Mercedes Benz SLK Class is a compact luxury roadster launched in 1997 for the first time after the German auto giant unveiled it in 1996. The car was a symbol of sheer luxury blended with pure elegance and eye popping technologies offering the charm of open air driving.

SLK was first showcased as SLK II concept at the 1994 Paris Motor Show. The Vario roof was the main attraction of the car. It became immensely popular very soon. Well, there is no shame in accepting that, we all like the breeze to comb through our hairs. Yes, Mercedes SLK was offering exactly that kind of exuberating driving experience to us. Initially, it was a very popular car, therefore giving Mercedes a whooping sales figure. Although lately the sales figure dropped, and Mercedes started thinking about bringing an all new car which would bear the same legacy. And, here comes the new Mercedes Benz SLC. The newest model from the German automaker’s stable.

Recently Mercedes has unveiled the new SLC, which will be arriving in the showrooms around mid 2016. Good news for us Indians that Mercedes will sell the SLC in this country too, considering the growing popularity and demand for luxury sporty cars. The renamed version of SLK bears many design cues from the old car which is blended with new technologies and design inputs. This car also carries a touch of C-Class’s soul. To put it otherwise, SLC is the roadster version of C-Class.

The new SLC was launched in five different trims, which are – SLC 180, SLC 200, SLC 300, SLC 250 D and SLC 43. The SLC 43 is the high performance version. Mercedes hasn’t revealed any detail about which trims will be available in India. We take the opportunity to take a dig about the detail of new SLC Class here. Check that out.

Click past jump to read more about the Mercedes Benz SLC Class.

2016 Mercedes Benz SLC

EXTERIOR

2016 Mercedes Benz SLC Exterior
- image 518061
2016 Mercedes Benz SLC Exterior
- image 518060
2016 Mercedes Benz SLC Exterior
- image 518062
The diamond effect front grille sports an aggressive look. It is available in different personalized package options like Sport and Night.

Mercedes Benz SLC is a completely new generation car, comes with several design cue from its predecessor SLK. Fresh design inputs are visible in SLC albeit. The front profile looks fresh with the aggressive grille, deeper air vents sitting, swept back front headlamps. The diamond effect front grille sports an aggressive look. It is available in different personalized package options like Sport and Night. The Sport package offers the front grille in chrome finishing, while with the Night package you get the slats finished is glossy black. The swept back headlamp clusters come with LED daytime running lights integrated to them, which makes an eyelid like appearance.

At side profile, SLC looks smooth and sleek. A few subtle changes are there, almost invisible without a close look. The front bumper is blended to the body, unlike the SLK where they ran to the door handles. The vents at the front fenders sport a shiny chrome slat at the middle. The ORVMs are integrated with LED turning lamps. Two sharp creases start from wheel arches and blends into the doors. The fender vents sits at the middle of these lines. The wheel arches look bigger with the 5 spoke alloy wheels underneath them. The restyled side skirts in SLC protrudes a bit toward the rear of the car, while in SLK the skirt was protruded toward both front and rear wheel arches. With the ‘Vario’ roof on, the car dons a coupe appearance.

At rear profile, the LED taillights appear three different units with the spited look. The LED brake light at the top of rear looks a bit longer. Twin exhaust vents sitting at the rear diffuser looks a bit stretched and wider.

INTERIOR

2016 Mercedes Benz SLC Interior
- image 518087
2016 Mercedes Benz SLC Interior
- image 518085
2016 Mercedes Benz SLC Interior
- image 518088

The interior of the new SLC looks fresh and sporty as well. The multifunction three spoke steering wheel boasts several control buttons. In front of the steering wheel the driver information panel sports two round dials, with a small digital display screen in between them. A 5.8 inch COMAND touchscreen infotainment panel sitting at the centre console and the small analog clock at the top centre position gives the dash a classy look. There are two four spoke AC vents at both sides of the touchscreen while two at both ends of the dashboard. Below the touchscreen there is a control panel with several control buttons and knobs. The entire dashboard comes with aluminum and black carbon finishing.

Mercedes Benz SLC sports premium upholstery inside the cabin, which is made of premium quality leather with dual colour tone and dual line stitching. The dual sitting car comes with sporty captain seats, and the armrests are equipped with several control buttons.

DRIVETRAIN

2016 Mercedes Benz SLC Exterior
- image 518064

Mercedes Benz SLC is available in five different trims, with the SLC 43 is the high performance one. Other four variants are SLC 180, SLC 200, SLC 300 and SLC 250 d. The base variant SLC 180 is powered by 1.6 litre 4 cylinder inline engine mated to 6 speed manual transmission delivering 156 hp peak power and 250 Nm peak torque. The SLC 200 gets power from 2.0 litre 4 cylinder inline unit paired with 6 speed manual gearbox, kicking out 184 hp peak power and 300 Nm peak torque. Both these cars come with optional 9G Tronic automatic gearboxes, which is the standard for the other variants.

The SLC 300 is powered by 2.0 litre 4 cylinder unit, generating 245 hp peak power and 370 Nm peak torque. The SLC 250 d gets a bigger 2.2 litre 4 cylinder inline unit

The SLC offers different drive modes through Dynamic Select drive technology

under the hood, churning out 204 hp peak power and 500 Nm peak torque. The high performance variant SLC 43 gets a 3.0 liter V6 motor, delivering 367 hp peak power and 520 Nm peak torque.

The SLC offers different drive modes through Dynamic Select drive technology, which allows driver to customize the vehicle’s performance by just pushing a button. The driving modes are- Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Eco and Individual.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

Specifications Mercedes Benz SLC 180 Mercedes Benz SLC 200 Mercedes Benz SLC 300 Mercedes Benz SLC 250 d Mercedes Benz SLC 43
Engine 1.6 litre 4 cylinder inline 2.0 litre 4 cylinder inline 2.0 litre 4 cylinder inline 2.2 litre 4 cylinder inline 3.0 litre V6
Displacement 1595 cc 1991 cc 1991 cc 2143 cc 2996 cc
Transmission 6 speed manual/9G Tronic automatic 6 speed manual/9G Tronic automatic 9G Tronic automatic 9G Tronic automatic 9G Tronic automatic
Maximum power 156 hp @ 5300 rpm 184 hp @ 5500 rpm 245 hp @ 5500 rpm 204 hp @ 3800 rpm 367 hp @ 5500-6000 rpm
Maximum torque 250 Nm @ 1200-4000 rpm 300 Nm @ 1200-4000 rpm 370 Nm @ 1300-4000 rpm 500 Nm @ 1600-1800 rpm 520 Nm @ 2000-4200 rpm
Combined fuel economy 17.85 kmpl 16.39 kmpl 17.24 kmpl 22.72 kmpl 12.82 kmpl
Acceleration 0-100 kmph 8.1 seconds 7 seconds 5.8 seconds 6.6 seconds 4.7 seconds
Top speed 226 kmph 240 kmph 250 kmph 245 kmph 250 kmph

SAFETY

2016 Mercedes Benz SLC Exterior
- image 518089

Mercedes Benz SLC is equipped with Active Brake Assist (ABA), which is a standard feature in all the trims. It has features like radar based proximity warning, braking assistance by Adaptive Brake Assist, autonomous braking to reduce the danger of rear end collisions. The car is also equipped with Blind Spot Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, intelligent LED light system, Adaptive High beam Assist Plus, motorway mode, cornering light function, camera based active light function, roundabout light function, and enhanced fog light function.

PRICE

2016 Mercedes Benz SLC Exterior
- image 518090

Mercedes Benz is yet to reveal any pricing detail for SLC Class cars. In India we can expect this car to be priced way above the SLK Class, which was priced around INR. 78 lakhs to 1.3 crores. The booking process for this car is expected to be open around mid January next year.

COMPETITION

Audi TT

2016 Audi TT
- image 511809

In India, Audi TT is available with three different powertrains, which includes one diesel and two petrol engines. Audi TT is expected to be launched in a few days in the country. The diesel engine is a 2.0 litre TDI which generates 184 hp peak power and 380 Nm peak torque. While the 2.0 litre TFSI engine churns out 230 hp peak power and 370 Nm peak torque at 1600-4300 rpm. The remaining petrol engine is a tuned version of 2.0 litre TFSI which churns out more power. It produces 310 hp peak power and 380 Nm peak torque at 1800-5700 rpm.

BMW Z4

2014 BMW Z4
- image 504273

Although BMW Z4 Roadster is available in different powertrain options, but in India we get only BMW Z4 sDrive35is which gets power from a 3.0 litre straight 6 cylinder petrol engine which churns out 335 hp peak power at 5800 rpm and 400 Nm peak torque at 1300 rpm. This car can reach 0-100 Kmph in just 4.8 seconds.

CONCLUSION

2016 Mercedes Benz SLC Exterior
- image 518091

Although Mercedes SLK is a very stylish car, but the fresh design inputs, the aggressive styling at the front fascia, the stylish plush luxury offering cabin of the Mercedes Benz SLC Class makes the new model more appealing and desirable.

Leave it
  • * Potentially very expensive.
  • * No information about India.
Mainak

PRESS RELEASE

The new SLC: New name, new dynamic

2016 Mercedes Benz SLC Exterior
- image 518066

Stuttgart. In March 2016, 20 years on from the birth of its segment, the archetypal compact roadster is to be relaunched with a new name – the SLC – significantly optimised technology and an enhanced look. The name change acknowledges the traditionally close relationship with the C-Class, from which much of the roadster’s technology is derived. There are new additions to the model line-up – the sporty top-of-the-line Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 and the entry-level SLC 180. In visual terms, stand-out features include the standard-fit diamond radiator grille and the LED Intelligent Light System (optional extra). Prices will be announced when the SLC is available to order in mid-January 2016.

The new Mercedes-Benz SLC has an impressive heritage to live up to: its predecessor, the SLK, which was launched in 1996, won fans around the world and achieved sales of around 670,000 units. Comprehensively refined and with a model line-up ranging from the high-torque and economical SLC 250 d to the sporty, high-performance Mercedes-AMG SLC 43, the new model has what it takes to build on that success. The SLC 250 d, SLC 300 and SLC 43 feature the sport/comfort-oriented 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission as standard, while it is available as an option for the new 115 kW (156 hp) SLC 180 and for the SLC 200.

Ola Källenius, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Cars Sales & Marketing: "In 1996 Mercedes-Benz redefined the roadster with its innovative vario-roof, and combined open-air driving pleasure with uncompromised comfort in poor weather. The renamed compact roadster remains an ideal combination of passion and rational common sense, appealing to both the heart and the mind."

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.

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.

The new model line-up at a glance:

SLC 180 SLC 200 SLC 300 SLC 250 d SLC 43
Number of cylinders/arrangement 4/in-line 4/in-line 4/in-line 4/in-line 6/V
Displacement (cc) 1595 1991 1991 2143 2996
Rated output (kW/hp at rpm) 115/156 at 5300 135/184 at 5500 180/245 at 5500 150/204 at 3800 270/367 at 5500-6000
Rated torque (Nm at rpm) 250 at 1200-4000 300 at 1200-4000 370 at 1300-4000 500 at 1600-1800 520 at 2000-4200
Combined fuel consumption from (l/100 km) 5.6 (5.6) 6.1 (5.7) (5.8) (4.4) (7.8)
Combined CO2 emissions from (g/km) 127 (128) 142 (133) (134) (114) (178)
Efficiency class B (B) C (B) (B) (A) (D)
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s) 7.9 (8.1) 7.0 (6.9) (5.8) (6.6) (4.7)
Top speed (km/h) 226 (223) 240 (237) (250) (245) (250)

* In brackets: figures for version with 9G-TRONIC.

The drive system: individual driving characteristics with DYNAMIC SELECT

2016 Mercedes Benz SLC Exterior
- image 518064

The new entry-level model is the SLC 180 with an output of 115 kW (156 hp). It has an NEDC consumption figure of just 5.6 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of 127 g/km. Positioned above this are the SLC 200 with an output of 135 kW (184 hp) and the SLC 300 with 180 kW (245 hp), both of which feature a 1991 cc four-cylinder engine. The efficiency champion remains the 150 kW (204 hp) diesel model, the SLC 250 d, with a CO2 figure of 114 g/km.

Driving Performance is the AMG brand promise — and the Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 lives up to it in impressive style. The new model combines a 270 kW (367 hp), 520 Nm, 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine with a modified version of the AMG sports suspension familiar from the Mercedes-AMG SLK 55, and the combination is reflected in the sporty performance figures, with the SLC 43 accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds.

The SLC 180 and SLC 200 are fitted with a 6-speed manual transmission. The sport/comfort-oriented 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission is available for these models as an option and fitted as standard in the SLC 250 d, SLC 300 and SLC 43.

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. The five modes – "Comfort", "Sport", "Sport+", "Eco" and "Individual" are easy to select using the DYNAMIC SELECT button in the upper control panel on the dashboard console. The selected mode is shown on the colour multifunction display and also appears as a pop-up message on the head unit display. DYNAMIC SELECT is a standard feature in the SLC 300 and SLC 250 d. In the SLC 180 and SLC 200 with 9G-TRONIC, transmission mode selection is available as an option. 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.

Drivers who choose the Dynamic Handling package (optional extra), which features a 10 mm lower chassis, an adaptive damping system, direct steering and ESP® Dynamic Cornering Assist, can also use DYNAMIC SELECT to specify the damping force in Comfort, Sport and Sport+ mode. Here the damping force at each individual wheel is automatically and continuously adapted to the current driving conditions.

With the sports exhaust system the sound experience can be intensified as the acoustics can be adjusted via an integral exhaust flap in conjunction with the DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes. The SLC 300 is fitted with the sports exhaust system as standard, while it is available for the SLC 200 in conjunction with 9G-TRONIC and the AMG Line/Sports package.

Assistance and safety systems: a comprehensive range

2016 Mercedes Benz SLC Exterior
- image 518067

A new feature for the SLC is the standard-fit Active Brake Assist, known in other model series as COLLISION PREVENTION ASSIST PLUS. In addition to radar-based proximity warning and braking assistance by Adaptive Brake Assist, this Active Brake Assist system carries out autonomous braking to reduce the danger of rear-end collisions. If the driver fails to act when a risk of a collision is detected, despite the warning lamp in the instrument cluster and the intermittent audible alert, the system will initiate automatic braking. This significantly reduces the vehicle speed. At low relative speeds, this intervention may be sufficient to prevent a rear-end collision with slower-moving, stopping or stationary vehicles. Blind Spot Assist and Lane Keeping Assist also remain available.

For optimum visibility on country roads and motorways, when cornering and on bends, the optional LED Intelligent Light System automatically adapts to all light and driving conditions. The LED technology features low energy consumption, a long service life and a pleasant white light which approximates the daylight spectrum. The five functions of the LED Intelligent Light System include motorway mode, cornering light function, camera-based active light function, roundabout light function and also the enhanced fog light function.

Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus is also available for dazzle-free continuous high beam usage. When high beam is switched on, this system always makes the optimum headlamp range available. The driver can concentrate on the traffic and does not have to continually switch between low beam and high beam. Via a camera positioned behind the windscreen, the Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus detects other illuminated road users, for example oncoming vehicles or vehicles travelling in front, and adjusts the headlamps independently to the new traffic conditions. A mechanism in the headlamp module masks the portion of the cone of light of the LED headlamps where there are other vehicles to prevent their drivers from being dazzled. The driver can therefore leave the high-beam headlamps on at all times and use their full range without bothering or endangering other road users. This function is active at speeds above 30 km/h when travelling in the dark on roads without street lighting.

Traffic Sign Assist is available in conjunction with COMAND Online. The system can recognise speed limit signs, no entry signs and no overtaking signs and shows the driver where any such restrictions start and finish. If the driver attempts to make a wrong turn against the stipulated flow of traffic and the appropriate signs are detected, a visual and audible warning will be given.

If the front passenger seat is unoccupied or a child seat is detected, the front passenger airbag is now deactivated automatically. This helps prevent small children from being injured by the front passenger airbag deploying. The reliable recognition function uses a pressure sensor.

Reversing into a parking space and manoeuvring can be made significantly safer and more straightforward with the optional reversing camera. It is automatically activated when reverse gear is engaged and uses the head unit display to show the driver the area behind the vehicle with dynamic guide lines. As an option, Parking Assist PARKTRONIC including Parking Guidance can make locating a parking space and parallel parking easier.

Comfort appointments: vario-roof now even easier to operate

2016 Mercedes Benz SLC Exterior
- image 518069

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 approx. 40 km/h. Another new feature is the automatic boot separator (in conjunction with the optional extra vario-roof convenience feature or KEYLESS-GO): if the separator is in the upper position for increased boot capacity, it automatically moves down when the roof is opened. If there is not enough space for this because the boot is full of luggage, the roof does not open and the message "Close boot separator" appears in the instrument cluster.

Even with the top down, optional features ensure that the SLC is able to offer the perfect on-board climate. These features include heated seats and AIRSCARF, the neck-level heating system for the driver and front passenger, ideally in combination with one of the two available draught-stops. The small side window behind the door can now be closed separately when the top is down, reducing wind noise.

A feature that continues to be unique to the SLC is the panoramic vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL – this glass roof is lightened or darkened at the touch of a button. This means that it provides an open-air feeling at any time, but when required gives welcome shade under a hot sun.

The classic strengths of the SLC also include its well-designed boot, which at 335 litres has easily the highest capacity in this segment.

Infotainment: extended functions for COMAND Online

2016 Mercedes Benz SLC Interior
- image 518070

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:

* High-resolution, colour media display (screen diagonal 17.8 cm/7 inches)
* Fast, dynamic hard disc navigation with realistic topographical map views and three years of free navigation updates
* Internet access when vehicle is stationary and unrestricted use of Mercedes‑Benz Apps when on the move too (in conjunction with an appropriate mobile phone)
* DVD player
* Internet radio
* Bluetooth® connectivity with hands-free function, read function for text messages and audio streaming for music
* LINGUATRONIC voice-operated control system for audio, phone, navigation, music search and Mercedes-Benz Apps
* 2 USB ports in centre armrest and one SD card slot in COMAND head unit
* Integral Media Interface connection for iPod® or iPhone®
* Phone book import from mobile to head unit
* Cover Art: album covers displayed in audio menu
* Mercedes-Benz Emergency Call
* Mercedes me connect Standard Services (Accident Recovery, Breakdown Management, Maintenance Management and Telediagnostics), Remote Retrieval of Vehicle Status via Remote Online

The Audio 20 CD entertainment system has also been upgraded. It now features a bigger display (17.8 cm/7 inches) and can be combined with the Garmin® MAP PILOT navigation system; the navigation data is input using an SD card. Optimised route guidance is also available via Live Traffic Information.

Exterior design: diamond radiator grille and LED Intelligent Light System

2016 Mercedes Benz SLC Exterior
- image 518068

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. On the entry-level model it is finished in black with an iridium silver louvre and chrome trim. A more individual look is available in conjunction with the AMG Line or the Night package: here the diamond radiator grille is finished in chrome, and the colour of the louvre either remains iridium silver (AMG Line) or is high-gloss black (Night package).

Further features of the masculine, sporty front section include a bumper which features striking air intakes, dynamically modelled contours and high-quality chrome trim at the lower edge, and distinctive headlamps. The LED daytime running lamps are integrated into the headlamp units. The lenses are made from clear polycarbonate and have a scratchproof coating. With the LED Intelligent Light System (optional extra), the edges and other parts of the headlamp housing are finished in black – conveying a high-level of perceived quality and an effective sense of depth.

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 300 SL.

Powerful proportions define the rear section with its muscular wings. The rear bumper with its black diffuser, chrome touches and integral tailpipe trim signal the dynamic potential of the SLC. The tail light units, which now have a narrower design, feature LED technology and are divided horizontally: the top and middle lights are the brake and tail light, and below them are the direction indicator and reversing light. The boot lid has a pronounced arrow shape and the third brake light is positioned in the spoiler lip.

The interior: larger display and electroplated control elements

2016 Mercedes Benz SLC Interior
- image 518070

The interior of the post-facelift SLC has an even higher-quality look. Highlights include new light (standard) or dark aluminium trim parts with a carbon fibre finish. The instrument cluster has a new design too. The two tubular instrument surrounds now feature black dials. Red needles also add to the sporty, contemporary design.

A large, multifunction, colour TFT display with a screen diagonal of 4.5 inches (11.4 cm) is incorporated between the two dials as standard. An analogue clock with a black dial is available as an option. The display between the two ventilation outlets in the centre console has been significantly increased in size: in conjunction with Audio 20 it now has a diagonal of 7 inches (17.8 cm) instead of 5.8 inches (14.7 cm). The screen surround is in high-gloss black. Additional displays for vehicle parameters underline the sporty feel – as do the dials showing the engine data.

The electroplated control elements for the electrically adjustable seats (available in conjunction with the Memory package) and the electroplated steering wheel shift paddles, offered in conjunction with the AMG Line and Sports package, demonstrate an impressive attention to detail.

The new-generation sports steering wheel, perforated as standard in the grip area, and the DIRECT SELECT lever, embossed with SLC (in conjunction with 9G-TRONIC), also help create a sporty, refined feel. A new 3-spoke multifunction steering wheel in nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre is available as an option. The rim is flattened at the lower edge, the central grip area is trimmed with DINAMICA microfibre, and it features contrasting topstitching in red plus silver chrome trim and shift paddles.

The leather appointments have also been revised. With "sun-reflecting leather upholstery", for example, the shoulder area of the seats features a new perforated design, while with "sun-reflecting nappa leather" the seats now feature transverse fluting in the selected appointments colour. The piping and topstitching are in a contrasting colour. Two new colours have also been added – saddle brown (in conjunction with nappa leather and Exclusive nappa leather) and platinum white (in conjunction with nappa leather, Exclusive nappa leather, designo nappa leather and designo Exclusive nappa leather).

The ambient lighting (optional extra) has been extended to the footwell, creating a more generous sense of space. As well as solar red there are now two additional colours – polar blue and polar white.

Heritage: 20th anniversary of the original launch

2016 Mercedes Benz SLC Exterior
- image 518063

The SLK’s debut appearance back in 1996 caused a sensation. Not only was this a compact roadster from Mercedes-Benz but it featured vibrant yellowstone launch paintwork and, instead of the traditional soft top, a tough vario-roof. The SLK marked the start of a new era for the traditional Mercedes-Benz brand and its roof design served as a model for many other open-top vehicles.

Beneath its outer shell, it used a lot of technology from the C-Class. That remains unchanged to this day. Which is why, in the light of the company’s nomenclature changes, it was deemed fitting that the roadster should continue its successful career under the new name SLC.

The second generation of the SLK was launched in March 2004. A front section based on the nose cone of a Formula 1 car underlined its sporty nature, as did the new top-of-the-line model, the SLK 55 AMG.

The Geneva Motor Show in spring 2005 saw the unveiling of the prototype SLK 320 CDI, which featured a pioneering 286 hp triturbo diesel engine. This never saw series production, but the roadster/diesel combination was successfully achieved as part of the third generation, launched in March 2011, which brought with it the SLK 250 CDI. Another new feature of the third SLK was the ingenious vario-roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL, which allowed a glass panel in the roof to be switched from transparent to dark at the touch of a button.

The new Mercedes-AMG SLC 43

Performance roadster from Affalterbach

Affalterbach. There need be no contradiction between high driving dynamics and low fuel consumption. This is proved by the new Mercedes-AMG SLC 43: thanks to the combination of 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine and 9G-TRONIC sports transmission, the 270 kW (367 hp) roadster consumes just 7.8 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres (NEDC, combined). Consequently, the open-top two-seater not only uses 0.6 l/100 km less than its predecessor, the SLK 55 with V8 naturally aspirated engine, but is also the most efficient six-cylinder performance roadster on the market. The specially developed suspension and model-specific mountings for engine and rear-axle gear unit are designed for high lateral acceleration and low roll. Even greater driving dynamics is optionally available with the AMG RIDE CONTROL suspension with adaptive adjustable damping and the Handling package with mechanical limited-slip differential on the rear axle.

Compact, powerful and economical: "The new Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 unites the classic virtues of a roadster with exemplary efficiency. Weighing less and with lower fuel consumption, the new SLC 43 delivers a similar performance to the SLK 55 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.

The 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine offers impressive performance with its 270 kW (367 hp) maximum power and peak torque of 520 Newton-metres: sprinting from rest to 100 km/h in 4.7 seconds, its top speed is electronically limited at 250 km/h. The key factors behind the snappy, agile roadster driving experience are the newly developed front and rear axles, new engine/rear-axle gear unit mountings, stiff elastokinematics and highly precise steering. Even greater transverse dynamics is made possible by the optional Handling package with mechanical limited-slip differential on the rear axle.

New model, new nomenclature

The new SLC 43 represents the entry point into the current roadster world of AMG. Apart from the renaming of the SLK to SLC, the open-top two-seater also comes with a new AMG nomenclature. The familiar two-digit combination typical of AMG underscores the SLC’s unmistakable membership of the AMG family. Due to its overall "engineered in Affalterbach" package of typical AMG driving dynamics, engine response and high efficiency, the SLC 43 is very competitively positioned in the segment. The 43 stands for the further-developed AMG 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine. The Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 is therefore the first V6 model from Affalterbach to feature the new nomenclature. This will be successively introduced to the future model portfolio.

The key data

Mercedes-AMG SLC 43
Engine V6 biturbo
Displacement 2996 cc
Output 270 kW (367 hp) at 5500-6000 rpm
Peak torque 520 Nm at 2000-4200 rpm
Fuel consumption, NEDC combined 7.8 l/100 km
CO2 emissions 178 g/km
Efficiency class D
Acceleration 0-100 km/h 4.7 s
Top speed 250 km/h*

* Electronically limited

The highlights

* 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine with AMG-specific engine management and increased charge-air pressure
* 9G-TRONIC sports transmission with double-declutching function on downshifts and thrillingly short response times in the Sport + transmission mode or in manual gearshift mode
* Specially developed front and rear axles with new elastokinematics
* Stiffer mountings for engine and rear-axle gear unit
* High-performance braking system with larger brake discs
* AMG design with specific front and rear aprons, exhaust tailpipes and wheel arch covers integrated into rear wheel arch trims
* Diamond radiator grille in chrome with louvre in high-gloss black
* 18-inch AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels, painted in high-gloss black with high-sheen
* Instrument cluster in chequered flag design with 280 km/h scale
* Multifunction sports steering wheel in nappa leather with perforations in grip area, flattened bottom section, with red contrasting topstitching
* Upholstery in black nappa leather / DINAMICA microfibre with sports seat upholstery layout and red piping and topstitching, with model-specific door centre panel

The key options

* Handling package with mechanical limited-slip differential on rear axle
* AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with adaptive adjustable damping
* Night package with front splitter and trim strip in diffuser in high-gloss black as well as black chrome-plated exhaust tailpipes
* Performance steering wheel in black nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre, with flattened bottom section, red contrasting topstitching and red 12 o’clock marking

High on power, low on consumption: the 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine

The new SLC models from Mercedes-Benz come exclusively with a four-cylinder powerplant. The six-cylinder engine is reserved for the SLC 43 from Mercedes‑AMG: the 3.0-litre V6 biturbo engine is characterised by a high power output together with low consumption and emissions. Installed close to the engine, the two turbochargers are especially spontaneous in their response. The high power output of 270 kW (367 hp) is attributable to, among other things, the 1.1 bar charge-air pressure. Especially tough and, therefore, wear-resistant, the NANOSLIDE coating on the cylinder liners reduces friction, thereby contributing to higher efficiency. The same applies to the spray-guided multiple injection with up to 200 bar fuel pressure. The AMG powerplant can be identified by the red aluminium insert in the engine cover.

Short shift times: the 9G-TRONIC sports transmission

The 9G-TRONIC sports transmission is specially matched to the demands of the SLC 43. By specifically adapting the software, the AMG developers have been able to significantly shorten the shift times. The multiple downshift allows even faster short bursts of speed, while the double-declutching function in the "Sport" and "Sport +" transmission modes makes for an even more emotive driving experience. In "Sport +" mode, partial ignition interruptions provide even faster gearshifts.

The standard-fit shift paddles allow lightning-fast manual shifting of the automatic transmission without the driver needing to take their hands off the steering wheel. Shifting in "Manual" mode, which is activated using a separate button next to the selector lever, is twice as fast as in the other transmission modes. Also, the transmission stays in the selected gear and does not automatically shift up when the engine speed reaches the limit.

Two options: the sports suspension

With the standard sports suspension or the optional AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with adjustable damping, the Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 offers two suspension options designed for high lateral acceleration and reduced roll. Common to both suspensions are the specially developed front and rear axles, which guarantee precise wheel location and high camber stability on compression and rebound.

The three-link front axle has been provided with stiffer steering knuckles, improved elastokinematics and increased negative camber. In combination with the likewise newly developed wishbone guide bearings, this design results in significantly more agile cornering, more precise and direct suspension feedback from the road and fast cornering speeds.

The four-link rear axle with optimised elastokinematics, increased negative camber and special forged-aluminium track rods not only improves the driving dynamics, but also makes the SLC 43 more controllable when driven at the limit.

The special AMG mountings for engine and rear-axle gear unit offer the ideal compromise between handling and comfort. They also contribute to the snappy and highly stable driving impression given by the roadster.

With its automatic adjustable damping system, the optional AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension allows an even more personalised suspension set-up, with each wheel being individually electronically controlled. The three suspension settings "Comfort", "Sport" and "Sport +" can be selected by the driver via the transmission modes using the DYNAMIC SELECT button.

Optimal traction: the optional rear-axle limited-slip differential

The mechanically controlled AMG limited-slip differential on the rear axle makes for improved traction and handling in all driving situations, particularly when the driver adopts a sporty driving style. This is achieved by reducing the slip on the inside driven wheel when cornering, without control intervention in the brakes. When there is a difference in rotational speed between the rear wheels, the torque is distributed to the wheel with the better grip in order to reduce wheel spin.

The benefits are:

* better acceleration out of bends
* better acceleration from rest
* greater stability on braking and at high speed

Safe and fade-resistant: the high-performance braking system

The AMG high-performance braking system is characterised by excellent deceleration, high fade resistance and precise brake control. Large-sized, internally ventilated and perforated brake discs are capable of absorbing plenty of braking energy and quickly dissipating the arising heat. Lightweight aluminium brake calipers reduce the unsprung mass, resulting in improved handling and comfort.

Characteristics at the tap of a finger: AMG DYNAMIC SELECT

With the five DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport + and Individual, the driver can change the characteristics of the SLC 43 at the tap of a finger. The available range extends from efficient and comfortable to extremely sporty. This modifies key parameters, such as the response of engine, transmission, suspension and steering. The modes are selected using a button in the centre console control panel.

DYNAMIC SELECT at a glance

* "Eco" transmission mode: all parameters are programmed for maximum efficiency. The ECO start/stop and coasting functions (overrun mode for fuel-saving vehicle operation) are activated.
* "Comfort" transmission mode: comfortable and fuel-efficient driving, e.g. thanks to early upshifts. Suspension and steering are set up for an emphasis on comfort.
* "Sport" transmission mode: sporty characteristics thanks to a more agile response to accelerator commands, shorter shift times, earlier downshifts and more emotive gearshifts owing to double-declutching. A more dynamic set-up of suspension and steering.
* "Sport +" transmission mode: extremely sporty characteristics thanks to an even more agile throttle response, increased acoustic emphasis on double-declutching on downshifts as well as selective torque control on upshifts with cylinder suppression for optimal shift times. Increased idle speed for faster pull-away. An even more dynamic set-up of suspension, steering and drivetrain.
* "Individual" transmission mode: personalised set-up of drive, suspension, steering, air conditioning and ECO start/stop function.

Independently of the DYNAMIC SELECT transmission modes, the driver has the option of pressing the "M" button to switch directly to manual mode, in which gearshifts are executed exclusively using the shift paddles on the steering wheel.

Further personalisation of the driving dynamics is possible by means of the ESP® button, which offers a choice between three control strategies for the Electronic Stability Program:

* ESP® "ON": early system intervention without adversely affecting the sporty character
* ESP® "SPORT HANDLING MODE": late system intervention for a sporty driving style
* ESP® "OFF": system deactivated for an extremely sporty driving style on closed racing circuits

Direct and with clear feedback: speed-sensitive sports steering

With its permanent, direct transmission ratio of 15.5 : 1, the speed-sensitive sports steering supports the new SLC 43’s agile cornering while additionally impressing with its precise, highly authentic feedback. The steering power assistance is variable with two modes (Comfort and Sport). It is automatically activated depending on the selected DYNAMIC SELECT transmission mode or can be personalised in Individual mode.

Typical of AMG: an emotively appealing sound

The new SLC 43 also meets the personal wishes of the driver when it comes to acoustics: the standard-fit sports exhaust system comes with two automatically map-controlled exhaust flaps. In the "Eco" and "Comfort" transmission modes, the flaps remain closed most of the time, this resulting in an acoustically restrained note from the six-cylinder biturbo engine. In the "Sport" and "Sport +" modes, the exhaust flaps open earlier and more spontaneously, especially if the driver prefers a dynamic driving style. The effect: the typical, emotively appealing AMG engine sound. The statutory noise prevention limits are met in all transmission modes.

Muscular with an emphasis on width: the exterior design

Numerous design features immediately identify the new SLC 43 as a member of the Mercedes-AMG family. With an emphasis on width, the front view is dominated by the air deflector in brand-typical "A-wing" form, which is in high-gloss black. The large outer air intakes come with silver chrome fins and are edged by black flics. Down below, the silver chrome front splitter ensures an optimal flow of air to the cooling modules. It also makes the roadster appear hug the road more closely. The diamond radiator grille features chrome-plated pins and a louvre in high-gloss black.

The side view is dominated by high-sheen 18-inch AMG multi-spoke light-alloy wheels painted in high-gloss black. The exterior mirror housings in high-gloss black act as additional distinguishing features. The front wings come with a silver chrome fin as well as biturbo lettering. With its AMG spoiler lip, the rear end, too, boasts a characteristic look, with two quad-flow chrome-plated exhaust tailpipes conveying an especially sporty note. The diffuser-look rear apron trim is in silver chrome.

The unique selling points include a diversity of available roof variants. In addition to the standard vario roof, there is a choice between the panoramic vario roof with a large glass element and the panoramic vario roof with MAGIC SKY CONTROL selectable brightness control.

Sporty look with model-specific details: the interior design

The interior reinforces the consistently dynamic bias of the new SLC 43 with numerous specially designed details. Ideal for a committed driving style, the multifunction sports steering wheel in black nappa leather features a flattened bottom section and red contrasting topstitching, with the perforated grip area lying especially well in the hand.

The contoured sports seats give the driver ideal lateral support, including when a dynamic driving style is adopted. The upholstery in sun-reflecting nappa leather/DINAMICA microfibre with model-specific seat layout, red piping and topstitching meets the highest standards in terms of material quality, look and feel. The perforations in the shoulder area and on the seat cushions stop the driver working up a sweat. The seat design is complemented by the door centre panels in ARTICO man-made leather/DINAMICA microfibre. In the optionally available Exclusive nappa leather version, the instrument panel, beltlines and door centre panels are covered in high-grade leather.

The AMG instrument cluster delivers all relevant information in a clearly arranged layout optimised for a dynamic driving style. An authentic sports car look & feel is provided by two tube-shaped round dials, 11.4 cm (4.5-inch) multifunction colour display, RACETIMER and 280 km/h scale in chequered flag design.

Suitability for everyday use is additionally enhanced by intelligent comfort functions such as optional AIRSCARF neck-level heating, operation of the vario roof while driving (up to 40 km/h, initiated below 5 km/h) and automatic closing of the boot separator.

Even greater individualisation: the options

The new SLC 43 offers even further scope for individualisation with selected options, these including the Handling package, which comes with features designed to support an ambitious driving style on the racing circuit. They also include the mechanical rear-axle limited-slip differential and an additional engine radiator at the front. The vehicle’s proximity to motor sport is visually underscored by red-painted brake callipers, a Performance steering wheel in nappa leather with DINAMICA microfibre in the grip area and red topstitching as well as an analogue clock in IWC design.

Other options include the LED Intelligent Light System with brand-typical eyebrows, several 18-inch wheel/tyre combinations, the AMG Night package, exclusive designo paint finishes, various leather upholstery options, the COMAND Online infotainment and communications system, a Harman Kardon® Logic 7® Surround Sound system as well as ambience lighting in solar red, polar blue or polar white.

What do you think?
Show Comments