Small cars are making a comeback and the current crisis can only help them state their case. So, it may not be surprising that Mercedes is considering a new roadster based on the A and B Class platform.
The new roadster would be based on the SLA Concept Mercedes unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show way back in 2000. It would be slotted beneath the SLK in the product lineup and is intended to compete with new models that are coming from VW and BMW. VW will be showing its new mid-engine roadster concept at the Detroit show in January, and BMW is working on a Z2 roadster based on the 1-series that will be smaller than the Z4.
The next generation A and B Class are expected as 2012 models and will get a new front-wheel drive platform, which they could potentially share with this new Mercedes compact roadster. The new A and B Class will also be getting two additional variants each - a coupe and an SUV version. Mercedes is investing over 1.5 billion euros on this new platform, including a new production plant in Hungary.