Mercedes-Benz Could Work On Audi TT Rival
Although a number of media outlets have always pitted the Audi TT Roadster against the Mercedes-Benz SLK, the truth is that Mercedes-Benz has never had a direct rival for the FWD-based Audi TT. That is expected to change in less than five years, since Mercedes-Benz may choose to expand its compact lineup to feature both a coupe and a small roadster, both aimed at the TT. The report comes from Autobild and is far from having been officially confirmed, so you should take it with a pinch of salt.
According to the German magazine, the second generation of the MFA (Modular Front Architecture) platform will spawn at least two more compact models. One of them will be a coupe in the style of Audi’s TT, which in some ways could also be seen as a two-door CLA. Just like the TT, the model would be available with either FWD or FWD-based all-wheel-drive for the more powerful versions.
The second model would be a convertible/roadster version of the coupe, which would subsequently rival the Audi TT Roadster. FWD and AWD versions could be also available for the model, while both coupe and roadster are likely to get AMG and AMG Sport versions of their own. The second generation of the MFA platform should debut with a new A-Class in 2018, so don’t expect the two Audi TT fighters to be unveiled sooner than 2019.
Continue reading to learn more about Mercedes’ possible Audi TT competitor.
Why it matters
Not many people remember, but this is not the first time that Mercedes-Benz has considered a small, lightweight FWD-based sports car. In 2000, when DaimlerChrysler was still a thing, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the Vision SLA Roadster at the Detroit Auto Show. Largely based on the first-generation A-Class, the SLA featured a hybrid body that consisted of aluminum and high-grade plastics in order to give it an almost Lotus-like weight of just 2,094 pounds. This is probably why the model was only fitted with a 1.9-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivered 125 horsepower and 133 pound-feet of torque. Unfortunately, the Vision SLA didn’t preview a production version, with Mercedes-Benz deciding that it would not make a good business case.
Almost 20 years later, and with an ever-expanding lineup, an Audi TT competitor would probably make more sense. That said, you should probably expect a different approach, as the A-Class is in a much larger segment now than it was when the Vision SLA came out. In other words, an A-Class-based coupe/roadster would be nothing like the petite SLA concept car, but more in line with the size and weight of the Audi TT.