Mercedes is undergoing a whole host of changes within its lineup, as it updates its styling, platforms, engines, and names. Having already updated most of its car and crossover lineup, the Germans are now rolling out the SLC and its beefed-up AMG brother. Don’t let the name fool you, this isn’t a brand-new car, but a facelift to the existing SLK roadster.

The renaming of the brand’s smallest two-door is part of Mercedes’ recent strategy to highlight the close relationship of its models to the platforms they’re derived from. Since the SLK was closely related to the C-Class, Stuttgart replaced the K with the C, giving birth to the SLC. The name itself isn’t exactly new. Mercedes offered an SLC from 1971 to 1981 alongside the R107-generation SL. Distinguished by the longer wheelbase and louvered C-pillars, the SLC replaced the W111-generation coupe and was replaced by the W126 S-Class Coupe (C126).

Back to our model in question, the AMG version was also renamed, receiving a new two-digit combination. Previously known as the SLK55, the performance roadster will be marketed as the SLC43 from now on. The new nomenclature also comes with a new engine, as AMG dropped the familiar naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V-8. Surprisingly enough, the new unit isn’t the 4.0-liter V-8, but you’ll have to keep reading to find out more about that.

Continue reading to find out more about the Mercedes-AMG SLC43.

  • 2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC43
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V6
  • Transmission:
    9G-Tronic sport
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    362 @ 5500 (Est.)
  • MPG(Cty):
    22
  • MPG(Hwy):
    31
  • Torque @ RPM:
    384 @ 2000 (Est.)
  • Displacement:
    3.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.6 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    74000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC43 High Resolution Exterior
- image 659846

Like nearly every other recently redesigned Mercedes-Benz model, the AMG-tuned SLC arrives with minor, albeit noticeable changes. Up front, the most visible of the changes were applied to the headlamps, grille, and bumper. Although the headlamps are similar to the previous unit as far as shape and size go, the light cluster is new, with the arrangement similar to the C-Class. The previous grille was replaced by a diamond pattern piece, a feature that has become standard for most Mercedes models in 2015. However, the SLC43 didn’t receive the fancier twin-blade grille insert of the S-Class Cabriolet. Down below, the roadster sports a brand-new bumper employing the brand’s new "A-wing" form. The horizontal slats on the sides are significantly larger, as is the silver chrome splitter. Overall, the SLC43 is a lot more aggressive than its predecessor and that menacing bumper is the main culprit.

Overall, the SLC43 is a lot more aggressive than its predecessor and that menacing bumper is the main culprit.

Significant modifications were operated around back as well. While the trunk lid remained unchanged, the taillights gained new LED clusters with the reverse lights mounted at the bottom (the SLK55 model had them at the top). The bumper is also new, featuring vertical side intakes, a new diffuser, and smaller, but better integrated exhaust pipes. Also, the bumper’s main character line is no longer slightly V-shaped, but straight from one corner to the other. The side view is highlighted by high-sheen, 18-inch AMG wheels, high-gloss black mirror caps, and silver chrome fins for the front fenders.

Customers who want a bespoke roadster will have a access to several options, including red-painted brake calipers, headlamp eyebrows, several 18-inch wheel and tire combinations, and Designo paint finishes.

Interior

2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC43 High Resolution Interior
- image 659865

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.

Notable changes include a new steering wheel, a revised instrument cluster, new seats, and silver chrome trim

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.

Drivetrain

2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC43 High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 659861

Under the hood is where the SLC43 got the most important update, in the form of a new engine. The big news here is that AMG not only dropped the naturally aspirated, 5.5-liter V-8, but replaced it with a V-6, making the SLC43 the second current AMG model to not use an eight- or 12-cylinder powerplant (the A45 uses a four-cylinder), and the first V-6-powered AMG in more than a decade. The last AMG to employ a V-6 was also an SLK, the SLK32 offered between 2001 and 2004.

The new unit is a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V-6 that cranks out 362 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 384 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 rpm

The new unit is a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter V-6 that seems similar to the C450 AMG, which isn’t a full-blown AMG model. However, AMG claims to have tuned the engine management software and increased boost. As far as numbers go, the powerplant cranks out 362 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 384 pound-feet of torque at 2,000 rpm. That’s 54 horsepower and 14 pound-feet of twist less than the previous model, which also translates into slower acceleration times. While the SLK55 needed 4.5 seconds to hit 60 mph, the SLC43 will do the same in 4.6 ticks. Granted, it’s not like a tenth of a second will make much of a difference, but you’re probably asking why AMG detuned the roadster.

Well, it’s all about efficiency. Although EPA numbers aren’t yet available, Mercedes claims the SLC43 is not only more efficient than its predecessor, but also the most efficient six-cylinder roadster on the market. Given that the previous model returned up to 28 mpg on the highway and 19 mpg in the city, the SLC43 should be good for at least 31 mpg highway and 22 mpg city to make a difference.

The power routes to the wheels through a 9G-Tronic sport transmission with double-declutching function on downshifts.

Though less powerful, the roadster should handle better thanks to its bespoke front and rear axles with new elastokinematics, stiffer mountings for engine and rear-axle gear unit. Optionally, the SLC43 can be equipped with the AMG Ride Control sport suspension with adjustable damping, which was designed for high lateral acceleration and reduced roll. The options list also includes a rear-axle limited-slip differential, which improves traction and handling. Stopping power is provided by a high-performance braking system with larger brake discs.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine V-6 biturbo
Displacement 2996 cc
Output 362 HP @ 5,500-6,000 RPM
Peak torque 384 LB-FT @ 2,000-4,200 RPM
Acceleration 0-60 mph 4.6 seconds
Top speed 155 MPH

Prices

Despite the upgrades, I don’t expect to see a huge price hike when the SLC43 arrives in showrooms. In 2016, the SLK55 starts at $72,600, and I wouldn’t expect anything higher than about $75,000 for the new model.

Competition

2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder

2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder
- image 624540

When it comes to powerful and fast roadsters, the Boxster Spyder is one of the best options you have. Thanks to a 375-horsepower 3.8-liter flat-six engine, the new Boxster Spyder launches to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds and up to a top speed of 180 mph. What’s more, its midship engine makes for perfect balance in the corners, giving the quick roadster some of the most precise handling available in this price range. The downside to the Boxster Spyder is that it is very expensive at $82,100.

Find out more about the Porsche Boxster Spyder here.

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible

2014 - 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray High Resolution Exterior
- image 628467

The value leader in this insanely fast and luxurious segment is the Corvette Stingray Convertible. With a base price of $59,995 and the most thoughtful cabin ever to grace the crossed flags, the Corvette Stingray Convertible really gives buyers something to think about when shopping in this segment. To really get into the level of class and performance offered by the SLC55, you’ll need to bump up to the 3LT trim level with the Z51 Performance Package. This puts the Stingray right in line with the SLC43 at $74,445. Thanks to its 6.2-liter V-8 engine that puts out up to 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of twist, the Corvette Stingray Convertible can hit 60 mph in as few as 3.8 seconds.

Read our full review here.

Conclusion

2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC43 High Resolution Exterior
- image 659852

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.

  • Leave it
    • * Driving purists may prefer the Corvette
    • * Boxster Spyder is almost irresistible
    • * No optional manual transmission
    • * Slower and less powerful than previous model

Rendering

2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC43 Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
- image 629976

Press Release

High driving dynamics and low fuel consumption are not necessarily mutually exclusive. This is proved by the new Mercedes-AMG SLC43: thanks to the combination of a 3.0-liter V6 biturbo engine and a 9G-TRONIC sport transmission, the 362 hp roadster is more fuel-efficient than its predecessor, the SLK55 with a naturally aspirated V8 engine. The SLC43 is also the most efficient six-cylinder performance roadster on the market. The specially developed suspension and model-specific mountings for the engine and rear-axle gear unit are designed for high lateral acceleration and low roll. Even greater driving dynamics are 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.

2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC43 High Resolution Exterior
- image 659850

Compact, powerful and economical: "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 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-liter V6 biturbo engine offers impressive performance with its 362 hp maximum power and peak torque of 384 lb-ft: sprinting from 0 - 60 in 4.6 seconds, its top speed is electronically limited at 155 mph. The key factors behind the 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 SLC43 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 SLC43 is very competitively positioned in the segment. The 43 stands for the further-developed AMG 3.0-liter V6 biturbo engine. The Mercedes-AMG SLC43 is therefore the first V6 model from Affalterbach to feature the new nomenclature. This will be successively introduced to the future model portfolio.

The highlights

2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC43 High Resolution Exterior
- image 659851

3.0-liter V6 biturbo engine with AMG-specific engine management and increased charge-air pressure
9G-TRONIC sport 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
Multifunction sport steering wheel in Nappa leather with perforations in grip area, flattened bottom section, with red contrasting topstitching
Upholstery in black Nappa leather / DINAMICA microfiber with sport 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 sport 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 microfiber, with flattened bottom section, red contrasting topstitching and red
12 o’clock marking

High on power, high on efficiency: the 3.0-liter 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 SLC43 from Mercedes‑AMG: the 3.0-liter V6 biturbo engine is characterized by a high power output together with high efficiency and low emissions. Installed close to the engine, the two turbochargers are especially spontaneous in their response. The high power output of 362 horsepower 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 2900 psi (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 sport transmission

The 9G-TRONIC sport transmission is specially matched to the demands of the SLC43. 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 sport suspension

2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC43 High Resolution Exterior
- image 659852

With the standard sport suspension or the optional AMG RIDE CONTROL sport suspension with adjustable damping, the Mercedes-AMG SLC43 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 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 optimized elastokinematics, increased negative camber and special forged-aluminium track rods not only improve the driving dynamics, but also make the SLC43 more controllable when driven at the limit.

The special AMG mountings for the 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 sport suspension allows an even more personalized 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

2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC43 High Resolution Exterior
- image 659853

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

The AMG high-performance braking system is characterized 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 SLC43 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 center console control panel.

DYNAMIC SELECT at a glance

"Eco" 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" mode: comfortable and fuel-efficient driving,
e.g. thanks to early upshifts. Suspension and steering are set up for an emphasis on comfort.
"Sport" 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 +" 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" mode: personalized set-up of drive, suspension, steering, air conditioning and ECO start/stop function.

Independent 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 personalization 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 sport steering

With its permanent, direct transmission ratio of 15.5 : 1, the speed-sensitive sport steering supports the new SLC43’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 mode or can be personalized in Individual mode.

Typical AMG: an emotively appealing sound

The new SLC43 also meets the personal wishes of the driver when it comes to acoustics: the standard-fit sport exhaust system comes with two automatically map-controlled exhaust flaps. In the "Eco" and "Comfort" modes, the flaps remain closed most of the time, 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 SLC43 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 to 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.

2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC43 High Resolution Exterior
- image 659854

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 SLC43 with numerous specially designed details. Ideal for a committed driving style, the multifunction sport 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 sport seats give the driver ideal lateral support, including when a dynamic driving style is adopted. The upholstery in sun-reflecting Nappa leather/DINAMICA microfiber with model-specific seat layout, red piping and topstitching meet 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 center panels in MB-Tex/DINAMICA microfiber.

The AMG instrument cluster delivers all relevant information in a clearly arranged layout optimized for a dynamic driving style. An authentic sports car look and feel is provided by two tube-shaped round dials, 4.5 in. (11.4 cm) multifunction colour display, and RACETIMER 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 25 mph, initiated below 3mph) and automatic closing of the trunk separator.

Even greater individualization: the options

The new SLC43 offers even further scope for individualization 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 microfiber in the grip area and red topstitching as well as an analogue clock in IWC design.

2017 Mercedes-AMG SLC43 High Resolution Exterior
- image 659855

Other options include the Dynamic LED Headlights with brand-typical eyebrows, several 18-inch wheel/tire combinations, the AMG Night package, exclusive designo paint finishes, various leather upholstery options, the COMAND 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.

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