This is a proper goodbye to a Mercedes model that we should’ve noticed more than we did

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Just as Mercedes is adept at rolling out First Edition models, it can do the same with Final Edition models. It just so happens that the latter is more fitting for the times, particularly with the SLC-Class, Merc’s largely forgotten retractable hardtop convertible. In case you didn’t know, Mercedes is closing the book on the SLC’s three-generation life, and to commemorate the occasion, the Germans are rolling out the 2020 Mercedes SLC Final Edition. Mercedes is offering the special edition SLC on the SLC300 and AMG SLC43 trims of the roadster. There’s no specific number on how many models Mercedes plans to build, only that the special edition will be available in the U.S. in 2020.

Update 03/08/2019: We’ve updated this review with new images off the 2019 Mercedes SLC Final Edition taken at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Check them all out in our updated gallery at the bottom of the page.

What Makes the 2020 Mercedes SLC Final Edition Special?

2020 Mercedes SLC Final Edition Exterior
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I’ll fess up and admit it. I’m one of the people who has largely forgotten about the Mercedes CLS. With Mercedes releasing so many models, it’s natural for one or two models to fall through the cracks. For better or worse, that’s what’s happened with the CLS. It boasts a variety of engine options that can deliver anywhere from 180 horsepower to 367 horsepower. It doesn’t look dated at all, too. Plus, it’s one of the most affordable German roadsters in the market. You can buy a brand-new SLC300 for less than $50,000 if you’re resourceful enough. Unfortunately, none of that has translated to sales success for Merc’s resident entry-level roadster.

Only 1,993 units of the SLC sold in the U.S. in 2018. That’s a huge drop from its 2017 numbers when Mercedes sold 2,860 units of the SLC in the market.

As Mercedes continues to shift its focus on electrification and all that comes with it, some of its existing models won’t get the same attention they probably deserve. It’s a sad state of affairs when you realize that one of these existing models is the Mercedes SLC. And so, here we are, 23 years after the SLC — then known as the SLK-Class — entered our lives do we see its forced retirement. Consider the SLC Final Edition, then, as a worthy swan song for a model that gave us more than two decades of exhilarating convertible fun.

2020 Mercedes SLC Final Edition Exterior
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At first look, you’ll immediately notice something about the SLC Final Edition, specifically the AMG SLC43 version. It’s sporting a flashy yellow paint finish. That’s true, except that this isn’t your typical flashy yellow paint. This particular shade is called Sun Yellow, and it’s one of the original color choices that were available when Mercedes introduced the first-generation SLK back in 1996. Great callback there, Mercedes.

In order to give the roadster a nice contrast treatment, Mercedes rolled out a number of high-gloss black trim pieces to cover specific sections of the roadster.

The front splitter gets a high-gloss black trim. So do the hood vents, fender outlets, door handles, mirror caps, and even the rear fascia.

The yellow-and-black color scheme continues with the set of 18-inch matte black, five-spoke wheels and the yellow accents surrounding the rims. Overall, the exterior provides a good look for the SLC Final Edition. It’s certainly much more flamboyant than any of the standard colors the SLC Roadster comes in. With respect to Mercedes, but if Cardinal Red Metallic and Brilliant Blue Metallic are the fanciest standard colors available to the SLC, then that’s probably one reason the SLC has been underappreciated in recent years.

2020 Mercedes SLC Final Edition Exterior
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Unfortunately, you’re not getting the Sun Yellow paint if you buy the SLC 300 Final Edition. Bummer, right? Well, that’s the price you pay for not shelling out on the AMG SLC43 Final Edition. Instead, Mercedes is offering the SLC 300 Final Edition with a Selenite Grey paint finish. A bit more subdued, sure, but Mercedes also threw in an AMG Styling front bumper to make up for it. High-gloss black trim also makes an appearance in this SE, particularly in the door handles, mirror caps, and rear brace.

The SLC 300 Final Edition also sits on a set of 18-inch five-spoke AMG wheels with the same high-gloss black accents surrounding the rims.

No matter what version of the SLC Final Edition you get, Mercedes is throwing in an extra gift in the form of the AMG Line Package, which comes standard on the special edition SLC. Don’t sleep on the lowered suspension — by 10 mm (39 inches) — and the larger brakes with perforated discs. They’re going to come in handy when you’re looking to get extra frisky with your SLC Final Edition model.

2020 Mercedes SLC Final Edition Interior
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The exclusivity in the exterior gives way to uniformity in the interior. Both versions of the SLC Final Edition have interiors dressed in two-tone Black and Silver Peal Leather with matching gray stitching thrown in for good measure.

Carbon fiber finishes are also part of the exclusive interior menu.

The headrests and the steering wheel, in particular, are wrapped in textured leather that looks like carbon fiber. It’s not the real deal, but it sure looks like it. Features that are traditionally offered as options also come standard on the special edition roadster. The Airscarf neck heater and the heated seats are available in the SLC Final Edition, as is the Memory Package, which should rid you of the trouble of continuously adjusting your seat preferences and mirror settings.

That’s the extent of upgrades and touches that you’ll get with the Mercedes CLS Final Edition. It’s not overflowing in exclusive bits, but there’s enough there to make the roadster standout one last time before it heads off into the sunset. There are no power upgrades in either of these special editions, too. Hardly a surprise, right? The good news is that Mercedes is offering the SLC Final Edition in two of the model’s most powerful trims.

The SLC 300 Final Edition is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.

It’s capable of hitting 60 mph from a standstill position in 5.8 seconds and it can return an impressive 25 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. On the other hand, the top-of-the-line AMG SLC43 comes with a bigger 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that packs an impressive 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. The higher output means a faster acceleration time, and the AMG SLC43 obliges with a sprint-to-60-mph time of just 4.6 seconds. Unfortunately, the bigger engine also means a thirstier engine. The AMG SLC43 returns 20 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

2020 Mercedes SLC Final Edition Exterior
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If you’re a fan of the Mercedes SLC dating back to its days as the SLK, then this is one special edition model that you shouldn’t miss out on, especially since this is the last special edition SLC that Mercedes will make.

The German automaker didn’t say how much it’s going to cost, only that it’s arriving in 2020.

That should be enough time for you to save up on buying one.

The SLC’s departure also opens up a slot in Mercedes’ sports car lineup. Is the German automaker replacing the SLC with an all-new performance model? Even better, is AMG the one that’s going to do it? Word has it that the latter is already at work developing a mid-engine sports car that can compete against the Porsche 718 Caymand and its Boxster counterpart. Incidentally, the departing SLC competed against the Boxster. Maybe the SLC lineup is headed to retirement, but just because that’s the case, it doesn’t mean that the slot that the SLC will leave behind will remain vacant in the coming years.

Mercedes SLC Final Edition drivetrain specifications

SLC 300 Mercedes-AMG SLC 43
Number of cylinders/arrangement 4/in-line V-6
Displacement (cc) 1,991 2,996
Rated output (hp) 241 385
Rated torque (lb-ft) 273 384
Acceleration 0-60 mph (s) 5.8 4.6
Top speed (mph) (electronically limited) 155 155

Further reading

2017 Mercedes-Benz SLC High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes SLC

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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