As part of the huge revamping of the entire Mercedes-Benz lineup, a heavily revised 2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC300 and Mercedes-AMG SLC43 will replace the previous SLK variants. Most of the good parts are back: a folding hardtop, optional sport suspension and exhaust, and a hardish-core AMG version. The new name is intended to draw the roadster closer to the mechanically related C-Class.
The basic SLC300 will be powered by a 2.0-liter inline-four, turbocharged to 241 horsepower at 5,500 rpm, with 273 lb-ft of torque available as low as 1,300 rpm. Those stats might look familiar, because the engine and output figures carry over from the SLK300. The last shift-it-yourself Mercedes offered here was the SLK250; don’t expect things to change with the new nomenclature. The 9G-Tronic automatic transmission is fitted across the board for both SLC variants, including the AMG.
The biggest difference SLK-to-SLC change comes in the SLC43, which supersedes the SLK55. Gone is the naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V8, and in its place is a twin-turbo V6 that seems an awful lot like the engine fitted to the revised C450 AMG and 2017 SL450 – neither of which are full-blown AMG models. As in those cars, this 3.0-liter biturbo six produces 362 hp at 5,500 rpm, and 384 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm. AMG claims to have tuned the engine management software and increased boost, but the numbers don’t tell the tale. Maybe the proof is in the driving experience.
Compared to its V8-powered predecessor, the SLC43 gives up 54 hp, 14 lb-ft of torque, and 0.1 second to 60 miles per hour. The upshot, according to AMG, is less weight and greater efficiency. Many of the AMG essentials you’d expect are present: stiffer suspension, more aggressive front and rear clips, and requisite interior trim and badging. Optional are a handling package with a mechanical limited-slip differential and AMG’s Ride Control adaptive adjustable suspension.
The SLC300 also has some notable enhancements. On the safety front, radar-based Active Brake Assist – which automatically brakes to prevent rear-end collisions – is now standard. Dynamic LED headlights are now optional. Inside, a new 7-inch high-resolution COMAND infotainment screen replaces a much smaller, 5.8-inch unit, and the gauge cluster features a 4.5-inch TFT display.
The new SLC will launch in Spring of 2016.