( Worldcarfans ) - Here is a set of photos of a test mule for the Mercedes SLC, being prepared for desert testing by a group of AMG engineers. These partially-covered shots are the product of a 12-hour stakeout, in which the hoped-for test-drive never materialized. Instead, the engineers simply readied the prototype for testing, while taking great care to keep the test mule covered as much as possible. It wasn't until late afternoon that the final steps required a quick peek under the hood, finally revealing the car's front fascia and fenders.
Back in July, AMG had released a small statement which announced that Mercedes and McLaren had discontinued their cooperation on the development of a smaller mid-engined SLR follow up known as the McLaren F2, and Mercedes had instead chosen their own in-house performance branch AMG to build a different supercar, known as the SLC. However, since AMG doesn't manufacturer cars, they enlisted their partner in Deutsche Tourenwagon Masters (DTM) championship, HWA Racing, to help develop the SLC. HWA Racing was created by AMG co-founder Hans-Werner Aufrecht as Mercedes' official racing team. Therefore it comes as no surprise, the test team, consisting of AMG versions of the S- class, C-class, and G-class, appeared to be solely an AMG operation.
The proportions of this prototype would appear to put to rest any of the McLaren F2 mid-engine rumors that had been swirling around Mercedes' next super car effort. The mule uses some Dodge Viper body panels at the rear, but any Viper similarities end there, as this SLC mule has a longer wheelbase right around 106-inches (measured right from the prototype as it was parked overnight). The wheelbase of this prototype closely matches that of the SLR, and it clearly displays a long hood and cab-rearward stance.
Everything appears in order for a proper test drive tomorrow, and we'll be there cameras blazing whenever the cover finally comes off completely. Stay tuned!