The 2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC-Class hardtop roadster is offered as an SLC300 with a 241-hp, 273-lb-ft of torque turbocharged I-4. The higher-performance AMG SLC43 is powered by a 362-hp, 384-lb-ft of torque 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6. Both engines are mated to a nine-speed automatic that sends power to the rear wheels, as a roadster should. The SLC300 returns an EPA-rated 25/32 mpg city/highway while the AMG SLC43 delivers 20/29 mpg. Mercedes-Benz claims a 5.8-second 0-60 mph time for the SLC300 and a quick 4.6 seconds for the AMG SLC43. The retractable hard-top operation must begin when at a stop but can continue at speeds up to 25 mph.
The 2017 SLC’s DYNAMIC SELECT system modifies the engine, transmission, steering, and suspension at the touch of a button and comes in five different modes: Comfort, Sport, Sport+, Eco, and Individual. The available Dynamic Handling package features an adaptive damping system and ESP Dynamic Cornering Assist that continuously adjusts the damping force at each individual wheel depending on the current driving condition. The available AMG Handling Package on the SLC43 includes an AMG limited-slip differential, AMG Performance steering wheel, and red brake calipers.
EXTERIOR AND LOOK ;
Mercedes – Benz AMG SLC 43 gets a sleek face and features the vario-roof, which is the folding hard top that was used in its predecessor as well. The top can be opened and closed with a speed of 40 kmph. The vehicle gets an AMG-specific front bumper along with a rear bumper that looks like a diffuser. There is a diamond radiator grille with chrome finishing. Mercedes – Benz AMG SLC 43 features LED headlamps and overall, the car has a more rounded profile when you compare it with the previous SLK model.
INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;
The interior received less attention with the facelift, as most design features are identical to the SLK55. Notable changes include a new steering wheel, a revised instrument cluster, new seats, and silver chrome trim finishes for the A/C vents and door handles. Wrapped in Nappa leather, the multi-function steering wheel comes with a flattened bottom and perforated grip areas for the hands. The seats are said to offer greater lateral support when a dynamic driving style is adopted.
As usual, numerous upholstery layouts are available, with the range-topping models getting a combination of Nappa leather and Dinamica microfiber with contrast stitching and piping for the seats, door panels, steering wheel, and upper dashboard. The Airscarf neck-level heating system introduced on the S-Class Cabriolet is available as an option. The Comand infotainment system is also an option, as is the Logic 7 Surround Sound system by Harman Kardon and ambience lighting in Solar Red, Polar Blue, and Polar White.Overall, the SLC43’s interior doesn’t offer too many new features, but it’s not bad for a mid-cycle facelift.
ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;
Aah, onto the big changes. Chiefly, the naturally aspirated V8 on the SLK 55 has made way for a smaller, twin-turbo, 3.0-litre V6 unit on the SLC 43. The new engine makes 367hp at 5,500-6,000rpm (down on the SLK 55’s 420hp) and 520Nm (down on the SLK 55’s 540Nm). All the power makes its way to the rear wheels via Merc’s new nine-speed gearbox which comes in place of the SLK’s old 7G-tronic unit. The engine’s two turbos and gearbox’s two additional gears help the SLC 43 make good any power deficit vis-à-vis the SLK 55. Coming to performance, 0-100kph takes 4.7 seconds (claimed) which is just a tenth of a second off the SLK’s time. However, the turbo-charged SLC is a whole lot faster through the gears so real-world performance is actually better on the SLC 43.
You don’t have to wind the bi-turbo engine to get to its best. There’s strong punch from low down in the rev band and you get that push back in your seat pretty much as soon as you weigh down on the throttle pedal. What helps is that the SLC 43’s gearbox works really well with the engine. It’s lenient enough in automatic mode, responsive to tugs at the paddles and then you have the option to go to full manual mode and slam an upshift at the 6,500rpm limiter.
DRIVING DYNAMICS ;
Like the SLK55 before it, the SLC43 still rides the line between a sports car and a quick GT roadster. Ultimately it leans more toward the latter than the former not only because of its mass, but overall tuning as well. Still, efforts have been made to produce a livelier chassis for those interested, with optionally available adaptive dampers offering a choice between ride compliance and flat cornering. The aforementioned handling package adds a mechanical limited-slip differential to the mix, which works in conjunction with added negative camber at all four corners, newly developed front and rear axles and revised engine mounts.Scrolling through the five drive modes on offer through the AMG Dynamic Select button on the center stack further illustrates Mercedes-AMG’s effort to provide an accessible and relatively docile roadster during everyday driving, and a red-blooded performance car when called upon to act like one, particularly when Sport+ is selected.
SAFETY FEATURES ;
As for safety, the Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 gets ABS, priming and brake drying function, hill start assist and hold function. It also gets six airbags in total along with other features like acceleration skid control, crash-responsive head restraints and pre-safe system with reversible belt tensioners. Whenever emergency braking is detected the brake assist system with brake servo assistance help with effective braking.The feature loaded Mercedes-AMG SLC 43 gets Dynamic Select function which offers five selectable drive modes – Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and Individual. The roadster also gets the AMG sports suspension system that makes it a sheer impressive performer. The infotainment system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto system. Moreover, the Garmin MAP Pilot makes navigation an easy task.
Although some may feel disappointed by the fact that the SLC43 didn’t receive AMG’s new 4.0-liter V-8, the revised roadster remains one of the most thrilling performance vehicles on the market even with a V-6 under its hood. AMG’s decision is understandable here, as the SLC’s current platform isn’t suited for the new engine. The 4.0-liter V-8 will most likely find its way into the SLC with the next generation, but until then you’ll have to settle with the 3.0-liter V-6. Hopefully, the revised underpinnings will make the roadster sportier than ever before and customers will quickly forget that the engine packs only six cylinders.