According to an Autocar report, Mercedes-AMG is preparing to build an entry-level sports car to take on Porsche's 718 Cayman and Boxster. The car will apparently serve as an "indirect successor" to the SLC (formerly known as the SLK) roadster, look like a miniature Project One, and—just like that hypercar—possibly store its engine in the middle.
Sitting under the 911-baiting AMG GT range, the new car will come in both coupe and convertible flavors just like the 718 twins it sets out to battle. Engine-wise, Autocar says buyers will have a choice between the turbocharged 2.0-liter found in the company's next-generation A45 hot hatch rumored to make more than 400 horsepower or a less potent A35 motor good for around 300 horsepower. This would put the AMG right inside the Boxster/Cayman's ballpark with those two cars currently pumping out 300 horses apiece in base trim, 350 in S guise, or 365 ponies if one opts for the GTS versions.
Following in the footsteps of the SLS, GT, GT 4-Door Coupe, and Project One, the upcoming Porsche-fighter will be Mercedes-AMG's fifth bespoke creation. The company has previously ruled out building its own crossover.
Quoting a senior Mercedes manager speaking to the British publication, "A lot of thought has gone into how Mercedes-AMG can better leverage its success in motorsport, particularly Formula 1 and endurance racing. One idea is a sports car that is relatively attainable financially and ideally suited to track day running."
Speaking on the possibility of mid-mounted power, an anonymous Autocar source said, "Project One represents the start of a new era for Mercedes-AMG, not only in terms of the electrified driveline but also the placement of it behind the cabin. Just how it will affect future models remains to be seen. However, a mid-rear layout is no longer taboo."
We've reached out to Mercedes-AMG for further comment and will update this story upon response.