz chief Dr. Dieter Zetsche to CarAdvice when asked about the SLC possibly moving to a front-wheel drive platform.
There is some method to this possible madness as more and more buyers are drifting towards sedans and crossovers. This is turn means not as many roadsters are being sold and causing an automaker to lose money, something Zetsche is aware of.
“Going forward, we all know there are big expansions in the auto industry, and those expansions are more to sedans and SUVs than sports cars. Within this climate, we have to look also at our coupes and convertibles and roadsters,” said Zetsche.
But not many people buy a roadster because its drive layout. They buy it for the design, something Zetsche points out.
“Especially the Mercedes-Benz long hood and the long space between the wheel and the front door, which is a signature. That is very much learned, and inherent to the brand.”
Oct 06, 2015 - 4:41 PM - by NickJ
Noah Joseph from Autoblog:
It's only been a couple of years since Mercedes launched the CLA-Class, but it appears the German automaker is already preparing mild revisions for the compact four-door.
Spotted undergoing testing at the company's R&D center in Sindelfingen, Germany, this disguised prototype is likely packing many of the updates that were recently applied to the A-Class hatchback with which the CLA shares most of its underpinnings. As you can see, the front end is camouflaged to disguise the shape of a new grille, bumper, and headlights. Expect similar revisions to be applied to the back as well.
Don't expect any drastic mechanical changes in most of the models, which will surely cut the svelte model's fuel consumption and carbon emissions incrementally. We can likely look forward to the arrival of the new AMG version that will hopefully pack the revised 2.0-liter turbo four that produces 381 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque in the updated Mercedes-AMG A45 – a not-insignificant boost of 36 hp and 18 lb-ft over the existing version.
Mercedes won't pass up the opportunity to update the interior with new trim and equipment. That should mean a bigger infotainment screen, a new instrument cluster, and even more comfortable seats. Look for all this and more when the revised CLA arrives sometime next year, likely as a 2017 model.
Gravy and more photos: Mercedes CLA facelift spotted in Germany
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