It’s out with the ‘K’ and in with the ‘C’ at Mercedes-Benz. The automaker is updating the SLK and renaming it the new 2017 SLC, giving it C-Class roadster status. Plus, the automaker is also adding a performance AMG version to the lineup, the SLC43.
Outside of the name change, the big deal for the 2017 SLC is what’s under the hood and a lighter, more efficient sportster. The biggest change in the looks department is a revamped lower front grille with more aerodynamic LED headlights that make it appear longer.
The roadster will come with two engine choices. The SLC300 is available with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivers 241-horsepower. As you’d expect, the AMG SLC43 version steps it up a notch with the latest AMG 3.0-liter V65 biturbo engine. It delivers 362 hp along with 384 pound-feet of torque and a top speed of 155 mph. The SLC shoots from zero to 60mph in 4.6 seconds. The 1.1 bar charge-air pressure helps bring the improvement in power.
Paired to the new engine is the 9G-tronic sport transmission with a double-declutching function on downshifts. It uses special AMG software for quick shift times especially when it’s in Sport and Sport+ modes.
The sport suspension uses a three-link front axle with stiffer steering knuckles, increased negative camber, and new wishbone guide bearings for better cornering. The three-link rear gets an increased negative camber and special forged aluminum track rods. Drivers can add AMG Ride Control for adjustable damping. A handling package adds a mechanical limited-slip differential on the rear axle.
Dynamic Select lets drivers choose between Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport +, and Individual modes. Eco is the most efficient with a star/stop and coasting functions. Individual allows drivers to customize drive, suspension, steering, A/C, and start/stop functions.
“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 SLK55 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 Tobias Moers, chairman of Mercedes-AMG.
The exterior gets the Mercedes signature A-wing designed air deflector and wide stance. The wheels are high-sheen, light-alloy, 18-inch, AMG multi-spoke in high-gloss black. The grille is in the classic diamond design with chrome-plated pins and a louver in high-gloss black.
Mercedes-Benz could announce 2017 SLC pricing information next month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.