Now, in our latest run-in with this SLC prototype, the AMG-based Mercedes test group has removed the mule’s fake plastic nose piece, revealing more nuanced styling that just might give us a real taste of the SLCÃÂÂ

Though nothing quite as epic as "The Lord of the Rings", the unmasking of the Mercedes SLC mule has become something of a trilogy. First came the partially covered prototype, then we caught the SLC uncovered when it finally hit the road for testing. Now, in our latest run-in with this SLC prototype, the AMG-based Mercedes test group has removed the mule's fake plastic nose piece, revealing more nuanced styling that just might give us a real taste of the SLC's future face. Some definite styling elements now appear visible, with a large central grille opening, flanked by two smaller air-intakes sitting below the headlights. An additional air slit runs the full width of the SLC's "chin". We now get the impression of a smartly chiseled front fascia, and pronounced front wheel arches.

The initial test runs on the SLC were conducted over some tight canyon roads, in higher elevations where the temperatures were only in the low-eighties. The conditions were hardly suitable for hot- weather trials, but they seemed ideal for testing suspension settings. These newer shots were taken in Death Valley, where temperatures were hovering around 120-degrees. That may explain the need to remove the SLC's false nose, finally revealing something much closer to the car's true styling. Thus uncovered, the engineers could gather much more accurate engine-cooling data.

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