Mercedes-Benz has refreshed and renamed its SLK roadster to SLC, completing the German firm’s naming overhaul.
Presented ahead of a world premiere at next month’s 2016 Detroit Motor Show, the SLC gains a subtly revised appearance, a tweaked folding hardtop, and new engines, including an entry-level 1.6-liter turbo and a range topping turbocharged V6 for the AMG model.
Visually, Stuttgart’s smallest roadster model gets a nose job with an altered, diamond radiator grille, new bumper and revised headlamps optionally available with Merc’s LED Intelligent Light System. At the back, the facelifted model gains a re-profiled bumper with integrated tailpipes and fresh graphics for the lights.
Inside, Mercedes added a new perforated sports steering wheel, a revised instrument binnacle, an updated version of their COMAND Online infotainment system with new features and a larger 4.1-inch screen, plus fresh trims and leather appointments.
Revisions were made to the SLC’s electrohydraulic roof that can now be opened or closed at speeds of up to 40km/h (25mph) while it also gains an automatic boot separator in conjunction with the optional extra vario-roof or KEYLESS-GO.
One of the headline features of the updated roadster is the new SLC 43 AMG performance flagship that replaces the outgoing SLK 55 AMG’s naturally aspirated 5.5-liter V8 gasoline unit with a new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6. Surprisingly, it loses 54hp over the V8 at 367PS (362hp), but gains 14 lb-ft (19Nm) of peak torque at 383 lb-ft (520Nm) on tap from 2,000 all the way up to 4,200 rpm.
Whereas the SLK 55 AMG used a seven-speed automatic, the SLC 43 AMG employs Merc’s latest nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic with Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus, Eco and Individual driving modes. Still, it’s 0.1 seconds slower to the 100km/h (62mph) mark over the SLK 55 AMG at 4.7 seconds, while top speed is once again limited to 250km/h (155mph). On the other hand, fuel economy is improved by around 0.6 l/100 km over its predecessor at 7.8 l/100km (equal to 30.2 mpg US or 36.2mpg UK) combined on the European cycle.
Besides the standard sports suspension, the SLC 45 AMG can be had with the optional AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension with adjustable damping.
On the other end of the spectrum, Mercedes is introducing a new entry-level model for certain markets, the SLC 180 fitted with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four gasoline mill rated at 156PS (154hp) that can hit 100km/h (62mph) in 7.9 sec.
In Europe, the SLC’s range will also include the SLC 200 with a 184PS (181hp) 2.0L turbo petrol, the SLC 300 with a 245PS (242hp) 2.0-liter turbo petrol and the SLC 250d with a 204PS (201hp) 2.0-liter diesel. The SLC 180 and SLC 200 are fitted with a 6-speed manual transmission, while the 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.
North America will only get the SLC 300 with the 2.0L turbo four and the SLC 43 AMG with a twin-turbo V6, both exclusively equipped with the 9sp auto. Sales will start in Spring of 2016.