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Mercedes-Benz is currently planning a new two seat roadster or compact four seat convertible to be spun off the next generation front wheel drive A-Class and B-Class platform. The brand previously considered a baby roadster to be positioned below the SL-K earlier this decade; however the current A and B-Class share a unique sandwich floor which would have been unsuitable for the sporty nature of a roadster due to the height of the platform. The decision that the next generation A and B-Class will loose the sandwich floor and be built on a traditional platform has once again opened the door for a new open top model.
The new A-Class is due in 2010 as both a hatchback and an additional new 3 door Coupe, followed by a new B-Class late the following year. The roadster or convertible new model would likely go on sale in the second half of 2011 or the following year. Claims that the new model will be a competitor to the MX-5 may be a little far fetched as the MX-5 is a true rear wheel drive roadster whilst the Mercedes-Benz will be front wheel drive.
It might make more sense for Mercedes to fit the new model with four seats and compete with compact convertibles such as the Audi A3 and BMW 1-Series convertible.
The image above is of the Mercedes-Benz Vison SLA concept from the year 2000, which previewed the styling of the current generation SLK roadster launched in 2004.
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