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 |  Sep 06 2011, 12:15 PM

Mercedes will launch a new entry-level sports car in 2013, using a rather unconventional engine and drivetrain pairing. While we expect to hear about front-drive 4-cylinder economy cars, from, say, Honda, it’s a surprise to learn that Mercedes is prepping this reliable combo for its new SLA roadster.

Based on the same platform as the upcoming B-Class the SLA is tipped to be a front-wheel drive machine, making use of a 1.6-liter gasoline 4-cylinder, or a 1.8-liter diesel engine. Look for some solid transmissions, with either a 6-speed manual or Merc’s new 7-speed dual-clutch unit.

In a bid to keep cost and weight to a minimum, the roof will reportedly be a soft-top only.

Styling won’t look anything like the Vision SLA Roadster Concept from back in 2000. Instead, look for inspiration to come from the new A-Class Concept.

[Source: GoAuto]