Mercedes starts testing the new sport platform MSA for the next SL and SLC

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Mercedes will develop a completely new sport platform (possible internal name MSA) for the next SL and SLC generation.

Mercedes is looking for a new strategy for its sport roadsters SL and SLC. Currently, both are based on a saloon platform. The SL is built on the former E-Class generation platform, while the SLC uses the former C-Class platform.

These platforms are not suitable for a real sports car, because both are too heavy and the engines are mounted too high. On the other side, the market of the sport cars has been shrinking for several years and Mercedes needs to optimize the cost structure.

In this respect, for example, BMW has joined efforts with Toyota to develop the next Z4 generation.

Mercedes will go on its own resources, but will develop a common platform for both roadsters SL and SLC. With a possible internal name MSA (Modular Sports Architecture), this platform will be the third in the Mercedes range after the MFA (for compact models with front wheel drive) and the MRA (for rear wheel drive models).

The new platform will use more lightweight materials and the engines will be mounted much lower to reach a lower gravity center. This platform can also be used, in the future, for other Mercedes sport models. The current AMG GT is built on the old platform used on the SLS AMG.

The SL facelift was presented at Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2015 while the SLC facelift was presented at Detroit Auto Show in January 2016. This means that both cars are at the middle of their lifecycle and will stay on the market for at least another 3 years.

Therefore, the new Modular Sport Architecture will not start before 2019-2020.