In March 2016, 20 years on from the birth of its predecessor, the archetypal compact roadster is to be relaunched with a new name – the SLC. And it has just made its public debut here at the Detroit Auto Show. The SLK is dead and we now have a brand new roadster on our hands. The name SLC is chosen to denote its alignment with the C-Class, just as the GLC did with the GLK. The formula and structure do remain the same – two seats, folding hard-top and a small wheel-base.
The SLC will be offered globally with a wide array of engine options – most of them with four cylinders, ranging from 1.6 litres to 2.0 litres and burning either petrol or diesel. The flagship SLC43 from Mercedes-AMG comes with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6. Replacing the eight-cylinder SLK55, the SLC43 packs the same engine as the C450AMG Sport and the SL450, good for a 362 hp output. The 9G-Triptonic automatic transmission can be adjusted between sport and comfort settings and lets you decide how much wind you want in your hair. With DYNAMIC SELECT the vehicle characteristics can be adjusted instantly at the touch of a button, as the system modifies the engine, transmission, steering and suspension at the driver’s behest.
Mercedes has decided to couple the V6 and the AMG sports suspension which is familiar from the Mercedes-AMG SLK55. This combination is reflected in the sporty performance figures, with the SLC 43 accelerating from 0 to 100 kmph in 4.7 seconds. Even greater driving dynamics is optionally available with the AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension which has adaptive adjustable damping as well as the handling package with mechanical limited-slip differential on the rear axle. The SLC 43 features an AMG Sport exhaust system as standard and uses the two adjustable exhaust flaps to adapt the sound to the mode selected via DYNAMIC SELECT.
As part of the facelift, the Mercedes-Benz designers have further honed the roadster’s sporty look. The new front section, where the steeply raked radiator grille elongates the appearance of the arrow-shaped bonnet, is particularly striking. All SLC models feature a diamond radiator grille as standard. The side view of the SLC reveals the typical features of a roadster with a long bonnet, a passenger compartment that is set back and a short rear. The silhouette is defined by the gently rising beltline and the sweeping curve of the roof, the powerfully moulded wheel arches, sporty 16 to 18-inch light-alloy wheels and the ventilation grilles in the front wing. The latter feature a high-sheen chrome fin which has echoes of the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300SL.
The SLC’s vario-roof combines open-top driving pleasure with uncompromised comfort in poor weather. Operating the electrohydraulic roof is now even more straightforward. If when opening or closing the roof the vehicle has to move off due to the traffic conditions, the process which was started when at a standstill can be continued up to a speed of approximately 40 kmph. As a control and display system for navigation, phone, audio, video and internet, the COMAND Online infotainment system offers a range of new and extended features that are handled on a 7-inch screen.
“The new Mercedes-AMG SLC43 unites the classic virtues of a roadster with exemplary efficiency. Weighing less and with lower fuel consumption, the new SLC43 delivers a similar performance to the SLK55 on the race track. This vehicle provides typical AMG driving pleasure in a compact open-top two-seater in line with the needs of today’s market,” says Mercedes-AMG chairman Tobias Moers. Compact, powerful and economical – The SLC43 will surely give the likes of Audi TT, Porsche Boxster and the BMW Z4 a run for their money.
Image source: Autoblog