The baby Mercedes-Benz SLS that broke cover at the Beijing motor show will be called the SLC when it goes into production.

The carmaker's design chief Gorden Wagener confirmed plans for the car and its name. He also said that the production version of the Concept Style Coupe - or CSC - which debuted at the show, will be called the CLA.

Wagener said of the company's three-pronged design strategy: "There is traditional design for cars like the S-Class, progressive design for vehicles like the CLA and dynamic design for the SLS and SLC."

There has been much speculation about a Mercedes-Benz sports car to rival the Porsche 911 and Aston Martin V8 Vantage, but this is the first time any high-ranking company official has confirmed its existence.


The car is believed to be a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and its go-faster AMG division.

In order to keep costs down, the SLC is unlikely to feature gullwing doors. Power is expected to come from an all-new 4-litre V8, while a V6 version based on the SLK's engine is likely to be offered too.

Wagener suggested a coupe version of the all-wheel-drive M-Class is also in the pipeline. The BMW X6 rival would be part of a new breed of Sports Utility Coupes, the first of which is likely to use the new A-Class platform.

The SLC isn't likely to arrive until 2014. In the meantime, there will be two more versions of the SLS, the first of which will be the Black Series in July.

The CLS Shooting Brake will be unveiled later this year, followed by the CLA and a new S-Class in 2013.

The firm's flagship luxury car will be the first model in the line-up to get Mercedes-Benz' new "black box" technology, which will allow the carmaker to monitor each car's health via the internet, allowing detection of potential mechanical problems.