Mercedes’ SLC roadster may lose one of its main ingredients and we may see it in the future spawning with a front-wheel-drive setup, Dieter Zetsche hints.
As the auto industry moves its focus towards the segments which can return higher margins, such as SUVs of course, automakers are looking for ways to maximize production costs, even if that means to give up on some of their traditions. From this point of view, the best strategy for them is to use the same technical platform on as many models as possible. And Mercedes-Benz makes no exception from this obvious and understandable path. In the eyes of enthusiasts, a roadster is a rear-wheel-drive open-top long-hooded short-back-ended model by definition. However, the vast majority of customers are not particularly looking for a thrilling drive on such cars, but they are eying the design instead as a key element.
“Especially the Mercedes-Benz long hood and the long space between the wheel and the front door, which is a signature,” Mercedes-Benz CEO Dieter Zetsche recently said about the main feature of company’s roadsters, quoted by CarAdvice. “That is very much learned, and inherent to the brand.” And if the wow factor is more important than the underpinnings, it could be presumed that the next generation of newly refreshed SLC may stand on a costlier-friendly front-wheel-drive shared architecture. “A front-wheel-drive roadster is a very different animal,” he answered. “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,” Zetsche added. “Within this climate, we have to look also at our coupes and convertibles and roadsters.”