Monday, November 23, 2009

The baby Mercedes AMG "SLS"

As cool and unique as the SLS and it's gullwing doors are -- it is very impractical.  Maybe I just have really short arms, but when I sit down in the low slung body of the coupe, and buckle in, I cannot for the life of me reach the door handles.  During the AMG driving academy, I was many times assisted by very friendly and helpful instructors and employees.  Unfortunately, I don't make enough to have them around all the time if I ever do own one.

One project that does show some promise is the new "baby SLS".  Although the representative from AMG did say they are not planning to reuse the current SLS platform for any other vehicles (I asked the question myself and heard from the man himself over dinner), it does not stop them for reusing the technology to build a secondary platform for a smaller, and cheaper sibling.

The sibling is expected to have a much shorter nose (current SLS nose tip to windshield is almost 9 meters) and regular doors.  The car is also expected to retain it's front mid engine layout and 7-speed dual clutch transaxle transmission.   The result is both in performance and price a vehicle that is destined to compete with the Porsche 911s and Audi R8s of the world.  Because of the shorter overhang, the vehicle should also be much more nimble while retaining and possibly improving the near 50-50 balance of the SLS. 

This may be my potential next car.  The vehicle that both allows me to keep my promise of "AMG for life" as well as stays within my budget.  Then again, considering how my current13 year old Volvo 850 Turbo ("Nismobile") is doing, I may end up with both a C63 AMG estate (if they ever come to the States) and this sporty little number on the weekends. Volvo has the reputation of lasting for life, but unfortunately this current example has been through the torture of my mother.  During these past few weeks, there has been noises that started emanating from the vehicle that I have never heard before and has grown concerning louder as time passed.  Once the Volvo dies, I will need a new vehicle to carry around our trusty semi-retarded doberman (hence the car's nickname).  Every time I take the Volvo in for service, I pay about half the value of the vehicle.  If there are major repairs, it may not be worth it.

This seems like just the right cup of soup for me, not too hot, not too cold. 

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