Funny Looking Chopped E-Class Could In Fact Be A Mercedes SL Mule

A mysterious Mercedes mule has been spied undergoing testing.

Caught wearing a modified E-Class body, the prototype has been equipped with canards and extended fender flares which suggest the model has a wider track than your typical sedan. More notably, the mule has shrunken rear doors which indicate the production model will be extremely short. This likely means Mercedes is testing either a coupe or a convertible.

Nothing is official, but it’s believed the model could be a mule for the next-generation SL. That’s well within the realm of possibilities as Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers has previously said we can expect to see SL prototypes on the road this year.

The company is staying coy on specifics, but Moers has said the next-generation model will be “far sportier” than its predecessor and the roadster will have more in common with the next-generation GT. This could potentially create some overlap between the SL and the GT Roadster, but Moers suggested the company will try to minimize this by keeping the SL focused on comfort and cruising.

Both more are slated to ride on the new Modular Sports Architecture and it’s possible the mule has been created to test and evaluate the platform. Regardless of the mule’s purpose, both the GT and SL are expected to share a number of components.

Rumored to arrive by 2021, the next-generation SL could ditch its retractable hardtop and offer a 2+2 seating arrangement. These changes could help to make the model more competitive with the BMW 8-Series Convertible and Porsche 911 Cabriolet.

Under the hood, we can expect an assortment of hybrid powertrains. Nothing is set in stone, but reports have suggested there will be a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine with outputs of approximately 365 hp (272 kW / 370 PS) and 430 hp (321 kW / 436 PS). There could also be three different variants with a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8. If the rumor mill is correct, the range-topping model could have over 600 hp (447 kW / 608 PS). The SL could also be offered with all-wheel drive, but nothing is certain as of yet.

more photos...

Picture credits: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien for Carscoops

  • Meskley

    The wheelbase looks too short to be the next-gen SL, imo

    • Mike anonymous

      Now hear me out, but what if Mercedes is planning to pull a “Dodge Viper (referring to the 2010 to 2013 transition)” and re-introduce the SLK. Because that could make a lot more sense (like a ‘fun sized’ (and more affordable) alternative to the AMG-GT. The SLK is a more (as least in my own opinion) respected, well-known, and liked nameplate, in comparison to the SL itself.

      I understand they were planning on doing something of the sort originally planned for the SLS around 2013 (although the SLS has been quite successful, so that was off the table), but to my knowledge it’s more likely that this could be introduced as the “new (Return Of The Famed & Well Loved) SLK”, As it should have been.

      It may sound like a far-away dream, but this very well could be closer to reality then one may believe.

      • Rimas Kurtinaitis

        The SL has been around for over 60 years, what are you talking about?

        • Mike anonymous

          Well yes, but as of today (21st century) the SLK is (again, in my own opinion) a respected, well-known (general public), and liked nameplate, in comparison to the SL itself.

          That is not to look past the history and respect that the SL nameplate itself also has, but I personally have liked the SLK (21st century) more than the SL itself. (I am also not referring to the SLS when I mention SL)

          There were and still are quite a great deal of fan who loved the SLK (my favorite generation particularly being the 2004-2011 Model Year).

          What I was saying or ‘taking about‘ was the possibility that Mercedes May have recently discontinued the previous generation SLK give it a ‘breather’ from the market, and bring it back with a return (possibly to recapture the essence originally from the 2004-2011 SLK that had been so popular).

          I apologize this was a little bit long, but Hopefully this helps

  • lagunas3ca

    AMG E-Class Coupe Black Edition.

  • Arthur

    I’m loving this weird frankenstein looking E-Class, those tiny rear doors/windows are completely impractical but look cool.

  • Merc1

    All wrong, this the SWB E-Class for China, oh wait……..


  • Harry_Wild

    Two different wheel styles! Nice!

  • Not too shabby, but damn, Mercedes, make up your mind about the wheels.

    • Matt

      ‘Not too shabby’? It’s a Frankenstein test mule to evaluate a platform – it’s not meant to look good or required to have matching wheels.

      • Mike anonymous

        If they cleaned up a few lines, aligned a few body parts, and fixed the wheels, I’d actually consider something such as this in comparison to the new A-Class.

        • Matt

          Really? Wouldn’t you want the CLA then? Because the proportions on this mule are not attractive – it looks like a cartoon.

      • I do not believe you.

        You are pulling my leg.

        You just made that up, because that “mule” mentioned in the title of the article cannot be the same “Frankenstein test mule” from your comment.

        It is very rude of you.

        Humor is now dead. You killed him. He was a nice guy.

        Thank you very much.

  • Jeremy Ellis

    We are likely looking at an early S-Coupe or Convertible replacement or variant on the MRA-2 platform. It seems unlikely that Mercedes would allow BMW, Rolls-Royce, and Bentley to have all the fun in the luxury GT Coupe segment.

    • Kagan

      Have you missed that there already exist one for many years!

      • Rimas Kurtinaitis

        All three manufacturers (will) have new F-segment coupés now – Merc can’t let them dominate the market. The S dates from 2013.

  • TheAmerican2point0



    • Steve Cohn

      There is a 14″ wheelbase difference between the ’19 E-Class & SL.
      Take a look at the profile & decide.

  • Kagan

    No 8 series should not be a competitor for SL and 911 competitor to gt.

  • Kagan

    Now if they could make the e-class like this with a bit sharper rear, then we are talking.

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  • Shobin Drogan

    Its the new E class Short wheelbase edition.

  • Maricaibo

    You guys need a new Editor. First, “1958 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham Comes From A Time Where Cars Were Art”, now this headline with ‘face’ instead of ‘fact’.

    Did you get any ‘facts’ wrong?

  • MarketAndChurch

    That’s really pretty for a mule.

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