Mercedes-Benz completes its revamped model naming scheme with the introduction of the new SLC-Class, which takes over the outgoing SLK-Class roadster as a facelift model.
Revealed ahead of its global debut at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show, the SLC brings more than just a refreshed appearance – the roadster gets a new folding hardtop while the whole lineup has been revised with a new entry-level variant and a V6-powered AMG model.
Up front, the roadster gets a steeply raked radiator grille with standard diamond insert across the range and redesigned LED headlights, which can be replaced with the available Dynamic LED units. The rear section features slimmer tail lights but other elements are pretty much the same as before. Depending on variants, wheel sizes are available from 16- to 18-inch.
While the cabin is largely similar to the one that came before this, the SLC is now equipped with a larger display in between the central air-con vents (7.0-inch instead of the previous 5.8), in addition to a 4.5-inch TFT display in the instrument panel. The Comand infotainment system meanwhile receives new graphics, improved navigation system and a host of new features.
As for the convertible hardtop, the unit has been upgraded so it can be operated while moving at speeds of up to 40 km/h. The SLC also gets a standard automatic trunk separator, which automatically moves down when the roof is opened to open up more space in the luggage compartment. A message will appear in the instrument cluster if the trunk is full.
Like the new SL, the SLC is also kitted with the Airscarf neck-level heating system for the driver and front passenger. A small side window behind the door can now also be closed separately when the top is down to reduce wind noise. Additionally, the roadster can be had with the optional Magic Sky Control, which allows the glass roof to be lightened or darkened at the touch of a button.
The new SLC marks the debut of the SLC 180, which sits at the bottom of the range with its 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that churns out 156 hp and 250 Nm of torque. On top of the entry-level variant is the SLC 200 that gets 184 hp and 300 Nm from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine. The same engine also powers the SLC 300 but instead of 184 hp/300 Nm, the variant is endowed with 245 hp and 370 Nm.
The SLC 250 d would be the only diesel variant in the lineup. The car is motivated by a 2.1-litre four-cylinder mill with 204 hp and 500 Nm of torque on top. Replacing the SLK 55 and its 5.5-litre naturally-aspirated V8 engine would be the AMG SLC 43, which hides a 367 hp/520 Nm 3.0-litre biturbo V6 engine under the hood.
Regardless of variants, the roadster comes with the company’s new 9G-Tronic automatic transmission. The unit features five drive modes – Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Eco and Individual – that can be selected using the Dynamic Select button on the control panel. The AMG model gets a sport exhaust system featuring two adjustable exhaust flaps for a crispier exhaust note.
In terms of handling, the SLC boasts stiffer engine mountings and steering knuckles on the three-link front axle. The roadster is also said to be more agile than before with the newly developed wishbone guide bearings and optimised elastokinematics on the four-link rear axle. The AMG SLC 43 offers two suspension options – the standard sport setup or the optional AMG Ride Control. The latter allows a personalised setup with three settings (Comfort, Sport and Sport +) to choose from.